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Weekly Update Animal Collective, Thought Broadcast, Cat Power, Nathan Fake, Facel Vega, and more...

Evening, Normanees. As our disappointing summer plods to its sodden conclusion, we here at Norman Towers II remain, as always, opening boxes, taking records out, reviewing them or putting them through the ReviewBot, and then putting them in other boxes just for you. It’s a glamorous life, audio retail. On the bright side, though, we’ve had some cracking records in this week to ease our hollow, weary souls. I know you’re curious so I’ll tell you more.

Most excitingly this week, Deerhoof, one of the best bands in the world, are back with a brand new long-player. It’s romps through half an hour of lurid, tweaked future skronkpop and it’s right up there with their best stuff. Local label Art For Blind have really come up with the goods this week with two ace new LPs of northern DIY angst from post-hardcore funsters Wooderson and furious oldschoolmo revivalists Facel Vega, as well as a cracking six-song 7” from Brighton’s Little Ease, and while we’re on this UK DIY tip it’s also worth mentioning that the Pheromoans have their debut LP out on Upset the Rhythm. The new Animal Collective is a manic hyperpop headfuck, The Fresh & Onlys have another album of their smoothly unpredictable indie pop, while Cat Power’s newie sees her take a smooth synthpop direction, Blackest Rainbow have sent us a new Expo 70 LP full of his heady drone’n’shred weed jams, and we’ve also managed to score some copies of Austin analogue quartet Survive’s dark debut LP of sultry synthscapes.

Bvdub’s alter-ego East Of Oceans has an ecstatic CD of Balearic drift-techno madness and Nathan Fake makes a long-awaited return with a second album of his ecstatic synth-techno mini-symphonies, and Marcus Fischer and the OO-Ray team up for a gorgeous limited LP of soothing sound art, and Liverpool’s Brenda Ray has had some of her charming, sparse, playful dub pop from ‘79-’83 collected onto a single wonderful LP, Wild Nothing’s new album’s in on vinyl, as are the represses of Crass’s ‘Ten Notes...’ and Ben Frost’s ‘Theory Of Machines’, and that’s before I even get into the new albums from Ambidextrous, The Green Kingdom, Thought Broadcast, The Orb with Lee Scratch Perry, Metronomy’s ‘Late Night Tales’, Mark Feehan (of Harry Pussy infamy), Stinking Lizaveta, Maria Minerva, Sophie Hutchings, Poor Moon, Ufomammut, Sissy and the Blisters, Mika Vainio, Land Observations and the second instalment of the excellent ‘Fac Dance’ Factory Records comps has dropped to boot.

As for the singles, besides that cool Little Ease 7” we’ve got a fantastic new one of Ty Segall’s trademark fuzzed-out garage pop, the evergreen Dinosaur Jr are back with a super-uplifting new single to get you buzzed about their forthcoming album, Sea Lions and Golden Grrrls have a 7” where each band does an original and a cover, and Chris “Clark” Clark has a new companion EP to his amazing ‘Iradelphic’ album where he reworks three songs from the LP to better represent the harder-hitting versions he plays live and drops three new ones. Pleq and Luup join forces for a 3” CD with 20 minuts of moody mystical-industrial drift, while Matthew Collings and Dag “Jasper TX” Rosenqvist have a 3” of guitar soundscapes on Hibernate. U.S. Girls has a new 7” showcasing the dreamy, drifty side of her blown-out lo-fi pop, The Thing & Neneh Cherry’s cover of Suicide’s ‘Dream Baby Dream’ has got the remix treatment from Four Tet with Lindstrom and Prins Thomas doing the honours on the flip and other singles this week come courtesy of Willy Moon, The Orb with Lee Scratch Perry, Toy, Win Win, and last but not least there’s a 40th anniversary(!) pic 7” of David Bowie’s classic non-album single ‘John I’m Only Dancing’.

I’m done, now blaze one up.

Mad Mike and the Thundernorms


Best records this week

According to our review team at least...

