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Weekly Update Federico Durand, WANDA GROUP, Wild Smiles, Skullflower, Little Big League, and more...

A warm greeting to all you children of Satan and/or Norman Records out there. Clint is taking a well-needed holiday this week -- I don't know where he's gone, but he's probably arguing about guitar tones with a concierge right now. He's sent me in his place to tell you what's been going on in the meantime, because while he certainly takes holidays, records don't. Actually records don't really do anything except get played and accumulate dust. Anyway, last week we all got soused -- some of us against our will -- which was a strange, uncomfortable time. We're grateful to Walker and Sunn O))) for letting us out of the avant-garde sin bin this week.

Before we get going with all of that experimental nonsense you like and the never-ending pile of psych rock (by the way, when we call that stuff "heavy" we actually mean physically, so please be kind to our backs), it's worth mentioning a couple of big ones. Yelping wordsmiths Sleaford Mods continue to spew their guts into the ether with ‘Fizzy’, a profane new 12" that gave us in the office an ample excuse to swear at each other about our haircuts, music taste, political values, etc. It was a good time. There's also a lot of indie rock to air out this week, as Famous Class continues its LAMC series with the likes of Parquet Courts, Speedy Ortiz and White Fence. Also, we know you're all goths at heart, and I'm sure some of us have tried to dress up as Nick Cave for halloween before, so here are some reissues of his first three records -- back when he was just a wee punk. We're all getting ready to cry to the new Grouper record, which sees her drone on a piano, of all things. And then there are the Meatbodies, who assault our ears with psych rock on their screeching new record. We asked Ty Segall to do a guest review of that one and he said "This is amazing!". Also, I made that up.

Also in:

  • Haim try and groove their way into the A$AP mob with a new EP that features a remix with Ferg -- the trap lord himself -- in perhaps the greatest collaboration since that person made a hip-hop mash-up tape of Neutral Milk Hotel songs.
  • It's unlikely the Staves even own a computer, but they manage to produce and mix their new EP of pastoral folk magnificently, capturing every microscopic detail.
  • Sufjan Stevens' Asthmatic Kitty label keep sneezing out indie pop -- this time with a whole new record from the quite serious Lily and Madeleine.
  • Chris Forsyth invites Laurie into his solar motel, where your wake up call is an ominous drone and your breakfast is served with a healthy dosage of sustained chords. Is Chris Forsyth related to Bruce? Do they have the weirdest Christmas dinners ever? Nice to hear you, to hear you nice.
  • FatCat offer up a split between Katie Gately and Tlaotlon.
  • Holy shit: someone actually lives in Winchester. Wild Smiles are the living proof, with their gloomy and greyscale indie rock.
  • Because you were all craving your weekly ritual of coffee and cello drone, Mohammad have released a new record. Get your own damn coffee, though.
  • Little Big League -- made up of members from Titus Andronicus, Strand of Oaks and Post Post -- pool their resources for another slice of sweet slacker rock. Get a job, dudes.
  • Blackened death metal crew Atriarch help us out by keeping their band font nice and clean. Thanks, y'all.
  • Razen are about with their debut record of instrumental shit-storms. Take note.
  • Please listen to this ridiculously abstract Monoton record from several hundred thousand years ago.
  • The See See let the sun shine on their new, '60s influenced record, which we are all hoping we never see see again after a tireless week of sending it to you all.
  • Broncho continue to be the sweetest bunch of garage rockers you ever did hear.
  • Jim falls down a waterfall of noise and Skullflower don’t even offer him a lifejacket.
  • The Twilight Sad continue to weep buckets of Scottish tears on their new record, which reminds us that feelings are important.
  • Spray Paint do some shit and then play some guitars and fuck guys I'm so stoned right now what are we talking about.
  • That minimal piano thing Ian quite enjoyed -- Bing & Ruth, to be specific -- came out on vinyl this week.
  • There's a bunch of reworks and remixes for the debut of post-rockers Oiseaux-Tempete, including one from a member of Do Make Say Think. Oh boy...
  • Very sad news: Hyperdub mainstay the Spaceape has passed away. His new EP with label boss Kode9 has come out.
  • There's a bunch of Quasimoto singles out on 12", celebrating the first time we all realised Madlib could rap as well as he could drop a beat. Sick: take your pick from this one, that one, or maybe you want this one. Shit, forgot this one.
  • We decide to take the genre title "coldwave" literally, and consider this collection of Digital Dance's singles and b-sides to be the early forerunner for Christmas album of the year.
  • Giorgos "Look At My Sick Lute" Xylouris and Jim "I'm Being Sad As Fast As I Can" White team up for a record of frenetic instrumental interplay.
  • Richard Youngs continues to break my heart by refusing to release more raging d-beat, but here's his relaxing new record. "Recommended for fans of Richard Youngs"? Fair enough.
  • Our collective hearts melt for the indie rock of Tape Waves. Recommended if you like palm trees.
  • Oren Ambarchi "goes and does another album". Cheers, Oren.
  • Jazz-grinder John Zorn continues to do weird shit.
  • We all make plans to move to the country with drone artist Federico Durand.
  • Jorge Elbrecht dazzles Jim with black metal pop music. You heard us.
  • Oh hey: there’s another monolithic offering in the Paramount Records series. Here we go again.


