Weekly Update Low Jack, Bass Clef, Mammoth Penguins, Frankie & The Heartstrings, Dat Politics, and more...

As Sir David Bowie once said….’Changes’. Where would we be without changes eh? Certainly we at Normans would still be working in Phil’s attic, cigarettes dangling over used copies of Record Collector waiting for the floor to collapse. But hey! the internet arrived and the world scrunched up a little so now everyone has the same release date... which is a Friday. So all these things we are talking about below are out tomorrow. If you like you can pop in and collect them and we have to let you have them. No more..’you can’t have it ‘til Monday yet’ type excuses from us.

So today we have been shipping new titles from the likes of Four Tet, Expo 70, Triptides, Cylob, Surgeon and DJ Rashad and for anyone who still can’t get used to the Thursday update simply mark as unread and leave in your inbox until Friday afternoon and hey presto! It’s back at it’s usual time.

So here we are….

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

  • Triptides, Triptides, Triptides. They’ve made another great album - that’s three now. Their latest ‘Azur’ is jam- packed with sunny, melodic gems that will tie you over until the next Real Estate album arrives.
  • Another absolutely magnificent album comes from The Apartments. The veteran band are sort of the missing link between the Go-Betweens and Tindersticks and have made a sophisticated pop gem.
  • Michael Vidal is in Abe Vigoda and his solo LP will appeal to anyone who missed the Wild Beasts more crystalline guitar efforts.
  • Field Music’s ‘Music For Drifters’ is now out again so you could have stayed in bed on Record Store Day when it was first released.
  • Mammoth Penguins feature members of Standard Fare and make melodious pop punk.
  • Guapo are trying to make prog rock great. Good luck with that. .
  • Hard Left are Boyracer, Lunchbox and Black Tambourines staff making ‘77 style punk rock.
  • Lady Lamb makes haunting sporadic folky sparseness.
  • Frankie and the Heartstrings have more of their indie stuff. The first track is called ‘Peterborough’ - a place which must look quite glamorous when you come from Sunderland (joke! winky thing etc).
  • Tropical Trash make scattershot noise and monotonous, mumbled shred anthems. Ramshackle is the watchword.
  • Drainolith is the bloke from Aids Wolf making something that sits between Royal Trux and Howling Hex.
  • Negative Scanner are toothless in that they have no teeth. Their music is anything but….stop start angry post punk ensues.
  • The Antlers played live in London last year. You can now hear the whole set on a vinyl LP. Re-visit the glory or imagine you were there.
  • Latest misspelt warriors Flaamingos and the KVB share a slab o’ wax. Expect gothy post punk and lots of dry ice.
  • Scottish folk prog band Trembling Bells pretend it’s 1972 in their dingly dell-friendly new opus.
  • Professional large mouth John Robb returns with his incendiary Membranes.
  • I was one of only two men in North Yorkshire in the ‘80’s who were openly out as Shoes fans. Therefore I like EZTV’s power pop a lot.
  • Power trio Steve Baczkowski, Chris Corsano and Bill Nace make a frenzied free jazz explosion on Golden Lab.
  • Autumns sound like they are some gothy Jesus and Mary Chain types locked in a goth sewer.
  • One of the best albums of the week is a Various Artist compilation ‘Mac-talla Nan Creag’ this takes synth and folk and places it alongside the purest sounds of nature. Comes with a booklet of artwork.
  • The Smoking Trees certainly sound like they’ve smoked something or other in order to make their breezy and chill folk rock.
  • This weeks hidden gem is ‘Slow Tapes’ by Angel Dust. 6 tracks of dusty murky loops and sweet Beach House style lullabies.

Ant’s Big Electronic Roundup

Like the sound of humans playing with synthesizers, drum machines and computers? Take my hand and step this way...

