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Weekly Update MF DOOM, Ghostpoet, Insanlar / Ricardo Villalobos, Testbild!, BADBADNOTGOOD & Ghostface Killah, and more...

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.

Electronica

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.

Re-issues

  • 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.

7”s
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
xx


Best records this week

According to our review team at least...

Ghostpoet

Shedding Skin

9/10 from Clinton

Ghostpoet certainly starts like an express train on his third album. Opener ‘Off Peak Dreams’ is a skittering, soulful effort driven by pounding drums, sparse pian...read on »

Jonas Munk

Absorb / Fabric / Cascade

9/10 from Robin

There's so much to sing the praises of in this gentle giant of an ambient record from Jonas Munk. Let's start with “Absorb”, which is early morning kraut dron...read on »

Juxta Phona

We Will Not Be Silence

9/10 from Laurie

One of the two latest instalments of Home Normal’s bag in a bag in a bag packaging series is a little, heh, abnormal for them. It is almost as if Jason Corder, the man b...read on »

David Borden

Music for Amplified Keyboard Instruments

9/10 from Laurie

Ah, the ol’ conceptual synth record. Never before has the line between pretentious gear flauntery and textural interest been so easy to misstep. You’ve got sounds ...read on »

Ata Kak

Obaa Sima

9/10 from Brian

Oh ATFA. What an utter legend Brian Shimkovitz is. Ata Kak's album was a chance roadside market stall discovery and due to his passion for this hidden music from the African m...read on »

Bruno Sanfilippo

ClarOscuro

9/10 from Brian

Goodness me. I should have put this on last night, It's utterly gorgeous. I'll be straight with you and admit I know relatively little about classical music other than enjoyin...read on »

Havah / His Electro Blue Voice

Split

9/10 from Robin

This post-punk split pits gloomsters in one corner against more gloomsters in the other, and there’s plenty to talk about, you philistines. Cast your eyes first on Havah...read on »

Raica

Dose

9/10 from Laurie

This day marks a special day in the world of music. We are witnessing the birth of a new style, shiny and glistening against a backdrop of the mundane and the humdrum. It give...read on »

Oren Ambarchi & Jim O'Rourke

Behold

8/10 from Jim

This disc features two live duo performances from experimental music superstars O'Rourke and Ambarchi. Both these fellers are about as eclectic as is humanly possible so I was...read on »

H-Burns

Night Moves

8/10 from Robin

‘Night Moves’ opens up with a vortex-tearing slice of dad rock that feels almost like the younger, aspiring sibling of the War on Drugs’ “Red Eyes&rdqu...read on »

Moon Duo

Shadow of the Sun

8/10 from Robin

Foolhardily did I proclaim that there wasn’t a slab of psych rock in sight on my review pile today, forgetting that Moon Duo are more psych than Laurie on LSD; these pri...read on »

Testbild!

Belka & Strelka

8/10 from Laurie

Argh, getting really sick of space-themed records now. It’s almost like the guitar toting egoheads of the last decade have all bought themselves a neo-analogue synth, hi...read on »

Bruno Sanfilippo

Inside Life

8/10 from Clinton

Not wept in a while? Then try this LP by Argentinian neo-classical composer Bruno Sanfilippo. The second track here ‘Freezing Point’ could melt men with steel hear...read on »

Sonmi451

The Limbic System

8/10 from Laurie

As far as cerebral electronic music goes, you can’t get more cerebral than a record about different parts of the brain. The limbic system is the collection of neural pat...read on »

Au.Ra

Jane’s Lament

8/10 from Clinton

It’s not often I’m impressed but in deciding what on earth we could review this week I chanced upon the opening track of this album by Sydney duo Au.Ra which is im...read on »

Beech Creeps

Beech Creeps

8/10 from Robin

It seems that a few months ago I carelessly decreed that this sounded like Superchunk from hearing a fragment of a song, which is good grounds for me being tried and sentenced...read on »

Vessels

Dilate (Special Edition)

8/10 from Clinton

It shouldn’t take anything away from Vessels brand of electronic post rock that they’d have surely been one of the best bands of 2005. They create a music that was...read on »

Yannis Kyriakides & Andy Moor

A Life Is A Billion Heartbeats

8/10 from Laurie

What do you get when you combine a spaghetti western, a music box and some abrasive noise? A Terrence Malick film. Well, take that film, set it instead in a rural Greek villag...read on »

Detail

First Detail

8/10 from Brian

I think we've always had a problem with jazz at work even now neither "Classics" Brett or Scandophile Mike no longer continue to perish within our decaying walls of chaos...read on »

Jarboe and Helen Money

Jarboe and Helen Money

8/10 from Robin

Much like her putrid alma mater Swans (where she was actually the dean), the amazing Jarboe has spent the last decade and a half reforming her musical style and fashioning new...read on »

Aerial

Put It This Way In The Headlines

8/10 from Robin

An open field of sonics, this one: we could call it post-rock but we’d be cheapening Aerial's concerted efforts to create a landscape on which anything can be expre...read on »

Evans The Death

Expect Delays

8/10 from Hayley

Proving that the C86-influenced acts of today aren't all just jangle and fey posturing, Evans The Death continue their affinity for reverb and fuzz on second album Expect...read on »

Featured albums

Herzel
Godspeed You! Black Emperor
David Borden
Oren Ambarchi & Jim O'Rourke
DJ Sotofett
Insanlar / Ricardo Villalobos
Kassem Mosse / Simone White
Riz Ortolani
Motorama
Juxta Phona
Christopher Hipgrave
Pines
Sonmi451
Group of the Altos
Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds
Testbild!
Lusts
Dominic Waxing Lyrical
Lapsley
Black Yaya
Ghostpoet
Au.Ra
Aerial
Swervedriver
Breast Massage
Jarboe and Helen Money
Jonas Munk
Evans The Death
Ata Kak
Ras G & The Afrikan Space Program
The Stones
MF DOOM
Crocodiles
Beech Creeps
Purity Ring
The Wolfhounds
H-Burns
Dennis Young (Liquid Liquid)
Jon Hopkins
The Pop Group
Bernard Herrmann
Ty Segall
Bruno Nicolai
Havah / His Electro Blue Voice
BADBADNOTGOOD & Ghostface Killah
Vessels
Arovane
Jonny Greenwood
Model 500
Moon Duo
Clarence Clarity
Raica
Max Richter
Laika