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Weekly Update The Prettiots, Black Mountain, The Sun God, Blawan, Suzanne Kraft, and more...

Welcome to the replacement bus for the weekly update! I am your host, a slightly less grumpy keeper of the digital keys than our mainstay Clint, who is on holiday or screaming at his TV or singing to his bicycle or something. Since Monday we have been rehearsing our Norman Records Sneezing Orchestra (we all play our noses with e-bows) and Phil has been stocktaking all the CDs we’ve lost over the years. It’s been wild; wish you were here.

There has been some good music this week, which is always welcome news in our line of work. Meg Baird has made another subliminally affecting folk record. The lovely Sun Araw has dropped the un from his name to become S. Araw -- better, faster, stronger, but actually none of those things and just as weird as ever. There’s a new Coil release -- and how! -- plus Lnrdcroy’s celestial ‘Much Less Normal’ tape gets a CD and limited vinyl release in lovely screen-printed sleeve.

This week’s all important Things That We Have™:

  • Fist City are still punks, but now they know what interludes are and they’re making more of them than songs. ACAB after the tone.
  • Tout sound like Chris Isaak, make countrified ambient music, are not a breakfast cereal.
  • Sadly Illuminine does not sound like Chris Isaak but his sketchbook compositions are rather nice.
  • Cosmic scrubber Martin Newell has a new album out and of course it’s good, okay?
  • The Big Moon conjure up some fuzzy twee anthems for you to project all of your nondescript feelings onto.
  • Helm rarely actually wears anything on his head but he wears his heart on his avant-garde sleeve on a new, intimate record.
  • Chief orbologists the Orb sound like the Orb.
  • Together, Lydia Lunch and Cypress Grove sound like a two-headed Nick Cave fighting over an acoustic guitar. Hard not to dig that.
  • Enough of that well polished dance music y’all listen to, get with Ata Kak’s programme for a new 12” of giddy hi-hat goodness.
  • Komodo Haunts makes wonderful sounds for a noisy New Age.
  • We still don’t know precisely how a mood shimmers, but the new Bengalfuel is louder than a truck backing up and Benjamin Finger continues to be a drone sweetheart.
  • Cliff Martinez is still on his twenty year long hiatus from drumming for the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, but he’s using his gardening leave to make soundtracks to films and games that use up a few vials of blood. Here’s his Far Cry 4 score.
  • Rimbaud’s amazing, hilarious, terrifying record sounds kind of like this.
  • The guy from Wavves has a brother and together they make up the Super Wavves Brothers, or Spirit Club, or Sum 41 Bong Skate Sickeads or some shit. New album shreds.
  • William D Drake’s new music is charming and irritating. Hayley tries and fails to find praise for the Cardiacs frontman.
  • Imagine if Morrissey had ever gone outdoors in his life and you’ve got Oscar, who has the perfect baritone for beach holidays. Did any of that make sense I don’t care.
  • He has a piano and he uses it as a suitcase. His name is Hauschka and he’s playing live on this new record.
  • Princess Chelsea adds a few shades of detail to her gloomy but ever so chill new record.


Ant’s Electronic Roundup

  • Jay Daniel debut’s his new label Watusi High with some nice Detroit Beatdown action on the ‘School Dance EP’
  • Blawan quickly follows up the first 12” on his Ternsec with more modular synthesizer techno on the ‘Hanging Out The Birds EP
  • James Ruskin and Mark Broom return as The Fear Ratio with technofied B-boy beats and Gescom inspired electronix with ‘Refuge Of A Twisted Soul’ 2LP/ CD.
  • Mexican electronica folk Ford Proco / Coil (yes Peter Christopherson and Jhon Balance) collaboration ‘Expansion Naranja’ sees the light of day on vinyl via Mannequin and most likely won’t hang about too long.
  • Three releases from Jamal Moss this week with a 12” as The Sun God on Cejero (also a 12” from DJ Guy on that label). A remaster of rugged classic ‘Kill BIll’ as I.B.M on Interdimensional Transmissions plus the second Faces of Drums collaborative 12” with Steve Poindexter on Mathematics.
  • Industrial strength bangin’ techno from Profligate with the Extremities 12” on Unknown Precept. 300 copies jobber. Check if you’re into Perc, Ancient Methods etc.
  • Three 12”s from Black Opal mentioned last week now have some wee mini-reviews.
  • Suzanne Kraft is the latest boy with synthesizers pretending to be a girl with the lo-fi electronic melancholia of ‘Talk From Home’ LP on Melody as Truth.
  • Viewlexx unleash ‘Test Pilot Volume 2’ featuring grubby acid/ electro/ techno from Gesloten Cirkel, Panama Brown, Roberto Auser, and I-F remixed by Tandy Ogmo.
  • MKFN return to the ever reliable Touchin’ Bass.
  • Len Faki - Basement Trax Vol. 2 on Ostgut Ton is hopefully self explanatory.
  • Denis Sulta brings the party once again on Dixon Avenue Basement Jams. The ‘L.A Ruffgarden EP’ complete with a remix from the legendary Terrace.