  • Alexev Volkov brings his EBM spiked techno and darkside electro to Jealous God for a mighty fine 12” + bonus mix CD.
  • Lee Bannon switches to ambient/ drone mode for a full length on that there Ninja Tune.
  • Surgeon opens the archives with a 2x12” of ‘Unreleased Tracks 1995-1996’ - ace blueprint Birmingham techno.
  • Cylob’s first full vinyl offering in ages ‘Inflatable Hope’ on Power Vacuum is destined to cause all manner of dancefloor mayhem.
  • Thud, screech, rasp etc. yes it’s Low Jack’s technoise racket ‘Sewing Machine’ on In Paradisum.
  • Our man Laurie reckons Gossamer’s ‘Automaton’ is a fantastic debut of chill electronic chopscapes.
  • The late DJ Rashad has a posthumous EP of footwork future classic on Hyperdub to make your legs fall off.
  • Sleeparchive aka Reliable Roger is back again, this time with Oscar Mulero on remix duties.
  • A trio of Berceuse Heroique limited gear from Koehler and Kuno, Beneath, and Gramrcy. Most likely these won’t hang about.
  • Bass worshippers probably ought to check the second album from LHF on Keysound Recordings.
  • Someone called Four Tet doesn’t know what time of day it is... Morning / Evening.
  • Broken60 have a couple of compact discs out from Mick Finesse (Perc Trax) and BrokenThree (Erstlaub, Production Unit and TVO) live at that Outer Church spot.

Plus a whole clutch of gubbins from the likes of Dat Politics, Morgan Louis, Matrixxman, Bass Clef, Maalem Mahmoud Guinia, Floating Points & James Holden, Mac-talla Nan Creag various artists job on Firecracker, John Swing / EMG / Vinalog.

New Reissues:

  • People...this is your lucky day. We have the entire Muse back catalogue in on vinyl.
  • Or try Cold Waves of Color - Volume 2 collects 80’s cold wave/ synth pop on 180g wax complete with poster + fanzine. Including Lives of Angels, Void, The Lord, Body Electric, Space Brothers etc.
  • Madlib has his marvellous splice hop classic ‘Beat Konducta Vol 1 Movie Scenes’ back out. You know you want it ‘Donuts’ fans.
  • Bonkers people Butthole Surfers have their ‘Independent Worm Saloon’ LP re-issued.

Here are some 7”s that exist

Two Ragged Soldiers are a pair of Northern dads making some lovely neo-classical soundtrack gear, Cate Le Bon and Tim Presley of White Fence meet to make lo-fi quirky scratchy post punk as Drinks and glitch guy Troubleshooter gets five slices of IDM shoved on a 7” on the always well packaged Box Bedroom Rebels.

I’ve just accidentally touched some Domestos. Awful stuff. Enjoy your Friday/Saturday/Sunday trilogy.

Words by Clint
Work by everyone else
And at the piano... Richard Vranch.


Best records this week

According to our review team at least...

Moon Ate The Dark


9/10 from Laurie

Following on from Jasmine Guffond’s Yellow Bell, the drones of which lulled Robin towards the edge of comprehension, Sonic Pieces release a record of stately piano and on »



9/10 from Clinton

They say there is no such thing as love at first sight but is love at first listen a thing? It took three whole seconds before I decided that the brisk opener ‘Wake& on »

The Apartments

No Song No Spell No Madrigal

9/10 from Clinton

I was recently given a severe reprimanding by a customer after I failed to mention in this review of the recent Captured Tracks re-issue of The Apartments' early work on »



9/10 from Laurie

Gossamer is Evan Reiner, a relatively new artist who wears his heart on his sleeve through chill electronic chopscapes. Having only released a couple of EPs so far, his first on »


Inflatable Hope

9/10 from Ant

‘Inflatable Hope’ marks Cylob’s first full solo vinyl outing in like 8 years or something. In the meantime he’s kept busy with digital releases on his on »


Unreleased Tracks 1995-1996 (2014 Remaster)

9/10 from Ant

Surgeon saves the real treat in this series of remasters on his SRX label until last. Following reissued early classics and rarities we finally get 6 previously unreleased on »

Alexey Volkov

Jealous God 07

9/10 from Ant

Alexey Volkov is the latest artist to grace Jealous God, joining amongst it’s ranks James Ruskin, Silent Servant, Svreca, In Aeternem Vale, Broken English Club and on »


Mac-talla Nan Creag

9/10 from Robin

Here’s one of those valiant efforts to strike futurism into the heart of traditionalism, taking artificed synthesizer music and placing it alongside the purest sounds on »

Nicolas Jaar

Nymphs III

9/10 from Laurie

They’re listening to some lo-fi oldies swing ballads in the other room and this sounds exactly like that when accidentally played at 33. Ian made the exact same mistake on »

