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Weekly Update Joe Meek, Mouse On The Keys, Russell Haswell, Frank Riggio, Jeff Mills, and more...

It's been the biggest week of releases since the autumn equinox, so whereas last week we started with a joke we shamelessly nicked off a customer this week we have been far too busy to even consider stealing jokes. Sad times. Still, it's not all bad. We must have played the new Julia Holter album a thousand times over the last few weeks, therefore it now soundtracks the office more than cardboard does. Not sure if we can live without it. Meanwhile, there’s enough new records for everyone in the world. We’d better start somewhere so here goes:

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

  • In 1980 Joy Division wrote a song called ‘Atrocity Exhibition’ which predicted a description of the 2015 New Order album a good 25 years early.
  • Sexwitch is a sexy sandwich -- like Wensleydale cheese and carrot chutney. It’s also the name of Natasha Khan (Bat for Lashes)’s new project.
  • Why and how is the Julia Holter album so good? We don’t know -- let’s just accept it eh?
  • Chill guy Kurt Vile releases a new album of cosy guitar twiddles. This week’s laziest album.
  • Girl Band. They take the chunky parts of Shellac and the Jesus Lizard. Men band; don’t go to their gig thinking they are girls. They are men.
  • Blue Daisy is a guy from Camden making wild experimental Ghostpoet type hip h(r)ock. (Apologies).
  • Shelf Life is the drummer from Alex G doing kinda the same thing.
  • Virgin/EMI have unleashed the new Chvrches album. Swift-ian in its execution.
  • Mouse on the Keys kind of do sound like a mouse running up and down some keys… and a drum kit… and a sax. They release this week’s twiddliest album. Also in the jazzy stakes: a new one from the Necks.
  • Post-rock corner. So much of it that we are going to group it together. Your choices are To Destroy A City, Caspian and metal variants Svalbard.
  • Jeff Stonehouse has written an album about his late mother. It would be terrible if we hated it; luckily it’s lovely. Also in ambient news: Hakobune teams up with the magnificently named Dirk Serries in an album that way tops his ‘Sometimes We Left the Window Open’ album for thrilling excitement and Wil Bolton in in permanent crackly fog.
  • Darkstar get northern people to speak in between melancholic neo-danceable pop on their new one.
  • Real life angry MC Guilty Simpson spews out another on Stones Throw.
  • Yung make Wedding Present-y sounds and rock like it’s 1995.
  • Roseau prove that there are some synthy albums I like with a mixture of modern soul-pop and Grizzly Bear experimentalism.
  • Majeure is not the guy from Ultravox.
  • Eyelids OR have done an album of Velvet Crush style power pop on mushroom-headed tweet lord Tim Charlatan label. Comes with bonus CD of covers from obvious influences.
  • Joke: How does a Noel Gallagher remix album sound? Awful!
  • Menace Beach make more ‘90s scuzz rock.
  • Complex psych twiddlers Wand release their third album in as many hours.
  • Vaadat Charigim are an Israeli post punk band who make overcast day in Stockport like swirls.
  • Telekinesis used to do power pop but now does power pop with synths. The world is evolving.
  • Chantal Acda collaborated with a Star of the Lid which should send a large proportion of you scurrying towards the ‘buy’ button.
  • More albums out from psych pop madcaps Fever the Ghost, the squeaky Youth Lagoon, slow and deep Elliot Moss, post punkers Cruising and Cilla Black tribute US Girls.

If we haven’t reviewed your favourite record this week it’s because we’re such busy sausages. We always welcome customer reviews so tell us what we are missing.


