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Weekly Update Sam Prekop, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, 18+, Dominic Waxing Lyrical, H-Burns, and more...

Another grey week flies by at the Towers. Brian has risked his sanity by undertaking the first ever Norman Records stocktake and has already uncovered loads of gems. We’ll be posting them up on the site each Friday. The first lot are here if you want a scrat through. Also, as we spend all our time telling you what we think of things, we think it’s your turn to tell us what you think of us. Fill it in and you could win £50 in vouchers -- it should just take you a few minutes:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/normanrecords

Lots of new releases to get your teeth into, including a wonderful album from Dutch Uncles, which led a crazed Clint to award it 9 out of 10. This is really amazing stuff if you like Kate Bush, Wild Beasts and Field Music. On the other side of the musical spectrum are Public Service Broadcasting. Robin caused a Twitter furore with his review of their latest effort. We’ve kept discreetly quiet about it since but I think you can guess that it’s not our favourite record of the week. Many of you disagree and that’s the marvellous thing about the world we live in. We can agree to disagree and still be friends... right? Anyway, their new album ‘The Waste of Space’ is out now but unfortunately the vinyl came with split spines so it’s not available at the moment. Back early March we’re told.

Finally before we get to the meat in this update sandwich, there are a couple of big albums in to pre-order including the return of Britpop old timers Blur.

Also out this week

  • Travis Bretzer momentarily threatens to be the new Mac Demarco on his album of sunshine pop.
  • New shoegaze kings Cheatahs have an excellent new 12” out.
  • Grim record sleeve of the week comes from noise-gazers Spectres. Terrifying. And it’s called ‘Dying’... but it’s full accessible-ish noise-pop.
  • Petite Noir come from South Africa and sound rather a lot like the Wild Beasts. Their debut is full of their “Hadley and Somerville” (copyright Phil) vocal contrasts.
  • Mark Lanegan has a new remixes project out. He’s literally got everyone involved. Everyone who has ever made music is involved.
  • Steve Gunn teams up with the Black Twig Pickers for an album of pastoral, hand-plucked Americana.
  • Grooms have made a beautiful record somewhere between Real Estate, Radiohead and Unwound.
  • Indie pop mainstays Comet Gain are back with a 5 track 12” EP thingy.
  • Krill make gorgeous, heart-on-sleeve garage rock. And why not?
  • Electro-hippie exuberance and multi-coloured dance jams from Lord Dan of Deacon.
  • Errors are back with a new album of dance-pop on Rock Action.
  • There’s plenty of post-metal bloodletting on Pelican’s new EP with remix from Jesu lad.
  • One of the best albums of the week is a surprise return from ‘90s lost boy Dominic Waxing Lyrical.
  • Nzumbe make eerie sound collages with murky vocals. Truly original.
  • Romare lives up to the hype with a superb album, full of yet more sound collages. Early contender for album of the year, says Andy.
  • Loads more stuff just in from H Burns, Hot Sugar, The Black Ryder, TheeSatisfaction...on and on it goes.

Electronica

Loads of the bloody stuff… here’s just a surface scratch:

  • Planet Mu return to form with an album of inexplicable but fascinating DIY electronica by John T Gast.
  • Bleak industrial techno doom-monger Kerridge produces his gloomiest output on the inaugural release on his new imprint Contort.
  • Abstract digital sound sourcery by NHK and electro-acoustic frequencies by Koenraad Ecker both on Line.
  • Ryan Teague has called in big shot pals Plaid, Errors and The Field for new remix thing.
  • Strong ‘90s rave feel on Missqulater 12” on the ever consistent Central Processing Unit.
  • Scanner, Dru$s, Ran Slavin and Greg Fox collide on limited double 12” inspired by train travel.
  • There’s some self destructive tape mastery from Aaron Dilloway & Jason Lescalleet.
  • Sea and Cake man Sam Prekop uses kraut-y synths and soft as soup chords on cat homage.

