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Weekly Update Porya Hatami, Lumerians, Get Well Soon, Concretism, Hybernation, and more...

Can you believe Christmas is just around the corner? Well, you better believe it. Next week sees the launch of our very own 'Norman Records Guide To Christmas' so if you live in dread of a) being asked what you want for Christmas and/or, b) not getting stuff that you actually want, it might be an idea to consult the guide. It will be up on the site early next week so keep checkin’ back.

Aaaaanyway, it’s still early November so let’s not worry about all that yet shall we? This week has been one of our busiest since business began. Immediate highlights are three new titles on the Cardinal Fuzz label from Lumerians, Dead Sea Apes and Old Testament, a vinyl edition of Throwing Muses ‘Purgatory/Paradise’ that is available literally nowhere, a re-press of the much sought after first Hookworms mini LP and some pretty tasty Fruits de Mer stuff including an absolutely crazy 7” box set.

Oh and there’s this little lot...

  • Ariel Pink’s ridiculous new LP will have you either wanting to kiss his manky feet or give him a good kicking. See what Brian makes of it all here….
  • Dirty Beaches' new LP is a cinematic all instrumental album of gorgeous drones. Well worth checking out says our Hayley.
  • Shouty rock lords Fugazi let us hear their ‘First Demo’.
  • Savages and Bo Ningen team up for a collaborative and explorative 12” somewhere in the sweet spot between Spinal Tap and Can.
  • Get Well Soon make a great 10” of oddball 90s indie rock on City Slang.
  • Bookish North East types Paul Smith and Peter Brewis have collaborated on some pretty sweet, string-laden chamber folk.
  • Scotland’s Sound Of Yell are led by a Belle and Sebastian chap and concoct some pretty tantalising folk in an instrumental Sufjan Stevens style.
  • Jam Money pluck and pick and hit things on their home-made album of Woo/Tunng like toy box instrumentals.
  • The Paperhead give psych a good name with some countrified Barratt-isms on Trouble in Mind.
  • Violet Woods are the latest lads to worship at the folk rock altar of Love and the Byrds.
  • Former Showaddywaddy supporting industrial noisters Einsturzende Neubauten release a new LP.
  • My grandma once said ‘Ryton will be nice’ referring of course to the daffodil-clad Newcastle suburb, Robin, however, enjoys Rhyton, the cosmic jam band who contain No Neck Blues band affiliates.
  • Mark McGuire is now free of the shackles of Emeralds and celebrates by releasing a gentle album of his sweetest, home-made guitar experiments.
  • Bonkers post-shoegazers Medicine return with a sonic explosion of a new album. Prepare your ears.
  • Squrl’s new 12” seems to veer between slowcore and prophetic doom metal according to Robin.
  • Sloath release some heavy stoner rock housed in a picture of Jim’s garden.
  • Just as we went to press Ty Segall’s ‘Singles 2’ collection came through the door. On vinyl, CD and cassette tape.
  • Idiot longhair Kindness has a new 12” out.
  • There are new records from popular chaps David Bowie, Nick Cave and thankfully the last Pink Floyd album we’ll ever be forced to listen to.
  • As we said earlier its almost Christmas and the first two christmas albums are here. Mark Kozelek takes a break from singing about blue crab cakes and his dad’s sock buying habits to sing us some ‘Christmas Carols’. Random Acts of Vinyl celebrate their 10th year of having a pretty great label name by unleashing a Christmas 10” on us.

In the murky world of things with beats….