Moving on to the world of electronic innovations for all you people who live for cold ‘n’ calculated ephemera:

  • Objekt’s snapshots of abstract techno appear and we all spend about an hour trying to keep our heads screwed on for ‘Flatland’. At the time of writing, Brian is telling Objekt to “fuck off”.
  • Julio Bashmore continues to be the most prominent human being ever, taking time out of his constant touring schedule for a new 12” with J’Danna.
  • Mark Jenkins rolls up his sleeves and gets stuck into some analog synthesiser fun, making us all feel bad because we can’t afford the equipment to make a record this good.
  • There’s a nice little treat for East India Youth fans with Hinterland.
  • Dan Bodan sucks.
  • After months of hoping and praying it would arrive, Suicideyear’s new EP of sad trap comes in. Hop on that beat and get dancing -- make sure you’re in time with the rhythm/your tears.
  • Hessle Audio have a new 12” out by techno’s worst-named artist ever, Bruce. No offence, dude.
  • There’s more well-I-nevers from me regarding techno with this filthy Extreme Precautions record, which our Review Bot nearly became sentient for.
  • Django Django’s Dave McClean starts an electronic label -- is this real life? Neil Landstrumm heads up proceedings with this EP.
  • Nouvelles du Font have good hair; like synths. A lethal combination, if you ask me.
  • The vinyl for the Jesse Ruins reworks appears, foggily disrupting our day with electronica do-overs of shoegaze tunes. It’s getting hazy in here.
  • There’s some soulful, old-school house (that should really be spelt old-skool, if we’re being real) from the excellent Deejay Deer.
  • There’s also an old, brilliant cut from the skewed and cold technohead Surgeon that reminds you just how unrequited our love for him is. Maybe if we namedropped Berlin more? Berlin.
  • Techno + techno = In Sync.

Man, people really like techno. How about some re-issues, though:

  • Detroit electro dude Transllusion thanks the big guy for allowing this reissue of ‘The Opening Of The Cerebral Gate’ to pass through heaven and into our record store of heathens.
  • There’s a remaster of the very first Swans record, which is not for the faint-hearted, or really just anyone with a heart. Get evil.
  • A couple of Led Zeppelin remasters arrive - ‘IV’ and ‘Houses Of the Holy’ -- which make Kim remark that Jimmy Page probably sold his soul to the devil in exchange for guitar prowess. Halloween, am I right? Get into the spirit.
  • The dad rock that was once just plain old rock doesn’t stop there: we’ve got the vinyl of Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland in.
  • Uh... William Burroughs has a new record out? Some sick stoner metal, no doubt. Or I guess it's just a reissue of a spoken word thing.
  • Our math rock spirit animals, Minus the Bear, celebrate their early days of eating smaller animals and guitar-noodling.

BREAKING!

Following the immediately sold out Seaes 4CD set, the Meds label return with a couple of exciting forthcoming releases, exclusively available to pre-order from Norman Records.

  • A limited edition cassette noyzelab - 16x16 CELL MEDITATIONS - Two mind expanding long-form electronic drone works, in a numbered edition of just 50 copies - Highly recommended for fans of Eliane Radigue.
  • Also WANDA GROUP - Symmirorety soundtrack CD limited edition of 150 copies in screen-printed gatefold sleeve.

