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Weekly Update Last Harbour, Peace, Kath Bloom, FF (shoegaze band), Das Sombreros, and more...

February. Rubbish isn’t it? It’s famous for a day when you are encouraged to make pancakes and a day you are encouraged to spend lots of money on flowers or chocolate. That’s it. But if anyone can help drag us all through it then we can. And why? Well, we have lots and lots of musical treats for your delectation. For example you should see the special vinyl edition of Father John Misty’s prepost-a-folk treat ‘I Love You, Honeybear’. Open the gatefold and it plays a song. We also have the LAST EVER copies of Peter “Sleazy” Christopherson’s ‘Live at L'Étrange Festival 2004’ and this week sees a plethora of further new releases. Here is an easy-on-the-eye countdown of best of them...

  • Lightning in the Twilight Hour is the latest missive from ex Field Mice leader Bob Wratten and look who he’s brought with him: former Field Mice bassist Michael Hiscock. And yes, it’s great….as you might expect.
  • Vision Fortune do some weird shit in a kinda Liars-like, all over the place style. You should check it out.
  • Tuff Love are two lassies from Glasgow making some severely catchy grungy pop music on Lost Map.
  • Manchester gloomsters Last Harbour give us another slice of their cinematic sweeping sound on Gizeh.
  • Blond bombshell Tim Burgess gives us a 12” of remixes from his much admired ‘Oh No I Love You’ album (celeb pals Peaking Lights, Grumbling Fur Carter Tutti and others help out).
  • Kath Bloom poses alongside a horse on her first album in five years of veteran folk pluckings.
  • Yoko Ono turns up twice: once with a collaboration with John Zorn, which will have ears everywhere running for cover, and once for a comedic yet heartfelt Phil-baiting collab with Antony.
  • Former Tarentel lad Jefre Cantu-Ledesma gives us plenty of timely romantic abstraction on a new 9/10 album on Mexican Summer.
  • Dubby metal sludgers Om have made another album recorded live in concert. Booming bassing and pinging snare drum overload.
  • Nasal Jonathan Richman like outsiders The Wave Pictures unleash yet another album. Their best yet reckons Hayley.
  • Francois and the Atlas Mountains went all the way to Africa to record their new 12”. All you have to do is click the internet once to reward them with a purchase.
  • Live kraut psych meanderings from scousers Mugstar appear alongside legend of the genre Damo Suzuki.
  • Accomplished and sophisticated indie-pop from Tigercats.
  • Oh look, Peace have a new album out.
  • Hey Colossus throw caution to the wind and make some prepost-a-riffage...and why not?
  • Father John Misty -- he’s a one isn’t he? From chubby Fleet Foxes drummer to suave peddler of grand folk, his much triumphed new album is in.
  • Ff aren’t the shoegaze band FF but Ff, a band comprising of a White Hills guy and ...er...someone else.
  • The God in Hackney make cold propulsive kraut rock.
  • Two ridiculously limited albums by Mauricio Bianchi sit alongside a new record from Masonna on Urashime. All of them limited to just 99 copies.
  • Phil REALLY likes the sleeve to this new The Aquadolls LP.
  • Duke Garwood slowly unfurls some drifty Mark Lanegan/Tom Waits style desert-friendly drifting.


Electronica

  • Das Sombreros make eerie dynamic sound collages that straddle the line between comfortable/alien.
  • Midaircondo make beautiful electro-acoustic compositions in front of a live studio audience.
  • Vanessa Amara are two men, neither of whom are called Vanessa, making ghostly Richter/Hecker flavoured ambience.
  • Brendon Moeller releases three different flavours of ambient techno on one 12” on Echocord Colour.
  • Radiophonic folk via the Darlington and Stockton railway by Donald Frazer.
  • Ena make “bass music” somewhere between techno and dubstep. All killer, no filler says Laurie.
  • Bass deities Shackleton and Pinch get together for an album of floor-shaking beats.
  • Seven Davis Jr makes some fresh sounding jaunty soul-tronics on Ninja Tune

Re-issues

Not many this week. If you like the vibrant French indie of Phoenix you can now pick up a few of their albums re-issued on vinyl. If you don’t you could try Semool from the 1960s who sit in the exact sweet spot between Black Sabbath and Pink Floyd, or avant collective Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza, who count a young and fresh faced Ennio Morricone amongst their number. Or you could buy nothing if you wish? Don’t worry -- we won’t be too upset.

7”s

Fans of small records should really think about the Scottish Enlightenment 7” where 4 slow moving Scottish indie songs are housed in an amazing 7” pack with debris. Or you could buy the new Johnny Marr single. Your choice.

And now the time has come to wave goodbye
We ask just one thing before we fly,
Promise us there’ll be no tears.
That’s your lot, we’re gone. Cheers.

Clinton has been your host. Everyone else has been your hard-working team.
xx


Best records this week

According to our review team at least...