  • Sylvain Chauveau once covered Depeche Mode in acoustic style. Not sure why. It’s now been reissued. Not sure why.
  • Sarah Records fans: put your lollipops in the waste paper basket and swoon to the shoegaze sounds of Secret Shine.
  • Loads of Popul Vuh re-issues, including ‘Nosferatu’.
  • Top Sheffield bontempi lord John Shuttleworth gets his ‘The Yamaha Years’ re-issued on long player.
  • Gil Scott-Heron’s classic ‘72 era ‘Small Talk At 125th & Lenox’ gets a nice vinyl re-press.
  • So many Ennio Morricone reissues, so little time.
  • There’s a massive great Creation box set of early stuff on the label including more Meat Whiplash songs than you’ll ever need in your life.
  • The Birthday Party’s ‘Prayers on Fire’ gets a reissue.
  • Jerky new wavers Suburban Lawns get their Oingo Boingo style weird pop re-issued on either ‘green sprinkler’ or ‘silver flying saucer’ vinyl. Your choice.
  • Vintage sound sourceror Joe Meek’s influential ‘I Hear a New World’ gets the vinyl re-issue treatment.
  • There’s the biggest Dir Bavid Sowie bos set ever of his early work out and his pals Placebo have their ‘Without Nothing I’m You’ LP re-unleashed on wax.
  • Bikini Kill’s ‘Revolution Girl Style Now!’ early work gets on the vinyl tip.

Ant’s Electronic Roundup:

  • Frank Riggio’s second part of a trilogy ‘Psychexcess II - Futurism’ is bursting with imaginative pulsating dub, melodic ambience and beat driven electronica. 2LP/ CD on Hymen.
  • Sleaford Mod Andrew Fearn’s EXTNDDNTWRK 10” on Fourth Dimension is finally in and soon to be going out of the door.
  • As Sure As Night Follows Day Russell “Racket” Haswell is up to his techno noise shenanigans again on Diagonal. Plus limited to 300 copies one-sided job ‘Tongue Dancer ’85’ 12” on Editions Mego recorded at EMS.
  • Brazilian producer MYMK has an album of magical, minimalist, deeply textured ambient, drone and eerie soundscapes the rotate on an axis of melody, dissonance and noise. On berlin’s Low Kick High Punch label.
  • John Baker’s soundtrack from the BBC’s ‘Vendetta’ has BBC Radiophonic Workshop tricks collide with some jazz action.
  • Surgeon ‘Balance Remakes’ is a banger from 1998 repressed on Tresor with Mick Harris Remix.
  • 180g wax junglist plate from Benton on Benton Beats. Badass bassline included. I almost wrote Beatz then.
  • Jana Winderen, JG Thirlwell, Petteri Nisunen, Tommi Grönlund, Franz Pomassl, BJ Nilsen, Jacob Kirkegaard, Carl Michael von Hausswolff + tons more sound art gear LP on Ash International.
  • Better late than never we scored copies of Saliva’s vibrant jungle of electronic sound-- ‘Be Me’ 180g wax on Ekster.
  • The Wizard Jeff Mills will make you feel like a failure as a disc jockey if you watch his ‘Exhibitionist 2’ 2DVD on Axis. Includes a CD if you haven’t got a telly. Weep.
  • Zomby got to make beats for one of his influences - Wiley. Who apparently until fairly recently didn’t know they had square sausages in Scotland. It’s called “Slice” man.
  • Minimal ambient discs on LINE from Richard Garet and Asmus Tietchens. I tried to keep that line minimal. I’ve wrecked it now.
  • The Hague electro bossman DJ Overdose (Viewlexx/ Creme Organization) makes a surprise appearance on L.I.E.S.
  • Sweet/ chill/ lo-fi/ deep/ psychedelic housey gear on Antinote from Inoue Shirabe recommended for fans of Patricia and that.
  • Plus step inside our Beats Emporium for vinyl records by Kowton, Jimmy Edgar, Lando, FaltyDL, Swindle , Luke Abbot & Jake Wyllie.
  • Is it fair to compare everything with oozy-woozy synths to Boards of Canada asks Laurie? No probably not but it’s easier. High Tides make wobbly hazy synth

7 inches of desperation:

They are as small as Phil and as round as his head:

  • Arcade Fire. This is the first release of a song that didn’t appear on their last album.
  • Shopping are good. We have a pre-album single to whet your appetite.
  • The Optic Nerve single is called ‘Penelope Tuesday’. What do you think it sounds like?


Three in on ZONE: Mourn, who are disorientating and discomforting, Jungle/Grime from Becoming Real and Earth meets Aphex Twin lady Lord Real. You can also get the Wand album on tape for the car.

