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.
- 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...
8/10 from Kim