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Weekly Update The Proctors / Apple Orchard, Tame Impala, Django Django, Steve Roden, Birch Cooper, and more...

Hiya Normosocialites, we’ve all been limping queasily into another new week with the help of a magnificent gig from the mighty Woods, and it’s already time for me to once again describe to you what we’ve been hearing all week in a series of pithily descriptive one-liners as per usual. You’ll have someone else talking at you next week, though, because I’m going to Liverpool to play Rhys Chatham’s ‘A Crimson Grail’ in the cathedral with 99 other guitarists. Say hi if you’re there - I’ll be the bald man.

Anyway, I’ll get straight down to it shall I. Liverpudlian hypnokraut wizards Mugstar’s atmospheric LP/DVD opus ‘Ad Marginem’ has finally arrived, and elsewhere in the wondrous world of UK DIY, art-punk scamps Sauna Youth have got a full-length out after a series of exciting EPs, and The Pheromoans also have a stunning full-lengther of their skeletal garagey post-punk which I think is their best offering yet. David Byrne & St Vincent’s collaborative LP on 4AD turned out to actually be pretty great, the new one from The XX doesn’t disappoint either, and Death Waltz Records’ reign of terror continues unabated with their magnificent pressing of Giuliano Sorgini’s ‘The Living Dead at The Manchester Morgue’ OST full of zombie moans, neoclassical chills and smooth psych-funk. There’s a new LP of dreamy psychedelia from Belgium’s Orphan Fairytale, a tape of weird hypnotic minimal pop full of lo-fi bass and whispery vocals from Female Band, and a live LP on Third Man from party giants Quintron & Miss Pussycat, while Eat Lights Become Lights’ new album has some slick, densely layered maxi-kraut insanity, Leeds indie legends Cud have a 4CD set of all their BBC sessions, and the mighty Calexico return for a New Orleans-inspired new album with a limited bonus live CD of them with an orchestra.

As for the more grown-up, “challenging” albums, Birch Cooper of The Slaves has a very limited LP of harch cosmic electronic chirp’n’buzz explorations, and the Decimus/Hobo Sonn split has similarly pure toned scree from the latter while from the former we’ve got yet more marvellously detailed electro-creep murk, and there’s also a split cassette from Phil “Ashtray Navigations” Todd’s stoner noise groovers Castrato Attack Group and Etai Keshiki, Leeds’s visceral noise-punk sensations, which you should definitely snap up before they all vanish. NNA Tapes have sent us newies from Phork, Le Revelateur and Freddy Rupert, Mutamassik has an artful LP of her dark hip-hop beats and cut-up Egyptian percussion, there’s some intense droning on the collaborative CD from Chihei Hatakeyama & Asuna, Californian sound designer Steve Roden has a varied and playful LP made with sounds from unusual sources, late ‘70s Toronto free jazz explorers Convergence have had a vintage live set unearthed on LP, and Canadian label Electric Voice have a 2LP comp which collects the best in contemporary leftfield synthpop and chillwave. Not to mention that we’ve got new albums in from Dignan Porch, Raveonettes, Teams, Toy, Gallows, The Cutler and The Vaccines.
As for the singles, Mission of Burma and Wild Flag have done a split 7” with an album track each to commemorate a gig they’re playing together, Silver Fox have a second 7” of their raucous all-girl noise-pop, Epic45’s EL Heath has a gorgeous and very limited 3” CD of his lush pastoral pop, and there’s also a 3” of ace minimal cosmic electronics from Lachrylic. Terre Thaemlitz and his alter-ego DJ Sprinkles take a side each in a bizarre 12” EP with a long piece of crisp, upbeat New York house and another of pure minimal piano. Other singles have arrived courtesy of The 7 Frogs, Chunky, Lorn, Joe, Kasket, Society, Tame Impala, The Proctors/Apple Orchard, Alpaca Sports, Django Django, Pearson Sound, NeferTT, Commodo, Margaret Cho & Neil Hamburger and Peace.

Look at me going on like this, I must let you go and get on with buying your records now.

Kool Mike and the Norman Gang


Best records this week

According to our review team at least...

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 Pheromoans

Does This Guy Stack Up?