New Reissues:

  • Synth punx Units get a reissue of their classic Digital Stimulation. I feel like a dancing laptop.
  • You’re jealous of Shit & Shine because you only get to shit or shine. They released an album in 2006 about this very subject and it was very enlightening.
  • Manual fetched you a dream back in 2006; this reissue makes it a recurring nightmare (in, like, a good way).
  • The Stone Roses have two old records remade: this one with the lemons and this one with the hair.
  • Barry Adamson is a Bad Seed now, but way back when, he was just a badass seedless man. Two reissues, again: the sad looking one and the other sad looking one.
  • David Bowie once made a record with either the worst or best album artwork of all time. Either way it’s in the canon, baby. It’s just been inaugurated on vinyl.
  • We worry about the fact that Black Mountain’s self titled is celebrating its tenth birthday. Rawk the pain away.


Here are some 7”s that exist

Clint always makes fun of 7s in this section so I’m going to go for it too: they’re bad. Really bad. But actually we have a lot of really nifty 7s in this week and you should definitely check them out. Psych executioners Sonic Death are not just two men and a horse, as their artwork suggests -- in fact I suspect the horse didn’t play on the record at all. A fine but devilishly horseless 7”. Motorik meets krautrock at the supermarket in a new Fews track. The Prettiots snark it up. Joy Division premiere new tune “Love, Am I Right?”. Perk Badger does his stuff, as do Sam Carty and Lee Perry.

...And that pretty much sums up our six or seven lives as of the 19th of June, 2015. We’ll back on the 22nd to exact the same experience with mildly different sounds. Sleep well and take care of each other, children of Norman Records.

Words by Robin
Work by Kim, Ian, Laurie & Phil
Score by Hans Zimmer
Produced by Werner Herzog
x o x


Best records this week

According to our review team at least...

Drexciya

Black Sea / Wavejumper (Aqualung Versions)

10/10 from Ant

‘Black Sea’ opened Drexciya’s classic 1995 ‘The Journey Home’ EP on Warp, and is presented here in an extended form. Other than the increased dur...read on »

Komodo Haunts

Suijin

9/10 from Robin

Get ready to swim against the tide. Infatuated with disintegration and slow-burning fracture, Ollie Tutty has made 'Suijin', a record of forceful but aimless psychedelic drone...read on »

Vilod

Safe In Harbour

9/10 from Laurie

Vilod = Villalobos + Loderbauer. Now, looking at their fortes, you’d expect an intense, pumping LP full of hypnotic bodymoving beats and quirky synth noises as if S...read on »

S. Araw "Trio" XI

Gazebo Effect

9/10 from Robin

Sun Araw might be one of the most tenacious abstract artists around, but he’s also one of the prettiest sound sculptors we have. Call it psychedelic, call it noise, call...read on »

Lnrdcroy

Much Less Normal

9/10 from Laurie

Cosmic imagery and delicious electronica warmly embrace on this little big release from Leonard Campbell via Firecracker. Originally released on tape in the Spring of last yea...read on »

The Fear Ratio

Refuge of a Twisted Soul

9/10 from Ant

UK techno stalwarts James Ruskin and Mark Broom’s second album as The Fear Ratio sounds custom built for Skam. ‘Refuge Of A Twisted Soul’ has the pair moving...read on »

Illuminine

#1

8/10 from Robin

This slice of no frills ambient comes from Kevin Imbrechts, a bedside composer seeking to communicate his unabashed love of neo-classical and post-rock. On ‘#1’, h...read on »

Tout

Third

8/10 from Robin

Can ambient music sound like Chris Isaak? If it can, then it’s Tout’s fault. A band attuning folk roots into a slow and languishing type of post-rock, they end up ...read on »

Meg Baird

Don't Weigh Down The Light

8/10 from Robin

Meg Baird makes folk straight from the fair port, the kind in which guitar meanders but doesn’t create plot twists, swirling forever around cyclical picking and modestly...read on »

Lydia Lunch & Cypress Grove / Spiritual Front

Twin Horses

8/10 from Robin

This particular duo continue to be sombre as a fallen tree, following up their rather exceptional work together on ‘A Fistful of Desert Blues’ with more earth-scor...read on »

The Big Moon

Sucker / Eureka Moment

8/10 from Robin

Here is an indie rock quartet trying some things out with a whole 12” of songs. There are in fact just two songs, but they are rather good: on “Sucker”, the ...read on »

Rimbaud

Rimbaud

8/10 from Laurie

What do you get when you mix one part punk rock vocal, one part sax and one part power electronics? A recipe for disaster, that’s what. And that is what Rimbaud’s ...read on »

