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.
- 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.
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".
Best records this week
According to our review team at least...
9/10 from ReviewBot300
8/10 from ReviewBot300