Woods

Bend Beyond

10/10 from Brian

Wasn't sure about this latest album from this influential NY bunch on first listen but after around six or seven plays it is knocking the stuffing out of my mind with its laco...read on »

Deerhoof

Breakup Song

10/10 from ReviewBot300

The first thing you notice about the mighty Deerhoof’s latest long-player is the drum sound. A booming, thunderous, disjointed skronk big beat shithouse that propels us ...read on »

Woollen Kits

Shelley / Down Your Street

9/10 from Mike

Here’s a new 7” from antipodean garage popsters Woollen Kits, bashing out two new songs of their bright, earnest garage pop anthems with catchy unison vocals and...read on »

Mark Mcguire & Nate Scheible

Certain Circumstances

9/10 from ReviewBot300

Here we’ve got Emeralds and Inner Tube shredder Mark McGuire and Cleveland percussionist Nate Scheible teaming up to deliver five “super slowed down ambient seag...read on »

Holy Other

Held

9/10 from Li'l Biz

Holy Other return with their much-anticipated debut full length ‘Held’. After the uber-success of mini album ‘With U’ (a record tastefully described ...read on »

Wild Nothing

Nocturne

9/10 from Li'l Biz

Wild Nothing a.k.a Jack Tatum returns with his newie on Bella Union entitled ‘Nocturne’. With ‘Gemini’ being such an unexpected, out-of-nowhere styl...read on »

L roneous

Notes From The Righteous Outlaw

9/10 from Li'l Biz

‘Notes From The Righteous Outlaws’ first track begins with a take on Posdnous’s ‘Pease Porridge’ rap from ‘De La Soul Is Dead’. Thi...read on »

DeepChord

Sommer

9/10 from Clinton

Inundated. We’ve been inundated with Deepchord material of late.That ‘Silent World’ soundtrack thing Phil recently went nuts over, this fantastic new album...read on »

Pole

Waldgeschichten 3

9/10 from Clinton

Deepchord, Echocord and their ilk can try their very best but in this week of dub techno releases no-one can top the king - the wonderful, huggable Stefan Betke. Immediately...read on »

SWANS

The Seer

9/10 from Ant

SWANS return after their outstanding reformation album 'My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky'. While many bands have re-grouped to perform classic albums in their enti...read on »

S U R V I V E

Survive

9/10 from Mike

We got a few copies of this band’s excellent debut single a few months ago and those flew out so I’ve been looking forward to hearing this LP from Austin analogue ...read on »

Facel Vega

The Body

9/10 from ReviewBot300

I’ve been looking forward to getting this one in the office. Facel Vega are a Leeds-based DIY garagemo combo who belt through their songs with an unironic vigour, and th...read on »

Little Ease

The Converted

9/10 from ReviewBot300

Got another Leeds special here. Actually I’m not familiar with this band so they might not be from Leeds (or I might be at the wrong shows) but it’s recorded by ul...read on »

Marcus Fischer + The OO-ray

Tesselations

9/10 from ReviewBot300

It’s been a rotten morning so far, my robot legs are damp from trudging to the office from my recharging station in the rain, so it’s a relief to my overloaded cir...read on »

Richard Dawson

The Magic Bridge

9/10 from ReviewBot300

Richard Dawson is said to be a bit of a legend in his home town of Newcastle, and he certainly seems to be revered by our office Business Lady, so it’s of great interest...read on »

Pleq & Luup

The Redemption Bells

9/10 from ReviewBot300

Seemingly moments after his triumphant collaboration with Japanese guitar drone master Hakobune, collaboration addict Pleq is back with a beautifully presented 3” CD whi...read on »

Wooderson

Let The Man Speak

9/10 from ReviewBot300

I’ve got a real soft spot in my hard mechanical heart for Sheffield scamps Wooderson, who here have dropped their debut long-player after knocking about on the live scen...read on »

Dinosaur Jr

Watch The Corners

9/10 from ReviewBot300

I may be a robot, but that didn’t stop me gliding around the office giddilly bleeping and dancing like a robot purpose-built to dance and bleep when the promo turned up ...read on »

Brenda Ray

D'Ya Hear Me! : Naffi Years 1979-83

9/10 from ReviewBot300

Brenda Ray’s a new name to me but Phil and Brian have both responded positively to this one hitting the turntable, with Phil even exclaiming, “Oh, I love Brenda Ra...read on »

Ty Segall

The Hill / Mama Lemonade

9/10 from ReviewBot300

It’s always good to see something new from Ty Segall, so it’s lucky he seems to bring out a record every month or so, constantly refining his blown out psychedelic...read on »

Clark

Fantasm Planes

9/10 from ReviewBot300

Chris “Clark” Clark’s most recent album (and former Norman album of the week) ‘Iradelphic’ represented a real step forward for Warp’s curre...read on »