DJ Guy

Basf Ferro

8/10 from Laurie

DJ Guy is an eclectic Welsh spinner & chopper of electronics both beaty and misty. At least, that’s what you can tell from Basf Ferro, a 12” filled with genuin...read on »

Evan Caminiti

Meridian

8/10 from Laurie

This person here called Evan is half of that there band called Barn Owl. Not entirely sure what they’re like, but sources say one word - drone, the word of the decade. J...read on »

Cliff Martinez

Far Cry 4 - Original Soundtrack

8/10 from Laurie

I haven’t played this game. So instead of an assessment of how it elaborates the game’s nuanced story, have some Cliff Martinez factoids courtesy of Norman Towers ...read on »

FEWS

ILL

8/10 from Robin

It’s motorik meets komische at the Krautrock supermarket in Fews’ ‘Ill’, a track stretched across two sides of 7” for an oscillating, trembling, ...read on »

Ata Kak

Daa Nyinaa / Bome Nnwom

8/10 from Robin

Ata Kak’s tunes are special because they suspend belief. They make us forget about our need for a high fidelity dance, their muddy production quality generating a more i...read on »

Units

Digital Stimulation

8/10 from Robin

The Units used their synthesized toys and moody post-punk influences to indict their listeners in a world of pure joy. “High Pressure Days” is obviously the j...read on »

Ford Proco / Coil

Expansion Naranja

8/10 from Laurie

Some exhumed Coil material here, a 1999 collab with Mexican band Ford Proco. I can hear the pricking of a thousand rabid fans’ ears. This lot met at an Orb gig in LA if ...read on »

Repeated Viewing

The Three Sisters (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

8/10 from Kim

Well I listened to this earlier and became confused that it's the soundtrack to a film that hasn't been released yet! It sounds so classic and Carpenteresque -- so brooding a...read on »

The Cairo Gang

Goes Missing

8/10 from Robin

Here God? live up to the question mark in their name by throwing a curveball in the form of a jangle pop record. The label’s infatuation with psych and lo-fi bedroom muk...read on »

The Sun God

The Sun God and The Myth Lives On Trio

8/10 from Ant

Chicago’s Jamal Moss makes an appearance on Denmark’s Cejero label under his The Sun God alias with two cosmic, psychedelic warehouse bangers. First up is the slow...read on »

Helm

Olympic Mess

8/10 from Ant

I suppose Luke Younger’s second album for PAN could be described as a mess. The mess inside a man’s head as he tries to make sense of his existence amongst the cha...read on »

J. Albert

Untitled

8/10 from Ant

Here we have four cuts of no frills WareHOUSE music for Disc Jockey’s from J. Albert on Opal Tapes sister label Black Opal. “Kiss The Ground” sounds like it ...read on »

Life's Track

Smell of Sanctity

8/10 from Ant

A garbled vocal loop, strings and muffled kicks open ‘Kicks Invasion’ before lunging into a rattling jacker with whip like claps and Hieroglyphic Being jam mode ac...read on »

Nathan Melja

A​.​C​.​I.

8/10 from Ant

Prior to ‘A.C.I’ I think Nathan Melja’s only other physical release is a 12” on Mister Saturday Night which is a good indication of what sort of vibe h...read on »

Profligate

Extremities

8/10 from Laurie

Noisy noisy things from Noah Anthony of Philadelphia, helpfully bearing the flavour of the contents as its name like the crisps that adorn the office on this, o holy Crisp Fri...read on »

Martin Newell

Teatime Assortment

8/10 from Hayley

“If you’re the sort of person who likes this kind of thing, then this is the sort of thing you’ll probably like” claims Martin Newell on the press rele...read on »

The Orb

Moonbuilding 2703 AD

8/10 from Ian

The brand new full length from almighty lords of ambient The Orb, released on German label Kompakt Records, is standard post-club, monged-out chillness from Paterson and ...read on »

Featured albums

Profligate
Rimbaud
I.B.M
Suzanne Kraft
Sam Carty / Lee Perry & The Upsetters
Various
The Big Moon
Barry Adamson
Spirit Club
Benjamin Finger
Bengalfuel
Illuminine
Len Faki
Meg Baird
Units
Fist City
Hauschka
Black Mountain
S. Araw "Trio" XI
Oscar
Sonic Death
Perk Badger
FEWS
Princess Chelsea
The Prettiots
Blawan
The Orb
Ata Kak
Helm
David Bowie
Lydia Lunch & Cypress Grove / Spiritual Front
Tout
The Sun God
DJ Guy
William D Drake
Ford Proco / Coil
Martin Newell
MKFN
The Fear Ratio
Joy Division
Lnrdcroy
Komodo Haunts
Denis Sulta
Cliff Martinez
The Stone Roses
The Stone Roses
Manual
Shit & Shine
Barry Adamson