That’s pretty much all the music we can stomach -- we actually hate music -- but if you’re one of those people who can appreciate non super-sized physical media, there’s always a smattering of 7”, which you can listen to or use as frisbees. It’s your choice. In our midsts this week we have the Quietus Combo Meal -- the new tune from the Charlatans plus a remix from Grumbling Fur -- as well as singles from post-hxc kids Big Ups, world’s-end folkers the Parade, indie rockers Gengahr (who sadly didn’t name themselves after the Pokemon) and the young but greatly esteemed sunglasses-wearer John McCullagh. A special shout out is in order for Allo Darlin’, whose twee pop stage play is about as Waiting For Godot. Also, we all collectively boogied to this groovy as fuck Jimmy Ricks 7”, because we like that thing they call rock ‘n’ roll.

What I’m trying to say here is that there is a lot of music in here, and as always, we’re ready to let it leave our store, like proud parents sending their kid to school. Or disgruntled parents sending their kid to military school. Never mind me -- Clint will be back with a better metaphor and a whole lot more music next week. In his absence, here’s a compilation of every time John Peel has said “the Fall”.


Love from "Mr. Norman Records".
xx


Best records this week

According to our review team at least...

Kevin Drumm

Wrong Intersection

9/10 from Jim

Noisemusic's most loveable curmudgeon is back (was he ever away?) with another superb aural feast for us lucky punters. This time it's a cd on Handmade Birds that's limited to...read on »

Mohammad

Lamnè Gastama

9/10 from Jim

Everyone’s favourite chamber doom band (are there any other chamber doom bands?) are back with the second instalment in their “trilogy that explores the sounds of ...read on »

Federico Durand

La estrella dormida

9/10 from Robin

The Argentinean Federico Durand has never used drone as escapism. Where the genre might often be seen as isolating and lonely -- a genre for artists, not bands; a person, but ...read on »

Sleaford Mods

Fizzy

9/10 from Phil

In case you've been hiding away in the middle of nowhere these fellas have been blasting through people's ears over the last year or so, keeping both the sprit of punk an...read on »

Allo Darlin'

Bright Eyes

9/10 from Robin

Indie pop is a conversation, and Allo Darlin' are having it. On single "Bright Eyes", with a title that seems to wink at the over-sharing of indie rock's past, the band's dual...read on »

Chris Forsyth & The Solar Motel Band

Intensity Ghost

9/10 from Laurie

There is a certain triumph embedded in opener "The Ballad of Freer Hollow", perhaps because it hardly changes from a single major chord throughout the whole track. I think the...read on »

The Charlatans

Talking In Tones

9/10 from Robin

Is the glass half empty or half full? Kinda both and neither, really: the Charlatans' new song "Talking In Tones" is full to the brim in its choruses and completely emptied ou...read on »

Parquet Courts / Future Punx

LAMC No. 13

9/10 from ReviewBot300

Here's another of Famous Class's illustrious split 7"s, this time featuring Brooklyn's indie-garage golden boys Parquet Courts and Future Punx, who I've not encountered before...read on »

Tlaotlon / Katie Gately

Split Series #23

9/10 from ReviewBot300

Fat Cat's split series continues this week with #23, which features two of the more interesting electronic artists doing the rounds right now. On side A we've got newcomer Kat...read on »

Skullflower

Draconis

9/10 from Jim

I feel strangely cleansed after listening to this 2 disc set from English underground noise legends Skullflower. Featuring the same Voltigeurs partnership of Matthew Bower and...read on »

Adrian Younge

Black Dynamite (Instrumentals / Original Motion Picture Score)

9/10 from ReviewBot300

Nice to see Adrian Younge on my review pile today. Last year this guy put out an album with Ghostface Killah, '12 Reasons To Die', which I listened to incessantly, a gruesome ...read on »

Grouper

Ruins

9/10 from Brian

Beginning with a solemn slow tattoo of muffled bass drum and field recordings called 'Made of Metal', Grouper's mooted final album under this piscine moniker is a stark and in...read on »

SWANS

Filth

9/10 from Brian

"I like the idea of standing in a room full of sledge hammers" indeed. There are simply no rock bands that sound anything quite like Swans, either in their refined post-Millen...read on »