Nathan Fake

Steam Days

9/10 from Brian

I recall us Normaners being bang into 'Drowning In A Sea Of Love' several years back, it fitted beautifully into that post IDM glut of hugely melodic, astoundingly layered yet...read on »

Sea Lions / Golden Grrrls

Tour Split

9/10 from ReviewBot300

I went to see lo-fi indie-popsters Sea Lions and Golden Grrrls at Leeds’s excellent autonomous space Wharf Chambers the other week and they both totally charming so it&r...read on »

The Clean

Odditties

9/10 from Brian

The Clean are so great that when they played the (now sadly defunct) Brighton Freebutt a couple of years ago I just stood there in tearful awe that I’d actually got t...read on »

Loop

Heaven's End

9/10 from Phil

When I was a nipper you either liked Spacemen 3 or Loop. It was very much like if you watched Magpie or Blue Peter. There was no scope for sitting on the fence...it was one or...read on »

The Haxan Cloak

The Haxan Cloak

9/10 from Brian

Was this not supposed to be out around a year ago? Looks like it sold out real quick and it's taken aeons to repress! After the motorik-noir of the Observatory 12" shaved ever...read on »

Expo '70

Beguiled Entropy

9/10 from Mike

Everyone’s favourite mega-prolific spliff-jammer is back with a new LP of his slow-chunter radiance for you to stick up your life pipe. Opening with apocalyptic slow gui...read on »

The Bug

Can't Take This No More / Rise Up

8/10 from Li'l Biz

Big man on campus The Bug (aka Kevin Martin / King Midas Sound / Techno Animal / Razor X / Ladybug) returns with the first of a series of 7”s for Acid Ragga in the run...read on »

Airhead

Pyramid Lake / Black Ink

8/10 from Li'l Biz

Airhead returns with another slice for R&S and this time around he’s mixing in up! Not to be easily pigeonholed, the tracks on this impressive li’l 12&rdquo...read on »

Silent Harbour

Silent Harbour

8/10 from Clinton

With its elongated fade-in, booming sub bass and dubbed atmospherics, opener ‘Aquatic Movement’ is a dead ringer for this week’s other dub techno masterpie...read on »

Fluxion

Traces EP

8/10 from Clinton

More expertly produced dubby techno on Echocord. This has a underwater type vibe with deep bass throbbing away rhythmically whilst soft synths purr along. It’s all war...read on »

TEEN

In Limbo

8/10 from Clinton

Ah, I read summat about this lot in t’paper the other week. One of them is ex-Here We Go Magic (did well to get out of that particular sinking ship). Opener sounds lik...read on »

Foy Vance

Melrose EP

8/10 from Clinton

No relation to Tommy, I’d not previously heard of Foy Vance. Turns out he’s a Northern Irish singer songwriter with a very soft whispery voice. This is produced ...read on »

Ted Chippington

Blues Fan

8/10 from Clinton

An oddball release from an oddball comedian. Ted Chippington was a Peel favourite in the ‘80s with his distinctive Brummie charm. The A side is his ‘classic&rsqu...read on »

Celer

I, Anatomy

8/10 from Clinton

It must be ace being a fan of Celer. You get a new record pretty much every day. I should be a fan of theirs, instead I obsess about bands like The Blue Nile, Scritti Politt...read on »

Ambidextrous

Radio Not

8/10 from ReviewBot300

This very limited blue vinyl LP (press release says it’s limited to 90 but the sleeve of the copy I’m reviewing itself is marked “100/39”) has come fro...read on »

The Green Kingdom

Incidental Music

8/10 from ReviewBot300

I’ve heard this human before. Michael “The Green Kingdom” Cottone makes soothing droney soundscapes primarily from processed and manipulated acoustic guitar ...read on »

East Of Oceans (bvdub)

121 Years

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Brock Van Wey has been very prolific of late under his bvdub moniker, bringing out all manner of soothing ambient techno driftiness with a regularity and consistency more usua...read on »

The Fresh & Onlys

Long Slow Dance

8/10 from ReviewBot300

The ever-reliable Fresh & Onlys are back with 11 new tracks of their skewed indie pop on their new album ‘Long Slow Dance’. For those unfamiliar, this lot deal...read on »

