Welcome to the latest installment of the never-ending saga that is the Norman Records Weekly Update.
This week has seen the announcement of our Albums of the Year list. In at number 1 was ‘Exist/Resist’ by Bracken, a record so good that we bought the company i.e. pressed up a bunch on vinyl just so you could buy it (and not simply imagine what it sounded like). You can look at all our Top 50s here including Top Re-issues, Best Sellers and 25 Near misses….and please for God’s sake feel free to shout at us on Facebook or Twitter and tell us the blindingly obvious things we missed.
We’ve also had a big motherfreakin’ SALE but that ends tonight at midnight so BE QUICK.
Of course, today is what has been come to be known as Black Friday and we have several of the titles that have been released on this day - presumably for someone to make money or summat. They include things by New Order, Ramones, Flaming Lips, Velvet Underground, Mastodon and Lee Hazlewood.
Away from all that, it's actually been the busiest week for new releases for some time. PLEASE do not let these treats pass under your radar. Promise?
- Mogwai have a new single out. The lead track proves that they can be ‘pop’ if they wish. We love it. There are also two further new tracks, and a bunch of remixes including Phil's favourites Pye Corner Audio.
- Adrian Rew has made an album out of the sounds of Vegas slot machines. Phil likes it. Both people are probably nutters.
- The Drink make lovely, off-kilter indie - y’know the sort where the guitars go sideways?
- The Advisory Circle make incidental music for an episode of Tomorrow's World in 1976. William Woollard presents.
- Beezewax concoct lovely jangly Real Estate-like music according to Robin. Must listen.
- Those lovely ladies from Ireland September Girls make more of their swirly, gothy shoegaze on their latest 12”. They’re the B*Witched it's OK to like!
- In unlikely collab no 6534, The Bug teams up with Earth.
- The Great Electric are a supergroup made up of….oh i don’t know a load of old indie bands….but they make hypnotic, layered kraut that appeals to our Hayley.
- The Wands are this year's Danish psych revivalists, and they sound like Suede crossed with the Doors.
- Tyrannosaurus Dead are further proof that there’s life in the DIY lo-fi shambling pop.
- Drummer extraordinaire James Yates makes a fast ‘n’ ferocious blend of folk, electronica and beats as Seamajesty. See what he did there?
- Purple sex God Prince’s two new eventually-to-be-forgotten new albums are in.
- Ol’ misery guts David Sylvian makes an album of bleak sounds overlaid by poetry. Its a long way from Top of the Pops isn’t it?
- Brian Reitzell’s terrifying soundtrack for ‘Hannibal Season 1’ is in to scare you.
Everywhere you look people are making weird electronic beatery.
- Insecto makes cut-and-sliced clickery for fans of Mille Plateaux on the ever great Home Assembly.
- Techno thumper Function has another 12” re-issue out.
- Acre glides across grime, techno and industrial landscapes.
- Lord Raja takes in abstract hip hop, footwork and ambience on the cosmic and catchy ‘A Contant Moth’.
- Smoooooooooooooth sounds on Silk Rhodes' fusion of Stevie W, D'angelo and Prince.
- Drexciya’s ‘Harnessed The Storm’ gets a re-issue on the format we call WAX.
- Wonged-out bass an' minimal drum programming on dub-step lads Proxima’s new 12”.
As you might expect there are MILLIONS of re-issues this week. Some of them are good...
- Remind yourself of how good Pixies were with this generous 3CD/3LP edition of ‘Doolittle’.
- Yo La Tengo’s ‘Painful’ album is quite terrific. There’s a double incentive to buy it now that it comes with bonus stuff and is called ‘Extra Painful’.
- C86 barkers Wolfhounds have their first album re-issued.
- Leeds lot Girls at our Best pre-dated C86 by quite some way advises our Hayley. Check out this spanking new re-issue.
- Tragic alt-country types Songs Ohia’s best (according to me) album ‘Didn’t it Rain’ gets the deluxe treatment with bonus stuff.
- Metal stoners Sleep’s first album gets a re-issue. Y’know the one: it's the only one to feature their first guitarist before he became a monk.
- Australia’s answer to Syd Barrett, Pip Proud, has two of his 60s albums re-issued.
- Massive Attack’s excellent ‘Mezzanine’ gets the vinyl re-issue treatment.
- At either end of the musical spectrum, Brian Eno and Bis get their works re-evaluated.
- Sad Bristolian Gravenhurst has his swoonsome first two albums re-issued plus an album of rarities. Comes as a 3CD package or on separate vinyl releases.
- Snoozesome alt-country peddlers Wilco have release a bloody great big box of rare stuff.
- Before he dated MIA/Kate Perry and had Twitter feuds with everyone under the sun, Diplo actually made music.
- H. Hawkline make weird psych and Gruff Rhys style pop.
- Neo-classical weeper Valgeir Sigurdsson has his ‘Draumalandid’ back in the shops.
- I’m now left as the only person on earth not to ‘get’ John Grant. This week you can buy the greatest hits of his previous band The Czars or a recording of his ‘70s Radio 2 aping concert with a 60 piece orchestra attached.
There are plenty of pint-sized 7” records available too.
- Sleaford Mods have yet another 7” out this time on Germany’s Little Teddy records. Hard to associate them with teddies isn’t it? (Hey, someone should form the Sleaford Teds...swap Jase's French Crop - done by his sister, apparently - for a quiff and a DA, get kitted up in some suede brothel creepers, etc.)
- Suddenly-reputable Brit poppers The Charlatans have a new single out with a Twitterati-pleasing Brian Jonestown Massacre mix.
- All those Kim Deal 7”s you frantically tried to buy are now back out in picture sleeves.
- Oddball collab no 765 sees miniscule bespectacled geek Alexis Taylor split a 7” with big beard Bonny Prince Billy.
- The new 7” from Stereolab sorts and kraut aficionado's Cavern of Anti Matter will sell in seconds we’re warning you.
- Domino keep plugging away with angry Scots bluesters The Amazing Snakeheads.
- Popular Jonathan Richman fans The Wave Pictures have a new 7” out.
- Eerie Manchester duo Bernard and and Edith misspell ‘Wurds’.
Oh and in miscellaneous news, we have the fifth wave of those little Buddha Machines you all like.
That’s it from us. With Christmas swiftly approaching like a runaway train you might want to check out the Christmas Gift Guide that we made for you - and your friends, family, colleagues - just to everyone's life that tiny bit easier.
Weekend weather report: Utterly abysmal.
Clint and the busy people
Best records this week
According to our review team at least...
9/10 from Ian
8/10 from Clinton
8/10 from Laurie