9/10 from ReviewBot300

The Pheromoans are back with a full-length on Upset the Rhythm this week, now expanded to a six-piece and headed in more of an experimental pop direction than their previous s...read on »

Lachrylic

Sundrown

9/10 from ReviewBot300

This one here is one of those little 3” CD postcard jobbies from Lachrylic on micro-label Courier Sound, with four tracks of “synthy, spacey electronics inspired b...read on »

E.L. Heath

A Song For The Village Of New Invention

9/10 from ReviewBot300

Eric Loveland Heath of Epic45 infamy is back with a very limited 3” CDr this week, ‘A Song for the Village of New Invention’, which is a great little piece o...read on »

Mugstar

Ad Marginem

9/10 from ReviewBot300

It’s finally here! Mugstar’s ‘Ad Marginem’ seems to have been plagued with pressing problems but the finished product is now on our turntable for the v...read on »

Quintron & Miss Pussycat

Live At Third Man

9/10 from ReviewBot300

Ah, what a breath of fresh air! I was beginning to despair at what was turning out to be a day of reviewing serious highbrow records with tones and textures aplenty but not mu...read on »

Giuliano Sorgini

Living Dead At The Manchester Morgue

9/10 from ReviewBot300

Death Waltz’s joyous romp through the vaults of classic horror soundtracking’s latest target is Giuliano Sorgini’s score to Jorge Grau’s The Living Dea...read on »

Various

Electric Voice Compilation

9/10 from ReviewBot300

Canada’s Electric Voice Records (is that a Haack reference?) are dedicated to documenting the current state of affairs in contemporary pop, and they’ve painstaking...read on »

Chihei Hatakeyama + Asuna

Scale Compositions

9/10 from Phil

This is Chihei’s second release on Home Normal after a bunch of releases on labels like Kranky, Hibernate, Room 40, Under The Spire, Soundscaping etc...and on this one h...read on »

David Byrne / St Vincent

Love This Giant

9/10 from Phil

What is this unholy pairing? I have to admit to be kinda surprised these two were collaborating to make an album and I was equally fascinated by the chin mangled artwork. I fe...read on »

Mission Of Burma / Wild Flag

What They Tell Me / Boom

9/10 from ReviewBot300

I’m not sure what to tell you about this 7” because it’s going to sell itself and you already know who these bands are and you’ve probably even already...read on »

Etai Keshiki/ Castrato Attack Group

Split

9/10 from ReviewBot300

Oh yeah! Local screamy noise upstarts Etai Keshiki are back after their now-sold-out-everywhere debut tape with another one, this time a split with Castrato Attack Group, whic...read on »

Orphan Fairytale

Comets Come Alive

9/10 from Brian

Absolutely loved this album when I put it on the other evening. From the speakers trailed a bewitching sound, almost music-box-like in its prettiness. Kind of like Pram remi...read on »

Teams

Dxys Xff

9/10 from Phil

We had a 12” by Teams and Star Slinger a while back which folks were going nuts for. I’m pretty sure I heard it but my memory isn’t what it used to be. Whate...read on »

Django Django

Hail Bop

9/10 from Phil

We’ve sold bucketloads of Django Django records and this is the first time I’ve heard ‘em. I kept wanting to hear the album but every time I went to play it ...read on »

Tame Impala

Elephant

9/10 from Phil

Now I loved these guys’ last album. It was a heady blend of psych rock and Beatles style pop...sounds bizarre but it worked brilliantly and they know how to get a song t...read on »

Roly Porter / Vatican Shadow / Kangding Ray

Violetshaped Remixes (Part One)

9/10 from Ant

This is a super remix package from three heavy hitters. First up is Roly Porter (formerly of Vex'd). I think his album got a bit overlooked upon release as Jamie Vex'd (Kuedo)...read on »

The xx

Coexist

9/10 from Brian

Well well well. I knew I was right about these being something special like, but I never expected their post-modern take on the sensitive indie-soul of Everything But The G...read on »

Ricardo Donoso

Assimilating the Shadow

9/10 from Ant

Does the world really need another synthesizer record for fans of Jean Michel Jarre, Cluster and Manuel Göttsching? When it's done this well it becomes difficult to say n...read on »

Loscil

Sketches From New Brighton

9/10 from Brian

Right-o, over the past two or three years this man here has become a bit obsessed with Vancouver's Loscil. I really liked his last Kranky opus 'Endless Falls' but there's s...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 »

Sauna Youth

Dreamlands

8/10 from ReviewBot300

This debut LP proper from Sauna Youth is very much an album of two sides, with the first being taken up by the opening track ‘Town Called Distraction’, “a sp...read on »

Dignan Porch

Nothing Bad Will Ever Happen

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Tooting’s Dignan Porch are back with a second album of their dreamy indie-pop for Captured Tracks, offering their consistently palatable mix of indie, dreampop, lo-fi, g...read on »

Convergence

Live

8/10 from Mike

Here we have a beautifully presented LP of honk and putter from Convergence, a quintet who occupied “a zone somewhere between The boundaries of avant-garde jazz and free...read on »

Eat Lights Become Lights

Heavy Electrics

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Londoners Eat Lights Become Lights are back with another album. Dave said last year’s debut ‘Autonomia’ “wears its krautrock influences on its face&rdq...read on »