I’ll finish with a revelation that will send shockwaves through the music industry: I quite like the new Paul Weller single.

Words by Clint with Ant with some stuff nicked from Robin.

The Normanites this week were: Phil, Laurie, Kim, Ian and Nathon.

Best records this week

According to our review team at least...

Julia Holter

Have You In My Wilderness

9/10 from Robin

Firstly: 10/10 for Julia Holter’s dog. What a long, strange press release it’s been for the mutt with no name, no titles and no accolades. Having put the music vid...read on »


Be Me

9/10 from Laurie

Belgian ambient electronic purveyor Ssaliva invites you to get inside of his clothes with your green gloves - just for two sides of wax, ‘Be Me’. It’s extrem...read on »


Balance Remakes

9/10 from Ant

Quality Surgeon gear here from 1998, back in print on Tresor with alternate versions of tracks from his excellent ‘Balance’ album from the same year. ‘Box V...read on »

Russell Haswell

As Sure As Night Follows Day

9/10 from Ant

Impeccable timing - Just as I hit play on Russell Haswell’s third release on Diagonal, my next door neighbour zips out of their driveway so UP goes the volume. ‘A...read on »



8/10 from Robin

The hardest album to locate both in flesh and digital reality, ‘One’ is the work of At, two words that are not at all common. This infuriatingly becalmed husband-w...read on »


La Di Da Di

8/10 from Robin

I didn’t listen to Battles for so long that by the time I finally came to them on this here review pile, they’d combusted into a prog rock band. I’m told by ...read on »

Jerusalem In My Heart

If He Dies, If If If If If If

8/10 from Laurie

If If If If this isn’t essentially Constellation releasing themselves then I’ll be darned. The man behind Jerusalem In My Heart, as you may well know, is Radwan Gh...read on »

Inoue Shirabe

Down Into The Black Church / Camping In Your Soul

8/10 from Laurie

A duo of laid back synth-led dance jams from the elusive Antinote producer Inoue Shirabe. Hailing from Okayama, Japan, Shirabe is thin on the details but thick on the vibez, t...read on »

Dimitris Petsetakis


8/10 from Laurie

This man is a relatively underrepresented electronic musician hailing from Greece, who has had a single release prior to this, way back in 1991. That’s a long wait to be...read on »

Girl Band

Holding Hands With Jamie

8/10 from Robin

Here are four dudes who are clearly brazen intellectuals to have named themselves Girl Band, but anyway, the music: it’s as noisy as your favourite Chicago-based punk sc...read on »


Otomejima No Otome

8/10 from Robin

On this day of madness I’ll welcome psych rock into my arms, and Miminokoto are the firmest psychedelic hug one can receive. A gathering of members from the earthless Ac...read on »

The Optic Nerve

Penelope Tuesday

8/10 from Clinton

With a title like 'Penelope Tuesday' you should know what to expect. The Optic Nerve hung around New York for a while in 1985 but were purely in awe of the sounds made two dec...read on »

Blue Daisy

Darker Than Blue

8/10 from Clinton

I’ve heard one too many samey, constricted records this morning but Camden producer and rapper Kwesi Darko aka Blue Daisy isn’t going to play it safe with this his...read on »

John Shuttleworth

The Yamaha Years

8/10 from Clinton

Oooph! Re-issue culture has reached its apex with this double vinyl edition of Sheffield singer-songwriter John Shuttleworth’s classic ’The Yamaha Years’, pr...read on »


Straight Lines

8/10 from Robin

It’s time to experience joy, because Shopping exist again, first at 45mph and later on one of those big records you could potentially hide your head behind. This trio pl...read on »


Dust and Disquiet

8/10 from Robin

Caspian formed back when post-rock was inviting any old sentimental riffer in, back when the genre was at its peak for dilettantes and disappearing acts. In 2007, also known a...read on »


One Day All This Will End

8/10 from Robin

Blackened post-hardcore right here from a band trying to have it all in the metal valleys of yore. ‘One Day All This Will End’ is like a few of your favourite cult...read on »