The Smoking Trees


8/10 from Robin

The Smoking Trees sound like they’ve smoked a lot of trees. On the self-titled and then abbreviated ‘TST’ they offer up one of the year’s chillest on »


Calling Out

8/10 from Clinton

I’ve just picked myself off the floor after hearing the monumental new Triptides album when this little gem appears in my rear view mirror. It’s similarly on »

Nap Eyes

Whine of the Mystic

8/10 from Clinton

Another band who I suspect have been listening to the Flying Nun ‘In Love With These Times’ compilation. Despite coming from Halifax (Nova Scotia not West on »

DJ Rashad

6613 EP

8/10 from Clinton

The latest in what is sure to be a long line of posthumous releases from the late footwork pioneer. Opener ‘CCP2’ might have you playing guess the sample and on »


Beat Konducta Vol. 1: Movie Scenes

8/10 from Clinton

Is it possible to make cut and splice hip-hop any better than this? It's part of a series of issues of Madlib work from the early 2000s and can easily be counted alongside on »

Morgan Louis

Only 1

8/10 from Clinton

Repetition repetition repetition repetition. The Fall’s recent appearance on Glastonbury at times showed repetition as an art form - how a simple groove when looped ad on »

Koehler and Kuno

Anti Gravity Switch

8/10 from Clinton

A big black record. No info at all except for a torn out page from a book about the Clash. Yup it's the latest on Berceuse Heroique. I wonder if they tweet all the time on »

Michael Vidal

Dream Center

8/10 from Clinton

The sleeve says 33 1/3rd but if that’s correct then Abe Vigoda frontman Michael Vidal sounds very depressed indeed. So I’ve taken the law into my own hands and on »


Windows EP

8/10 from Laurie

Here we have some synthetic intensity from Berlin bodymover Sleeparchive, a man whose music bears little to no relation to sleep. Maybe some kind of pill-induced nethercoma on »

Low Jack

Sewing Machine

8/10 from Laurie

Thud. Thud. Screech. Rasp. These are some words that could describe both Joseph’s carpentry workshop and the thudding techno racket that Low Jack peddles. The on »

Negative Scanner

Negative Scanner

8/10 from Robin

It’s no frills Wednesday at Norman HQ, which means no big ideas, no grand gestures and no eureka moments; just fast, furious work. In a segue that gives that opening on »



8/10 from Robin

Hauschka’s ‘Abandoned City’ bled neo-classical into minimal techno, reducing the piano’s role in composition to that of a wardrobe storing other on »


Hermits On Holiday / Eighteen Teenage Revenge Fair

8/10 from Clinton

Drinks are Cate Le Bon and Tim Presley. Both have surnames that could suggest that they are related to someone famous but they are not. They are sorta semi-famous in their on »

Mick Finesse

The Glamour of Despondency

8/10 from Ant

‘The Glamour of Despondency’ is the debut album from Denver, Colorado DJ/ producer Mick Finesse who’s previously released on Perc Trax which gives some on »

Der Zyklus


8/10 from Laurie

The latest thing in Clone’s Aqualung Series is this piece of miscellaneous digitalia featuring noises and noises and noises. From deep within the circuits, Der Zyklus ( on »

Lee Bannon

Pattern of Excel

8/10 from Laurie

Lee Bannon is Jacob Bannon’s chill brother, the one who decided to chop audio into lovely little worlds as a reaction to his brother’s angry angry ways. That& on »

Angels Dust

Slow Tapes

8/10 from Clinton

What have we here? A neat little 10" with screen-printed sleeve and six tracks of dusty loops and siren lady vocals. I suppose if you took Portishead's music and out it in a on »

Featured albums

Two Ragged Soldiers
Maalem Mahmoud Guinia, Floating Points & James Holden
Alexey Volkov
Low Jack
Expo '70
Tropical Trash
Mick Finesse
Dat Politics
Flaamingos / The KVB
Lady Lamb
Lee Bannon
Koehler and Kuno
The Antlers
Morgan Louis
Michael Vidal
Bass Clef
The Smoking Trees
Frankie & The Heartstrings
Negative Scanner
Mammoth Penguins
John Swing / EMG / Vinalog
Trembling Bells
The Apartments
DJ Rashad
Four Tet
Hard Left
Field Music
Butthole Surfers
Steve Baczkowski / Chris Corsano / Bill Nace