  • Machinedrum unleashes an annexe to his ‘Vapor City’ projects which gets our resident grandad...er...me, Clinton, on the dancefloor.
  • Good to see the Stottmeister aka Andy Stott back with a great album of his slow moving techno-like sounds.
  • Then there’s this Concretism thing. Brian has listened and he says its classic urban electronica recalls prime era Boards of Canada. It’s been shitting out. Shitting I tells ya. So be quick.
  • There’s more lovely involving ambient techno from Mr Consistent Loscil.
  • Underwater stillness from electroacoustic master Andrea Belfi.
  • Luke Vibert is just too late for Halloween with his ‘Halloween Part one’ 12”.
  • Those nice people at Hibernate records have two of their delightful postcards available. One from Hybernation, one from Porya Hatami. Both lovely.
  • Viktor Sjoberg makes a load of smooth house with saxophones.
  • Driving technoid landscapes from Nine Inch Nails’s mate Skarn.
  • The early work of techno long stay Deadbeat is collected on a neat LP box set.
  • Experimental sound art from Madrid multi instrumentalist Greg Gobel.
  • Dinosaur L sampling spangly disco dubs by Reel Houze.
  • Finally two decent compilations that could be early contenders for your Christmas stockings. First up - ‘Slowly Exploding’ a 10 year compilation of the best bits of Perc Trax inc. Truss, Happa, Perc, Sawf, Kareem etc. Secondly there’s ‘Aphelion’, a compilation of the Token label inc. inc. Surgeon, James Ruskin, Planetary Assault Systems, Blawan, Lucy etc.


RE-ISSUE news:

  • As we mentioned earlier, Leeds' premier rock titans Hookworms have re-issued their genius first self-titled mini LP on Faux Discx/Gringo with bonus stuff on the download.
  • There’s a big Captain Beefheart box which won’t fit on the shelves. Please take it off our hands...
  • A man from Athens, GA personally brought in these Throwing Muses LP’s claiming you’d be hard pressed to find them elsewhere.
  • There’s a collection of ‘Funk, Soul and Afro Rarities’ from the ATA label from - where else? - Yorkshire.
  • Robin has been waiting a very long time for Christina Carter’s high water mark ‘Masque Femine’ to get a re-issue. Now it has he just doesn’t know what to do with himself.
  • There’s a nice collection of Robert Wyatt’s lovely music out on Domino beginning with an 18 minute prog jazz exploration to put everyone off. There’s a second disc full of his collabs too.
  • A load of Nick ‘Dick’ Cave re-issues.
  • All the William Onyeabor box sets thingies are in.
  • Fans of bad music take note: there’s a bunch of Kasabian re-issues in on vinyl.
  • Title of the week has to be Howard Eynon’s ‘So What If I’m Standing In Apricot Jam’, where the acid folk minstrel has a night in with the boys before announcing he has jam all over his fingers. Things really were different in the ‘70s weren’t they?
  • Gareth Dickson’s superb live document ‘Invisible String’ now has a vinyl re-issue for the one person who has been asking on Twitter.
  • If you like early 80s minimal synth stuff then get your mitts on this Iko re-issue from the year we used to know an ninedeeneighdytwo.

Seven inches. There are records that are small enough to fit in a rather large pocket. We have some. Try these...

That’s it for the week. Have a great weekend.

Clint and Phil and Ian and Kim and Brian and Laurie and Robin and Nathon and all the other lovely people beavering away at or on behalf of Norman Towers
xx


Best records this week

According to our review team at least...

Christina Carter

Masque Femine

10/10 from Robin

I’ve been waiting a very, very long time for Christina Carter’s masterpiece, ‘Masque Femine’, to make a reappearance. It’s fitting, really, that ...read on »

Hieroglyphic Being

The Fourth Dimensions of a Nubian Mystic

9/10 from Jim

Top quality psychedelic techno from Jamal Moss operating under his Hieroglyphic Being moniker here. Anyone who has experienced one of his dj sets will know that this guy has m...read on »

Machinedrum

Vapor City Archives

9/10 from Clinton

Don’t be put off by looking at a picture of Machinedrum. What could be your common or garden sex pest is actually one of the best electronica producers around today. If ...read on »

Hybernation

The Old Waterworks

9/10 from Laurie

If there's one way to this reviewer's heart, it is to make a CD in which each track is "made solely from the sounds of one object". That's right ladies, get your mics down to ...read on »

Andy Stott

Faith In Strangers

9/10 from Laurie

What has Andy Stott been up to since 2012’s shimmeringly reverberated Luxury Problems? As it turns out, he’s still been obsessing over his piano teacher’s vo...read on »