Re-issues

Not a re-issue as such -- well maybe it is -- but The Brian Jonestown Massacre’s ‘Tepid Peppermint Wonderland Volume 2’ is now out on gatefold vinyl. Now-dead cut-up pioneer William Burroughs’ ‘Nothing Here Now But the Recordings’ gets the re-issue treatment, there’s dingy Italian cold-wave from 2+2=5, warped psych bliss comes on a 250 edition of the debut LP from Thelightshines and German pop tinkerers the Notwist get their ‘Shrink’ album re-issued on vinyl...and finally just in this exact second is an expens-a-vinyl re-issue of John Williams’ soundtrack to the dinosaur film ‘Jurassic Park’.

7”s
We thought the humble 7” was dying a death but there’s loads in this week. You can choose from 2 new things on Ghostbox’s ‘Other Voices’ series from The Pattern Forms (featuring Advisory Circle man Jon Brooks and a couple of Friendly Fires) and synth prodder Steve Moore. There’s a fab pop ditty from slacker scousers Hooton Tennis Club, a limited taster of the forthcoming LP from Calexico, warped soul pop from K15, naughty weep-tronics from 18+, a couple of singles from Hard Left (members of Boyracer & Black Tambourine in a punk stylee), noisy psych racket from Yak and skiffle from Severed Limb. Or buy them all, yes that’s a good idea… buy ‘em all.

No Tapes this week. Some would say "yay". Pesky critters, cassettes.

That’s it for now. Wishing you a wonderful weekend and the very best of luck getting through next week.

Words = Clinton
Work = Everyone Else
xxxxx


Best records this week

According to our review team at least...

Dutch Uncles

O Shudder

9/10 from Clinton

You kind of have to do a double take on the opening ‘Babymaking’ on this, the best album so far from Manchester art rockers Dutch Uncles. It sounds unfathomably li...read on »

Grooms

Comb The Feelings Through Your Hair

9/10 from Robin

A beautiful record with the melodic tactfulness of Real Estate, the unseemly dark atmospheres of Radiohead circa ‘Kid A’ and the looping riffs of Unwound -- plus a...read on »

Scanner / Dru$s / Ran Slavin / Greg Fox

Rail Cables - Winter Selection

9/10 from Laurie

At the Ben Frost gig here in Leeds we met an extremely enthusiastic guy who was gushing about some experimental rail album that he was putting out, told him that Norman would ...read on »

Krill

A Distant Fist Unclenching

9/10 from Robin

Let’s detox from the heady, often overwrought intellectualism Norman Records clearly brings you on a day to day basis, and just say this: the Massachusetts garage punk s...read on »

Romare

Projections

9/10 from Andy

Ninja Tunes seemingly relentless release schedule continues apace with this contribution from Romare. Archie Fairhurst has taken inspiration from collage artist Romare Bearden...read on »

Cheatahs

Sunne EP

9/10 from Ian

Yeah!!! It's Cheatahs time again, this is a little four track EP from the lads on Wichita following on from their absolute belter of a debut album last year, they couldn't get...read on »

Ben Fleury-Steiner

While The Red Fish Sleeps

8/10 from Robin

The submerged Ben Fleury-Steiner makes drones around oscillation and cosmic disturbance, taking what should be warm textures and chilling them. His compositions feel constantl...read on »

Dan Deacon

Gliss Riffer

8/10 from Robin

While Dan Deacon’s music has stayed the course in a lot of ways -- its electro-hippie exuberance remains, and the multi-coloured dance jams are as precise as ever -- the...read on »

Eric Chenaux

Skullsplitter

8/10 from Laurie

Continuing Constellations’ winning streak with exceptional releases from Ought and Last Ex is a little album of massively deconstructed folky pop from the Canadian bard ...read on »

NHK

Program

8/10 from Laurie

After Roden & Bretschneider’s slightly too abstracted Suite Nuit, another release with just Ch. 1-10 as the tracklist (no Ch. 9…) got my madness radar bleepin...read on »