Meatbodies

Meatbodies

9/10 from ReviewBot300

Even if you've not yet picked up the handful of 7"s they dropped prior to this debut album, you may be more familiar with Chad Ubovich and his Meatbodies than you realise. He'...read on »

Bruce

Not Stochastic

9/10 from Brian

Along with Joe and Fis, Bruce is one of them new enigmatic understatedly monikered players of the "post-everythingstep" game. He's fucking good as well. I'm pleased to now kno...read on »

Kode9 & The Spaceape

Killing Season

9/10 from Brian

  I can safely say that this is a good place to start if you've somehow never experienced what these two visionary dudes did together. Past tense because as most of you ...read on »

Francis Bebey

Psychedelic Sanza 1982-1984

9/10 from Souki

Another chapter in the fascinating musical story of Cameroonian renaissance man Francis Bebey that picks up where Born Bad’s previous ‘African Electronic Music 197...read on »

Objekt

Flatland

8/10 from Jim

Objekt (aka TK Herz) has a lot to live up to on this debut full-length LP. Having already established a reputation amongst discerning techno/electronica heads through his 12"s...read on »

yellow6

Closer To The Sea Without Moving

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Workaholic ambient/post-rock type Yellow6, known to his friends as Jon Attwood, went on holiday this summer to Happisburgh (pronounced 'Hazeborough') on the Norfolk coast, sta...read on »

Lily & Madeleine

Fumes

8/10 from Robin

The great Asthmatic Kitty conspiracy theory -- that Sufjan Stevens really likes rabbits -- continues on Lily & Madeleine's second record of multi-faceted indie pop, which ...read on »

Extreme Precautions

Extreme Precautions

8/10 from ReviewBot300

I'd already listened to this Extreme Precautions LP all the way through before I realised I was playing it at the wrong speed, and probably wouldn't have noticed at all were i...read on »

Tape Waves

Let You Go

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Our often-grumpy indie rock encyclopedia Clinton's heart was softened by Tape Waves' self-titled debut 7" earlier in the year, earning a rare 9/10 with their "glistening water...read on »

Richard Youngs

Red Alphabet in the Snow

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Prolific experimentalist Richard Youngs is on particularly accessible form this week with yet another new LP, this time for Preserved Sound. There's a flyer for their current ...read on »

Bulbous Creation

You Won't Remember Dying

8/10 from Laurie

This was passed to me with the promise of copious guitar solos. It's quite a relief that Van Halen and Steve Vai hadn't been invented at the time of recording, other...read on »

Chemotex

Snake Inside My Leg

8/10 from Laurie

This afternoon I'm greeted by noisy loops, which can only mean that there's another Trilogy Tapes 12" out! This label seems to be putting out quality techno and textural elect...read on »

Manual

Memory and Matter: Selected Remixes Rarities and Unreleased Tracks 2007-2014

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Jonas Munk is a busy chap. Not only has he been releasing gorgeous drifty synth and guitar soundscapes as Manual since 2000, he's also brought out albums and soundtracks under...read on »

Speedy Ortiz / Chris Weisman

LAMC No. 14

8/10 from Robin

Indie rock is unyielding and it will never die. That seems to be the mission statement of Famous Class at the moment, who are throwing out 7" splits left, right and centre in ...read on »

Oren Ambarchi

Quixotism

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Prolific antipodean noisemaker Oren Ambarchi's only gone and done another album, but don't expect more of the cheeseball boogie-buzz heroics that made his recent ZZ Top collab...read on »

The Staves

Blood I Bled

8/10 from Robin

Here's a folk rock record with nuts and bolts. Along with the spectacular, totally expected guitar picking is an electronic crackle that configures "Open". Programmed drums bu...read on »

Lola Colt

Away From The Water

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Can you imagine a cross between Jefferson Airplane, Zola Jesus and Florence and the Machine? Well, if your imagination isn't up to it, might I suggest checking out London sext...read on »

Young Jessie

You Were Meant For Me / Mary Lou

8/10 from ReviewBot300

One of the unsung heroes of the soul/r'n'b/rock'n'roll eras of the '50s and early '60s, Obie "Young" Jessie started his career in LA vocal group The Flairs alongside Richard B...read on »

Mark Jenkins

Analog Archives

8/10 from Laurie

As is the case when music geeks get their hands on a host of classic synthesisers, they're gonna have one hell of an archive to show for the time invested in taming the b...read on »