Francesco Giannico

Metrophony

9/10 from Brian

Francesco Giannico is an Italian sound/field recordist who evidently has a passion for the sound and soul of his beloved Rome subways, so much so he's put to tape a 40+ minute...read on »

Loscil

Sea Island

9/10 from Brian

I'd say out of all the modern ambient practitioners that Loscil is one of the most idiosyncratic, so much so that he pulls a lot of similar tricks throughout his discography w...read on »

Reel Houze

Optimo Music Disco Plate Two

9/10 from Souki

Despite these two spangled disco dubs leaving you change from a fiver should you seek the Zoot originals out on disposable-income-black-hole Discogs, Optimo move on to plate n...read on »

The Skull Defekts

Street Metal

9/10 from Jim

The Skull Defekts continue to plow a singular furrow through ever broadening vistas, further honing their rhythmically focused, experimental rock with this new album on Diagon...read on »

noyzelab

16x16 CELL MEDITATIONS

8/10 from Jim

Noyzelab is basically David Burraston (aka Dave Noyze), a guy who, has spent the last few decades venturing ever deeper into the hidden complexities of electronic music. Accor...read on »

Violet Woods

Violet Woods

8/10 from Clinton

It’s going to be hard for anyone to top the poppy, jangly psych moves of this years incredibly strong Temples album but more underground bands like The Young Sinclairs a...read on »

Tired Tape Machine

Not Here

8/10 from Robin

Ambient music only tells half the truth. It says it’ll always be there for us, but forgets that at some point we won’t be there to hear it. As his band name sugges...read on »

Rhyton

Kykeon

8/10 from Robin

It’s weird how groovy noise is sometimes. Take Rhyton’s “Siren In Byblos”, which starts with oscillating, screaming guitar strokes that make you reach ...read on »

Torn Hawk

Let's Cry And Do Pushups At The Same Time

8/10 from Laurie

Torn Hawk conjures up some pretty dramatic imagery doesn’t it? Even the idea of tearing up a majestic bird seems like a pathetically aggressive Monty Python sketch, and ...read on »

Robert Wyatt

Different Every Time

8/10 from Clinton

If the first half of this compilation of Robert Wyatt tracks was planned as `an introduction to’ rather than being aimed at long term fans then it seems an odd choice to...read on »

Porya Hatami

Daydreamer

8/10 from Clinton

Hibernate’s postcard series continues with this 17 minute one tracker from Iran based composer. The opening few minutes confirms my hunch that they have sheep and cocker...read on »

Killawatt

Convoys EP

8/10 from Souki

It’s fair to assume that Killawatt doesn’t go about mastering his tracks for playback via a diminutive iPhone speaker.  Towering soundsystems that blur your v...read on »

White Candles

Monolith

8/10 from Clinton

Oh you just love your Broadcast-sounding shit don’t you? Well here is some more of it on this three track 7” which delves deep into that 60’s referencing ret...read on »

Get Well Soon

The Lufthansa Heist

8/10 from Clinton

I’d like to say Get Well Soon to my wife (not actually my wife but the nearest thing to it) who has a bad tooth. Yet my teeth were described as “the finest set of ...read on »

Jam Money

Blowing Stones

8/10 from Clinton

This is one of those albums that makes you glad that we still plough the underground looking for unusual releases instead of following the herd to the mainstream. One of thos...read on »

Feral Ohms

Super Ape / The Snake

8/10 from Robin

“Super Ape” comes into the world like one of those punk rock songs that’s been kicked out of the club and is now falling backwards down the stairs. The chord...read on »

Fugazi

First Demo

8/10 from Robin

It often felt like Fugazi were narrating the history of hardcore as much as they were contributing to it. With shows that were as revered for their impromptu politics as for t...read on »

Mark McGuire

Noctilucence

8/10 from Robin

Mark McGuire’s quiet tenure with drone act Emeralds recently ended, and he now works as a self-employed, stay-at-home ambient composer, creating startling and structural...read on »

