Well, we got through it without him. No fires, no emergencies, and as far as we can tell Norman Records is still up and running. We hope Phil has enjoyed his week off - a week he probably spent staring at our website forlornly wondering what on earth we were up to.
There are a few things to tell you about before we crack on with the week’s releases. Firstly, as you may be aware already, lots of vinyl is delayed at the moment. This is causing headaches for both you and us. Please spend some time reading about the reasons for this - Record Store Day is only partly to blame - and do please use our Order Checker and Known Delays list before you email us wondering where things are. Indeed, to be frank, the more you email us the worse the delays get - because we have less time to chase things up, etc. - so we really do appreciate your patience in this matter.
On with the show…...
This week’s best stuff:
- We thought Thee Oh Sees were splitting up at one point but they haven’t. Instead they’ve unleashed their second blast of garage punk in a year. Read what Hayley thinks here...
- Unknown Mortal Orchestra will get that summer party started so long as it’s lopsided and worships Stevie Wonder and Prince. Fantastic album.
- Valet play lovely drifty late period Slowdive and Beach House influenced stuff on (where else?) Kranky.
- The Fall’s ‘Sub Lingual Tablet’ appears on LP with the promise that these are different mixes from the CD. Clever, Smith, clever.
- Sharron Kraus’s lovely creaking folk is best listened to outside. Be quick - Clay Pipe stuff sells out.
- Ouch - ear alert. Merzbow, Mats Gustaffson and Thurston Moore have teamed up to make noise.
- Drifter Konntinent has made some gloriously melodic electronica on Home Normal.
- There’s a new album by the Vaccines. They’re acceptable aren’t they? Do they harm anybody?
- Unlike Summer Camp who have a new album out of wish wash.
- In news that will please people from the ‘90s, Ash have a new CD in the racks.
- Former ambient bloke turned tattooed crooner Jon DeRosa has his second album of Richard Hawley-isms out on Rocket Girl.
- The Sly and Unseen feature Hibernate boss Jonathan Lees alongside Isnaj Dui lady Katie English and make meditative music with squeeze boxes, bells etc. Limited 2CD with remixes by all sorts of good folk.
- Slow Steve isn’t anything to do with Seasick Steve, instead he comes across a bit like Ariel Pink, Air and other people beginning with the letter ‘a’.
- You’ll love the new the KVB if you’re into Drokk or that Mega-City One sound.
- Allie Hanlon’s bubblegum pop solo project Peach Kelli Pop follows up her ‘I’ and ‘II’ records with the delightfully titled ‘III’.
- Zone Six on Deep Distance make psych rock with more twiddles than a twiddly twiddler.
- Energetic, hazily produced dance-pop from Doomsquad on Bella Union.
- New-new-age for post-psych minimalists from Wume.
- You should hear the King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizzard album -it’s great. Fun psych. Now there’s two words that I thought wouldn’t go together.
- Little Wings make twanging, sighing alt country. Good news for your future Sunday mornings. Nice horse too.
Ant’s Electronica round-up
Yup...we’ve got an expert in now….
- Cut Hands applies his Afro Noise techniques remixing new wave dark electro-poppers Azar Swan. Plus Dominick Fernow reworks them under his martial techno/ electronic alias Vatican Shadow on a reassuringly expensive posh 180g vinyl 12” on Handmade Birds. 400 copies.
- Luke Abbott showcases a more intimate side on the ‘Music For A Flat Landscape (Original soundtrack to The Goob)’ LP on Border Community.
- Stellar OM Source brings some wriggling 303 action with her vision of Detroit techno/ Chicago acidhouse with the ‘Nite-Glo’ 12”on RVNG Intl.
- Akkord gets two contrasting remixes on HTH040 with Regis serving up steely, icy dubstep compatible techno and Fis creating hazy ethereal soundscapes smeared with the ghosts of drum & bass.
- Thomas Brinkmann attempts to erase himself from his music with some extreme looping that sounds like the sonification of a Pantone catalogue on ‘What You Hear (Is What You Hear)’. Jim gives it a straight 10/10.
- Meanwhile General Magic & Pita’s ‘Fridge Trax’ gets an expanded 20th Anniversary 2LP reissue.
- Kutmah’s first beat tape gets a vinylization on limited 10” red vinyl. A RSD2015 release finally arrived. Go to bed… No sorry don’t sleep I believe is the correct term.
- GASman Wolfgang Voigt turns to the lush timbres of the orchestra to create pastoral scenes on the ‘Ruckverzauberung 10 / National Park’ CD on his Profan label.
- Italian racket-peddlers Urashima have a batch of ear-destroying LPs from Lyoto Music, Mauthausen Orchestra and a 2LP from Maurizio Bianchi with ultra-rare recordings from 1980 presented on vinyl for the first time. All editions of 199 copies.
- Terry Riley’s classic ‘A Rainbow in Curved Air’ gets re-mastered and re-issued.
- I’d love to tell you the tale of Nathon’s car and the Mohammad CD but I don’t have time. Suffice to say, its strange drones and whirring nearly caused a traffic incident in the Leeds morning rush-hour.
- Smokey (not the ‘Living Next Door to Alice’ people) make stoner jams and feature The Stooges, King Crimson, Quiet Riot, The Motels and Tin Machine people. How can it not be good?
- Steve Gunn and Hiss Golden Messenger got together to make Steve Messenger….no they didn’t they made Golden Gunn which has been re-pressed onto silver vinyl…. SILVER!? .
- Ben Watt’s early solo albums now appear to credited as Ben Watt and Robert Wyatt. Wyatt did play on ‘Summer into Winter’ EP but did nothing on ‘North Marine Drive’ Still it’s some of the best music you are likely to hear so why quibble?
- Oppenheimer Analysis are more of those early ‘80’s sci-fi obsessed coldwave blokes.
- Exciting news...the Stelvio Cipriani ‘La polizia ringrazia’ vinyl comes on light beige vinyl.
- Kenji Kawai’s soundtrack for the undisputed masterpiece ‘Ghost In The Shell’ is in.
Remember that it’s yet another UK Bank Holiday on Monday so we’ll be back with you on Tuesday, with added Phil. Cripes.
Words by Clinton.
Other work done by Everyone Else.
Best records this week
According to our review team at least...
The Sly and Unseen
8/10 from Robin