As the sun streams through the adequate blinds in our concrete square, we reflect on another fabulous week of fun and frolics at Norman Towers.
The big news was the announcement of a brand new Godspeed You! Black Emperor album that! you! can! pre-order! now! But there’s more - oh yes! Firstly, we’ve gathered up all the best March pre-orders for your delectation. Secondly, Brian has once again been locked in the stockroom finding all the items which have previously been lost by bleary-eyed, hungover workers over the years. It’s all here if you want a glance through and there are lots of one-offs and out-of-print thingies in amongst it.
Plenty of good music out this week too. We were well impressed by the new Ghostpoet album which is so much more than Phil’s description of it as “Tricky”. There’s also a new Moon Duo album which comes on an assortment of formats so bewildering that we’ve given up trying to work it all out, and loads more - read below for details.
Also out this week
- We’ve heard their sounds coming through the walls for the last 6 months but it’s all been worth it as Vessels have now unleashed their electronic compositions to the world.
- Old-aged snarlers the Pop Group return with a blitzkrieg of grump on ‘Citizen Zombie’.
- Clarence Clarity takes chart pop and boy band melodies sticks them in a blender and calls them things like ‘Alive in the Septic Tank’.
- Beech Creeps make an almighty racket burying tweeness between layers and layers of noise.
- Australians Au-Ra bring some much needed sunshine to the office with an impressive debut of all the best pops - jangle, dream and indie.
- Causa Sui/Manual everywhere man Jonas Munk makes a gorgeous knockout of a drone record under his own name.
- Sniping C86 veterans the Wolfhounds are an spiky and incendiary as ever on first album in yonks.
- Lapsley is “hotly tipped” etc. “The new Adele” or whatever.
- Misery-hopper MF Doom is back with the 5th and 6th chapter of his ‘Special Herbs’ series of instrumentals.
- Evans the Death make playful, shoegazy indie-pop for people with (or wish they had) fringes.
- If you can’t get enough of War on Drugs heartland rock then try H Burns - it pulls off all the same top-down tricks.
- Black Yaya is one of Herman Dune making noxious indie rock and silky synth pop.
- The combination of Wu Tang alumnus Ghostface Killah and Canadian jazz collective BADBADNOTGOOD is an unusual one but produces some atmospheric, organic hip-hop.
- We’ve got two albums of exquisite beauty from neo classical composer Bruno Sanflippo.
- There’s a split LP between Italians Havah and His Electro Blue (Sub-Pop). “30 loud, gnarly and blissful minutes of tension” it says here. And why not eh?
- Post rock fans - we know you are still out there - how about trying the Aerial album on Oscarson? An exquisitely packaged treat of Godspeed / Tortoise / Mogwai-like sounds.
- Askew art rock from Group of the Altos - an audacious experiment from ex Volcano Choir folks.
- Reconstituted shoegazers Swervedriver release their first album in yonks. Who needs Ride, eh?
- Russia’s Motorama sound like Ian Curtis fronting the Field Mice.
- Mid week I moaned publically about how no-one has bought any of the 5 unsold copies of the great Dominic Waxing Lyrical LP. It’s done the trick - we’ve now got 6.
- We understand that there are people out there who like the Purity Ring? If true then we are carrying their new album.
- Swans alma mater Jarboe releases an album of dark pop with Mono cellist Helen Money.
- Rejoice! The lord returneth. Arise Sir Noel Gallagher.
- Radiohead lad Jonny Greenwood’s ‘Inherent Vice’ soundtrack is in...on vinyl.
Right here we go - I always leave this bit 'til last. They all have funny names and it’s confusing.
- Ok, first up - easy one - the Jon Hopkins ‘Late Night Tales’ comp. Phil’s taken one for the car.
- Model 500 is a moniker for Juan Atkins and he provides some ‘Digital Solutions’.
- Two new things on Home Normal. First up, Christopher Hipgrave with some super minimal driftwood ambience; next, Offthesky’s Jason Corder with a shapeshifting mass of collected sonic oddities as Juxta Phona. Double bagged too.
- Semi-improvised, immersive electronica from from experimental music superstars Jim O'Rourke and Oren Ambarchi.
- Enthralling, gripping ‘70s/80s conceptual synth from David Borden
- Testbild make an atmospheric synthpop overture named after dogs.
- A couple of things in on Time Released Sound both in prepost-a-package versions by Sonmi451 and Pines.
- Raica makes crystal wave, glass works, glint-core.
- Several things out on Honest Jon’s by DJ Sotofett, Kassem Mosse/Simone White, Insanler/Ricardo Villalobos.
- Arovane’s new 10” is the crunchiest thing since Phil ate a Crunchie and Monster Munch crispbread.
- Very little techno & house this week but Clint found a nice 12” by Herzel cowering in the corner.
- The Stones aren’t those rolling ones but a short-lived New Zealand band of raggle taggle guitar poppers from the early ‘80s. A Bruce Russell curated comp ‘Three Blind Mice’ is out now on Captured Tracks.
- Max Richter’s exquisite ‘The Blue Notebooks’ is back out on vinyl. Phil’s original review described this neo-classical gem as “fandabydozy”.
- Three soundtracks for ya. First up scare yourself silly with Bernard Hermann’s soundtrack to Psycho. Or, try Bruno Nicolai’s soundtrack to the succinctly titled La dama rossa uccide 7 volte (The Red Queen Kills Seven Times). Or, check out Riz Ortolani’s slinky soundtrack to Cannibal Holocaust.
- Best re-issue of the week has to be the sole album from thrilling 90s post-rockers Laika with the wild and experimental ‘Silver Apples of the Moon’. They really don’t make ‘em like this anymore.
- Liquid Liquid drum hitter Dennis Young has an album of his early 80s home recordings out.
- Incredibly Ata Kak’s album was limited to 50 copies in Ghana and was somehow discovered by the roadside and re-issued on Awesome Tapes.
Plenty again. There’s the MJ Hookworm assisted debut from 80s styled post punkers Lusts; Dilla-like chopped-up with a dancehall reggae twinge from Ras G; the godawful Breast Massage (really); the great Ty Segall (2 x 7” both in different colours); and Crocodiles who push music forward another notch by covering Hot Chocolate’s ‘U Sexy Thing’.
That’s it for this week. Fingers crossed everyone gets through the weekend unscathed and we’ll see you next week.
Words = Clinton
Work = Everyone Else
Best records this week
According to our review team at least...