Midaircondo

IV

9/10 from Laurie

This is Le Grande Electroacoustique Deluxe. The presentation is less a record than a sort of foreboding monolith, commanding a quiet authority much like the black thing in 200...read on »

Vision Fortune

Country Music

9/10 from Robin

Named ‘Country Music’ as a joke at the genre’s expense, Vision Fortune are actually referring to the lavish villa they hauled up in to record their newest an...read on »

Lightning In A Twilight Hour

Slow Changes

9/10 from Clinton

Baaaaaawwwwwbbbyyys back! In news that pleases the two ageing, still anoraked indie kids who reside here at the towers -- dreaming of the days that they swooned to &lsquo...read on »

Jefre Cantu-Ledesma

A Year With 13 Moons

9/10 from Jim

Jefre Cantu–Ledesma may be best known through his collaborations with Liz Harris (aka Grouper) as Raum or as the head of the influential Root Strata label, but he’...read on »

Mark Rogers & Mary Byrne

I Line My Days Along Your Weight

9/10 from Robin

Here’s a clunky kind of beautiful. Its title is strange and full of intangible meaning, and ‘I Live My Days Along Your Weight’ offers that uncanny vibe ...read on »

Hey Colossus

In Black And Gold

8/10 from Robin

The reason Mastodon were so fucking good back in the day was because they realised how wonderful it was  to be ridiculous. They said: riffs plus riffs equals riffs, so wh...read on »

Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza

Eroina

8/10 from Robin

Here’s a no-brainer: an avant-garde collective called Gruppo di Improvvisazione make a free-jazz record about several different kinds of drugs -- like, twelve drugs, to ...read on »

Semool

Essais

8/10 from Robin

The record’s sleeve quotes its proudest summary: “This is what might’ve happened if an absinthe-laden Pink Floyd had cut a session for Actuel/BYG!”. A ...read on »

The Wave Pictures

Great Big Flamingo Burning Moon

8/10 from Hayley

Up until now, I've always been a little confused by The Wave Pictures. In part because of their frustrating inconsistency as a relatively prolific band that fluctuate between ...read on »

Tuff Love

Dross EP

8/10 from Clinton

Calling your EP 'Dross’ is a sure sign of having confidence in your own work and Tuff Love have plenty to be confident about, especially on the opening track ‘Slam...read on »

Duke Garwood

Heavy Love

8/10 from Clinton

So freakin’ loud in here today. I’d rather be anywhere else but in our concrete hellhole. Luckily ol’ Duke Garwood knows how to live an easier life. He relax...read on »

Antony & Yoko

I Love You Earth / I'm Going Away Smiling

8/10 from Clinton

I need a cheer up and this should do it. You have to hand it to Yoko Ono -- she’s 82 and she’s still doing stuff. Here, she’s written two songs and sung one ...read on »

Kath Bloom

Pass Through Here

8/10 from Clinton

There she is on the cover tethered to a massive horse. Veteran folky Kath Bloom is most famous for a string of private press records in the ‘80s and for many collaborati...read on »

ENA

Binaural

8/10 from Laurie

Ena was first brought to my attention by the Tokyo installation of the RA minidoc ‘Real Scenes’, a peek into the underbelly of feet-movers around the world. I can&...read on »

Vanessa Amara

Both Of Us & King Machine

8/10 from Laurie

“This looks ambient”, exclaims the office Robin as he hops around wearing his red breast with pride and dreaming of a day that he can escape all this non-music and...read on »

The Scottish Enlightenment

EP

8/10 from Clinton

Oh I hate music. No I don’t: I LOVE MUSIC, especially when it comes in this kind of format, a numbered 7” full of photos and bits and bobs and life affirming home-...read on »

F. E. Denning

Cities of Light

8/10 from Laurie

Perhaps a well explored theme is that of urban isolation - the feeling of being so near so many people but connecting with so few that comes from living in the cramped dusty q...read on »

Ff

Ffeeling

8/10 from Robin

Give it a minute to find its footing, will you? ‘Ffeeling’ is Ff’s first record, and after a little instrumental segue that came from nowhere and is also goi...read on »

Featured albums

Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza
The Scottish Enlightenment
Das Sombreros
Semool
Johnny Marr
Francois & The Atlas Mountains
Masonna
Midaircondo
Ff
Jefre Cantu-Ledesma
Peace
Vision Fortune
Lightning In A Twilight Hour
Antony & Yoko
Yoko Ono & John Zorn
Tigercats
Seven Davis Jr.
Kath Bloom
Brendon Moeller
The Wave Pictures
Hey Colossus
Vanessa Amara
Tuff Love
Last Harbour
Father John Misty
Peter "Sleazy" Christopherson
The God in Hackney
Sherwood & Pinch
Om
Duke Garwood
Tim Burgess
ENA
FF (shoegaze band)
The Aquadolls
Donald Fraser
Damo Suzuki & Mugstar