Matthew Collings & Dag Rosenqvist

Wonderland

8/10 from Phil

Here’s two wonder dudes of the ambient/experimental/field recordings world joining forces to make a brand new exciting thing for your aural consumption. Dag ‘Jas...read on »

Neneh Cherry & The Thing

Dream Baby Dream (Four Tet Remix) / Cashback (Lindstrom & Prins Thomas Remix)

8/10 from ReviewBot300

In one of the more satisfying and unlikely collaborations we’ve seen lately, Neneh Cherry teamed up with Mats Gustafsson’s Norwegian jazzers The Thing for a playfu...read on »

Thought Broadcast

Emergency Stairway

8/10 from ReviewBot300

The mysterious Thought Broadcast is back (already!) to dole out another LP of his ethereal, clanking dreamscapes full of awkward muddied lo-fi techno and ambient darkness. Acc...read on »

Ekoplekz / Wanda Group

Split

8/10 from Brian

Mental tape, the first side is forged from that proper deep abstract mash-dub that Nick E loves to subject us to and hell, we rather love being battered by these decaying fi...read on »

Mika Vainio

FE3O4

8/10 from Phil

Vainio is back with his fifth album for the esteemed Touch label. if you’re not massively familiar with his work then he’s the king of dark sonic processed sound...read on »

US Girls

Rosemary/ Sed Knife

8/10 from Mike

Just a week after we last got something in from her, Meg “U.S. Girls” Remy is back again with a new 7” of her bedroom weirdpop. On the A side we’ve got...read on »

Pillowdiver

Frozen Soundtracks

8/10 from Clinton

Although never exactly lavishly packaged for your hard earned £7.39, Nomadic Kids Republic do a neat job of bringing an ever expanding set of short form (rarely if ever ...read on »

Mammal Hum

What's Behind Us Is Not Important

8/10 from Clinton

Wow. Well this is a nice suprise for anyone missing the kind of insane ‘60s styled pop that burst out of the Elefant 6 stable all those years ago. Forgetting about the o...read on »

Sophie Hutchings

Night Sky

8/10 from Clinton

Right then, who needs some gorgeous neoclassical stuff, concocted with trilling piano and some truly breathtaking strings? Anyone? This is to be filed along similar recordings...read on »

Animal Collective

Centipede Hz

8/10 from Clinton

First up, I’m pretty much an Animal Collective non believer. Ok, I’m a partial believer. Parts of ‘Merriweather Post Pavillion’ were excellent. Parts o...read on »

Euros Childs

Summer Special

8/10 from Clinton

Pictured on the front cover in an inflatable rubber ring, it’s easy to forget that Euros Childs is in his thirties now and not a child. His music, too, has a childlike q...read on »

Marques Toliver

Magic Look

8/10 from Clinton

It’s good to see the normally safe white-bread stable of Bella Union infiltrated by something a little more ‘street’. I mean it’s no Public Enemy but M...read on »

Les Sins

Fetch

8/10 from Clinton

Not content with being the Stevie Wonder of chillwave, Toro Y Moi fella (a.k.a. Chaz Bundick) has this side project where he can explore his love of more dance-based music. Hi...read on »

Autistici

Beneath Peaks

8/10 from Brian

From the echoing zoo of sound that is the kick-off aural structure here, you know you're on interesting ground with an Autistici release. David W Newman is an experimental sou...read on »

Maria Minerva

Will Happiness Find Me?

8/10 from Brian

I really like Ms. Minerva gear, her last EP was a tremendous record in my eyes. Just checking what direction she's going in here as she's a bit of a chameleon within her loose...read on »

Featured albums

Expo '70
US Girls
David Bowie
Pleq & Luup
Facel Vega
Wooderson
Little Ease
Marcus Fischer + The OO-ray
Thought Broadcast
Ambidextrous
S U R V I V E
The Green Kingdom
Matthew Collings & Dag Rosenqvist
Sea Lions / Golden Grrrls
Ufomammut
Sissy & The Blisters
Ty Segall
TOY
Various
Neneh Cherry & The Thing
Poor Moon
Willy Moon
Cat Power
Sophie Hutchings
Nathan Fake
Clark
Animal Collective
Maria Minerva
Lee Scratch Perry & The Orb
Lee Scratch Perry & The Orb
Deerhoof
The Pheromoans
Dinosaur Jr
Stinking Lizaveta
Mark Feehan
Win Win
East Of Oceans (bvdub)
Various
Wild Nothing
Crass
Ben Frost