The Marlboro Men

(Ride On) Iron Horse

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Are you ready to get funky? If not, look away now, because this reissued 1971 single by The Marlboro Men brings the funk in unbridled fashion, with the added bonus of a never-...read on »

White Fence / Jack Name

LAMC No. 12

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Famous Class keep rolling out the big names on their ever-expanding series of split 7"s, which have already featured the likes of Future Islands, Deerhoof, Thee Oh Sees, Ty Se...read on »

The See See

Once Forever and Again

8/10 from ReviewBot300

'60s loving psych popsters The See See have been going from strength to strength in recent years, with their albums quickly selling out and the mighty Sundazed introducing the...read on »

Dez Williams

Strength In Numbers

8/10 from Ant

Dez Williams (Cheap, SCSI, AI, Acruacree, Elektronik Religion etc. ) follows up his 12" for Sunil Sharpe's Earwiggle imprint with 'Strength In Numbers', an 180g vinyl slab on ...read on »

The Rebel

K Rot

8/10 from ReviewBot300

In the past 15 years, Country Teaser Ben "The Rebel" Wallers has built up the kind of solo discography most artists would take years to churn out. Fifteen albums and almost as...read on »

Monoton

Monotonprodukt 02

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Here's a treat for all you minimal techno/synth fans - 33 years after it first dropped, Monoton's debut album 'Monotonprodukt 02' is finally back on vinyl thanks to the nice p...read on »

Wild Smiles

Always Tomorrow

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Winchester's finest power-pop trio drop their first album this week. After impressing with a couple of killer singles on Invada, they've taken the sidestep to Sunday Best, but...read on »

Soft Hearted Scientists

The Slow Cyclone

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Soft Hearted Scientists return this week with another album of their crisp and quirky psychedelic pop, like a 21st century cross between The Byrds, Syd Barrett and Harry Nilss...read on »

Bell Gardens

Slow Dawns For Lost Conclusions

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Stars of the Lid's Brian McBride and Furry Thing Kenneth Gibson joined forces a couple of years ago to release an album as Bell Gardens, departing dramatically from the work t...read on »

Ultimate Painting

Ultimate Painting

8/10 from Brian

I think someone has stolen the promo for this, I thought I'd pinched it but apparently not so. That is always the sign of a good record. Promo theft by eager ears. Two dudes ...read on »

Heliocentrics & Melvin Van Peebles

The Last Transmission

8/10 from ReviewBot300

London's chameleonic progressive funk mavericks Heliocentrics only just put out a collaborative double LP with Afrobeat pioneer Orlando Julius last month, and they've already ...read on »

Surgeon

Pet 2000 (2014 Remaster)

8/10 from Brian

Wasn't gonna review this as the description looked sweet enough then I played it and thought "Blimey, that's why he was known as the UK's answer to Jeff Mills!" So the lead t...read on »

Featured albums

The Jimi Hendrix Experience
WANDA GROUP
Razen
Various
noyzelab
Richard Youngs
Jimmy Ricks & The Raves
Bruce
Oren Ambarchi
Extreme Precautions
Federico Durand
Atriarch
Led Zeppelin
The Staves
Little Big League
Spray Paint
Haim
Led Zeppelin
Skullflower
Tlaotlon / Katie Gately
The Parade
Chris Forsyth & The Solar Motel Band
Wild Smiles
Speedy Ortiz / Chris Weisman
Parquet Courts / Future Punx
White Fence / Jack Name
SWANS
Neil Landstrumm
John McCullagh & The Escorts
Tape Waves
Kode9 & The Spaceape
Big Ups
Allo Darlin'
Quasimoto
Quasimoto
Deejay Deer
Sleaford Mods
Xylouris White
Surgeon
Objekt
The Charlatans
Julio Bashmore
Mohammad
Grouper
Dan Bodan
Meatbodies
Bing & Ruth
Gengahr
The See See
The Twilight Sad
Broncho
East India Youth
D.Stop
Monoton
Jesse Ruins
Lily & Madeleine
Jorge Elbrecht
Suicideyear
John Zorn
Digital Dance
Oiseaux-Tempete
IN SYNC
IN SYNC
William S. Burroughs
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Transllusion
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Quasimoto
Quasimoto
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Minus The Bear