Sam Prekop

The Republic

8/10 from Robin

Sam Prekop is keeping up the current trend of drone albums that envision, homage or dedicate themselves to cats, joining Fabio Orsi in the pantheon of ambient artists who offe...read on »

Darren Hayman

Chants for Socialists

8/10 from Hayley

Chants For Socialists is a contemporary take on some political songs from a pamphlet by the 19th century polymath and socialist activist William Morris, performed and recorded...read on »

Hooton Tennis Club

Jasper / Standing Knees

8/10 from Clinton

This is a fantabulous single from the increasingly reliable Heavenly label. Merseysiders Hooton Tennis Club have come up with one of those sure-to-be-future-classic or sure-to...read on »

K15

Mist

8/10 from Clinton

Pumping the soft smooth sounds of the rhodes piano and some thrilling beats into my ears are K15 who, after a 6 year residency honing their chops at London’s Jazz Cafe, ...read on »

Dominic Waxing Lyrical

Woodland Casual

8/10 from Clinton

Last seen lost sometime in the middle of the 1990s performing shows at worst naked or at best wearing a chemise, Dominic Waxing Lyrical was quite the name on the underground s...read on »

Koenraad Ecker

Sleepwalkers in a Cold Circus

8/10 from Brian

Nothing like a sleep deprived night to make you more attuned to the sounds of Koenraad Ecker, one half of improvisers Lumisokea, the Belgian one of the duo this week - I ...read on »

John T. Gast

Excerpts

8/10 from Brian

Planet Mu seems to have morphed into a very far-reaching stable these days. It were all the IDM and breakcore when I were a lad, then all the dubstep and funky came and went f...read on »

The Pattern Forms

Other Voices 03

8/10 from Clinton

Jon Brooks certainly gets about what with his Advisory Circle project, solo work and recent collab with the High Llamas Sean O’Hagan. Here he is again with a couple of E...read on »

Steve Moore

Other Voices 04

8/10 from Clinton

I've never really gone in for the '70s synth type sound me, but I think I'm starting to warm to it a bit. I really liked a couple of last week's singles on Deep Distance, and ...read on »

Kerridge

Always Offended Never Ashamed

8/10 from Ant

Following releases for Horizontal Ground, Downwards and Blueprint, Samuel Kerridge heads further into the darkness with arguably his gloomiest output to date on his second ful...read on »

THEESatisfaction

EarthEE

8/10 from Brian

From the mad Sun Ra style sleeve onwards, you know this is gonna be a bit of a treat. This ace duo of women are Shabazz Palaces affiliates and their talent for producing ...read on »

Carlton Melton / Kandodo 3

Split

8/10 from Robin

Depending on whether you like your psych to sound like it’s been made for the arse-end of a messy garage or to be shot into the blank ether of space, your mileage may va...read on »

Thelightshines

Now The Sandman Sings

8/10 from Robin

A quick guide on how to make psych rock enjoyable again: horns. Thelightshines make the genre sound bright, welcoming and absorbed by the summer sun on ‘Now The Sandman ...read on »

Featured albums

Blur
Hard Left
Missqulater
Steve Moore
Kerridge
Koenraad Ecker
The Pattern Forms
NHK
Nzumbe
Calexico
Scanner / Dru$s / Ran Slavin / Greg Fox
Dominic Waxing Lyrical
Dan Deacon
Hot Sugar
Travis Bretzer
The Black Ryder
K15
Krill
THEESatisfaction
Petite Noir
Steve Gunn & The Black Twig Pickers
18+
Yak
Hooton Tennis Club
Ryan Teague
Sam Prekop
John Williams
2+2=5
Comet Gain
John T. Gast
Grooms
Severed Limb
H-Burns
Errors
Pelican
Mark Lanegan Band
Dutch Uncles
Aaron Dilloway & Jason Lescalleet
Public Service Broadcasting
Romare
Spectres
William S. Burroughs
Cheatahs
Thelightshines
The Brian Jonestown Massacre
The Notwist