La Morte Young / Drone Electric Lust


8/10 from Robin

Uh, well. It’s not a typo? La Morte Young are not La Monte Young despite making the savvy drones to match, and here they engage with Drone Electric Lust for a split of l...read on »

Vaadat Charigim

Sinking As A Stone

8/10 from Clinton

These Israeli goth rockers prompted a seemingly bored Phil to do a census on the internet to see which countries were populated with goths. Most, it seems.   It&rs...read on »

Wil Bolton


8/10 from Laurie

The other office goons are having a raucous indie disco behind the review station, so this is the perfect time to take five and slip into those pyjamas and put on Wil Bolton&r...read on »

Jeff Stonehouse

Mariner's Willow

8/10 from Laurie

This self-released thing is possibly the most honest, heartfelt thing that has crossed these ears for a while. It’s an album dedicated to his mum, who passed away in Apr...read on »

Chantal Acda

The Sparkle In Our Flaws

8/10 from Robin

Stars of the Lid adorers will be familiar with Chantal Acda’s stunning songwriting via Sleepingdog, a collaborative effort between herself and one Adam Wiltzie, who prov...read on »

John Baker & The BBC Radiophonic Workshop

The Vendetta Tapes

8/10 from Ant

John Baker was responsible for the majority of the tracks on ‘BBC Radiophonic Music’, the first LP from British institution the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. But for s...read on »

Guilty Simpson

Detroit's Son

8/10 from Andy

Guilty Simpson is about as hardcore as I feel I want to go when it comes to MC's, I know there are plenty out there filthier, more controversial and foul mouthed, but I'm not ...read on »

Popol Vuh


8/10 from Ant

It has to be said that Wah Wah Supersonic Sounds do a grand job with the LP’s they reissue. Anyone that’s picked up one of the many Popol Vuh reissues will know wh...read on »



8/10 from Clinton

It's generally felt (ok not generally -- it's something I think) that Natasha Khan lost her way a bit with Bat For Lashes. After the excellent ‘Two Suns’, ’T...read on »



8/10 from Laurie

MYMK is a Brazilian producer of not-dance-not-noise music. Then what is it? I’m still trying to work that out myself. Nor is there much information about the label Low K...read on »



8/10 from Laurie

Aside from having a fear of vowels, Andrew Fearn holds the secret to Sleaford Mods’ success - all of the necessary production and sampling dirt for Jason Williamson to b...read on »

Frank Riggio

Psychexcess II - Futurism

8/10 from Ant

This album is the first music I’ve heard from Frank Riggio. Actually it’s the first I’ve heard that this artist even exists at all - which is amazing to me, ...read on »


1000 Days

8/10 from Robin

Wand are sweethearts I think. Okay, they riff hard and push psych around like it’s a boulder in the way of a real good cave, but I know deep down they just wanna make Ch...read on »

Seamus Fogarty

Ducks and Drakes EP

8/10 from Clinton

Apologies to Seamus for the lateness of this review. Everything seems to have overtaken him in the race to get written about this week. The irony being that whilst half of tho...read on »

Featured albums

Secret Shine
Russell Haswell
Paul Weller
Arcade Fire
Hakobune & Dirk Serries
Jeff Stonehouse
High Tides
Inoue Shirabe
DJ Overdose
Wiley and Zomby
Frank Riggio
The Necks
Blue Daisy
Luke Abbott & Jack Wyllie
Suburban Lawns
Russell Haswell
Lord Real
Becoming Real
Elliot Moss
Wil Bolton
U.S. Girls
Menace Beach
Chantal Acda
Richard Garet
Asmus Tietchens
Jimmy Edgar
Shelf Life
Jeff Mills
Bikini Kill
Guilty Simpson
The Birthday Party
Mouse On The Keys
Gil Scott-Heron
Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds
John Shuttleworth
Kurt Vile
Sylvain Chauveau & Ensemble Nocturne
The Optic Nerve
John Baker & The BBC Radiophonic Workshop
Youth Lagoon
Girl Band
Julia Holter
David Bowie
New Order
Fever The Ghost
Eyelids OR
Vaadat Charigim
Popol Vuh
To Destroy A City
Joe Meek