Steve Roden

A Big Circle Drawn With Little Hands

8/10 from ReviewBot300

We’ve got a new LP from Pasadena’s Steve Roden with six of his gentle, loosely improvised pieces. According to the press release, “His working process often ...read on »

Mutamassik

Rekkez

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Mutamassik, the alias of Giulia Loli, who has spent her life thus far between Italy, Egypt and the United States, is back with another full-lengther of dark hip-hop beats and ...read on »

The 7 Frogs

Hey Mister

8/10 from ReviewBot300

The way these guys write their logo made me think for a few glorious seconds that the mighty Frogs were back with something new, and so disappointment was inevitable upon real...read on »

Silver Fox

Capital Kiss / Arosa

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Given its pastel pink cover I wasn’t expecting to hear what I did when I put the needle down on the groove and this all-girl Geordie quartet fire straight into a blast o...read on »

Female Band

Goodbye New York Forever

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Somewhat confusingly, Female Band is in fact the solo project of Russian born Anastasia Vtorova, who makes spooky, hypnotic minimal pop songs with lots of empty space. It&rsqu...read on »

Birch Cooper

I Was A Teacher

8/10 from ReviewBot300

We’ve got a very limited 12” here on Digitalis from Birch Cooper, who as far as I can tell is also in chanty spiritual psych-droners The Slaves, which would presum...read on »

DJ Sprinkles / Terre Thaemlitz

Soulnessless EP 2

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Quite a lengthy 12” here from the multitalented Terre Thaemlitz, with a little help from his alter-ego DJ Sprinkles. On the first side Sprinkles is the dominant voice wi...read on »

Decimus/Hobo Sonn

Decimus/Hobo Sonn

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Here’s a split LP from prolific dark electronic noise weirdo and NNCK founder Pat ‘Decimus’ Murano, whose hard-to-come-by releases increasingly sell out as f...read on »

Chunky

The Chunky EP

8/10 from Brian

This record just begged to be reviewed with that sleeve! Look at that kid, he is so cute! I’m assuming that’s our MC Chunky as a child, he’s a popular pers...read on »

Lorn

Weigh Me Down

8/10 from Brian

Lorn is from Milwaukee apparently and declares the sound of his most recent LP to be “haunted, oily and smeared”. That’s surely a description of me when I ...read on »

The Proctors / Apple Orchard

Split

8/10 from Brian

More indie shenanigans this time from The Proctors on a split 7” with Apple Orchard. Both terrible names in my eyes, one of my first friends had that P surname and h...read on »

Calexico

Algiers

8/10 from Phil

Calexico have been knocking ‘em out for years now. They’ve been together for 22 years which in this modern day fickle music industry is a remarkable thing! I thoug...read on »

TOY

Toy

8/10 from Phil

After a bunch of sold out singles and mucho hype the debut Toy album has landed on our shores courtesy of Heavenly who I’m sure are hoping it sells a bucketload. I guess...read on »

Society

All That We've Become

8/10 from Phil

I’m inherently suspicious of a band who release a one sided debut 7”. It’s like saying we’ve only got one good song in us and that’s all you&rsqu...read on »

Alpaca Sports

I Was Running

8/10 from Phil

My twee record of the week is the new Alpaca Sports 7” which is such a massive tweefest I think I’m going to break out in dufflecoat-shaped hives (coincidentally i...read on »

Cold Showers

Decay

8/10 from Phil

Here’s a new 7” on Art Fag recordings who brought you the likes of Best Coast, Yohuna and Coleen Green. The A side is a indie goth barnstormer with Smiths-esque vo...read on »

Anthony Reynolds

A World of Colin Wilson

8/10 from Brian

Christ, this is a most unusual release. The spoken word elements of this experimental set were recorded around a decade ago whilst at legendary philosopher, intellectual and...read on »

Featured albums

Etai Keshiki/ Castrato Attack Group
Alpaca Sports
The Proctors / Apple Orchard
Phork
E.L. Heath
Freddy Ruppert
The 7 Frogs
Le Revelateur
The 7 Frogs
Female Band
Mutamassik
Steve Roden
Django Django
NeferTT
DJ Sprinkles / Terre Thaemlitz
Convergence
Orphan Fairytale
Birch Cooper
Pearson Sound
Commodo
Chunky
Joe
The Cutler
Teams
Silver Fox
Lachrylic
Various
Decimus/Hobo Sonn
Eat Lights Become Lights
The Vaccines
Peace
Margaret Cho & Neil Hamburger
Lorn
Kasket
Tame Impala
Gallows
The Raveonettes
Calexico
Quintron & Miss Pussycat
The Pheromoans
Society
Giuliano Sorgini
Dignan Porch
Sauna Youth
Cud
Chihei Hatakeyama + Asuna
Mission Of Burma / Wild Flag
The xx
David Byrne / St Vincent
TOY
Mugstar