SQURL

EP # 3

8/10 from Robin

Squrl find an odd little spot to dwell in the musical universe between the clear, prophetic doom metal of Warning and the sad, resigned slowcore of Idaho, or even Low -- the m...read on »

Exhaustion

Biker

8/10 from Robin

I always knew -- but I never really knew what No Wave meant. Exhaustion have changed that; when I listen to ‘Biker’, I feel like I’m listening to Total Contr...read on »

Dirty Beaches

Stateless

8/10 from Hayley

Canadian musician Alex Zhang, aka Dirty Beaches, is back with a new instrumental LP and he’s come a long way since his 2011 breakthrough ‘Badlands’. Since th...read on »

James Ginzburg & Yair Elazar Glotman

Nimbes

8/10 from Laurie

‘It’s dark’ are the words of warning from Clinton for this 12” and he’s not wrong. Originally the soundtrack for an immersive installation, Nimbe...read on »

Sound of Yell

Sound of Yell

8/10 from Hayley

Sound Of Yell are yet another addition to Glasgow’s reputation as a hotbed of musical talent. The Glasgow collective explore the spaces between folk and jazz, and are le...read on »

The Paperhead

Africa Avenue

8/10 from Hayley

The Paperhead are purportedly proponents of the endemic psych revival, so initial skepticism had me believe that they wouldn't be anything special because, let's face it, a lo...read on »

Concretism

Town Planning

8/10 from Brian

A customer has already penned a perfectly succinct review for this great little self-released CD but as I'd brought it home to investigate further, feeling what I heard of Chr...read on »

IKO

83

8/10 from Clinton

Each of us have different ears. Brian simply could not cope with the monotone vocals on this minimal synth re-issue from 1982 yet they don’t bother me, it all adds to th...read on »

Plaids

Plaids

8/10 from Robin

The last two years have seen an onslaught of bands who can scream and sigh over twinkling riffs and wide-eyed emo chaos, something we’ve all been complicit in terming a ...read on »

Lumerians

Transmissions From Telos Vol. III

8/10 from Clinton

If dear old Mike was here he’d be having a field day with all these releases on Cardinal Fuzz. Thankfully for me who has never touched a marijuana pipe in his life this ...read on »

Dead Sea Apes

High Evolutionary

8/10 from Robin

On their trip to space, Dead Sea Apes see no aliens, encounter no planets, hang out with no constellations. They’re making space rock, the word “space” empha...read on »

Girlpool

Girlpool

8/10 from Robin

On paper, it sounds like it’ll be a no frills good time: a couple of DIY punx make quick tunes with a little bit of twee pop spit -- such as the chants of “blah bl...read on »

Ty Segall

Singles 2

8/10 from Clinton

Ty Segall RAISED THE ROOF at the Brudenell Social Club last week. That’s what Mike said anyway. I was at home nursing a Bourbon cream and boiling the kettle for the hot ...read on »

Einstürzende Neubauten

Lament

8/10 from Jim

‘Lament’ is perennial provocateurs Einsturzende Neubauten’s much anticipated commemoration of the First World War. It’s a typically erudite, inventive ...read on »

Featured albums

Greg Gobel
Porya Hatami
Cherry Glazerr
Mark McGuire
Hybernation
Various
Jam Money
Violet Woods
Various
Andrea Belfi
Throwing Muses
Rattle
IKO
White Candles
Various
Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard
Ty Segall
Various
Deadbeat
Reel Houze
Rhyton
Kindness
Sound of Yell
Robert Wyatt
Bo Ningen & Savages
Paul Smith & Peter Brewis
Viktor Sjoberg
Loscil
Lumerians
Skarn
Ariel Pink
Concretism
Get Well Soon
Mark Kozelek
Howard Eynon
Machinedrum
Sloath
SQURL
Andy Stott
Various
The Paperhead
Dirty Beaches
Old Testament
Dead Sea Apes
Medicine
Luke Vibert
Einstürzende Neubauten
Pink Floyd
David Bowie
Fugazi
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band
Gareth Dickson
Oasis
Feral Ohms
Hookworms