With less than a week until my birthday, we approach one of the most important times of the year. However, it’s not just the yearly anniversary of me getting closer to death that we should be celebrating. This week sees some fantastic new records in stock that have seen our reviewers dish out the 9s like confetti.
First up, we were all so taken with the Phantom Horse record that it made us wish we still had an album of the week to award it. Gnoomes too would be close to the accolade with their sprawling psych rock. They are from Russia you know.
Due tomorrow: some big things. The second Beach House record in five days is due to land and the long awaited issue of Levitation’s second record ‘Meanwhile Gardens’s will be in. That will keep us busy if you are worried about us just sitting about.
Oh and to deflect any accusations that we just...er ...you know sell stuff, we have made this lovely interview with the Constellation folks which contains not one but two podcasts and we must guide you towards this year’s Dead Albatross music prize...read Ted Maul’s special report here.
This week’s all important Things That We Have™:
- Esmerine sounds exactly what you might imagine something with members of Godspeed and A Silver Mt Zion to sound like. Grandiose sweeping chamber rock.
- Surprise of the week is Dmitry Evgrafov’s ‘Collage’. Will appeal to fans of Max Richter or Nils Frahm.
- Right, this Phantom Horse record. Polyrhythmic, hypnotic, and highly recommended. For fans of Cluster and Moondog. We really like this.
- The Spook School are from Scotland and play catchy songs laced with twee and venom.
- Is !!! ‘As If’ our least search engine friendly record? At ‘One’ runs it close.
- I’m not sure what was the most dull, Deerhunter’s new record or the endless discussion we had about why. It’s not bad as such - just unsatisfying. Yet a customer has just awarded it a blazing 9/10…..maybe you should buy and decide.
- Small Black chill wave like it’s 2011 and we’re all Bruce Springsteen.
- NEWSFLASH! The Here We Go Magic album is growing on me. Tight ‘80’s harmonies and Arthur Russell failure pop.
- Cuntz…...OH COME ON!
- Chain of Flowers are on earth to blend shoegaze and early 80’s raincoat rock. They do it seamlessly.
- Legendary folk guitarist Michael Chapman is 75 and he’s still making great records. See, Bloc Party? It can be done.
- New one from Hand of Dust. General vibe: overwrought.
- Fuzzy psych-ers the Black Tambourines are not indie poppers Black Tambourine by the way. Nor are they Jeffrey Tambor.
- How did you celebrate national no bra day?
- Good to see orange back. Orange Revival celebrate it by sounding like Brian Jonestown Massacre having a long lunch.
- Gnoomes. Why do people from Moscow get so much done? Because they are Russian.
- Gun Outfit celebrate big blog indie with a bit of War and Drugs here, Kurt Vile and with a nod to the printed word of yesteryear, R.E.M.
- Former Dead Texan Christina Vantzou hires a 15 piece micro orchestra and does some processing.
- Luke Haines realises his latest ludicrous rock opera. This time about the dystopian grit of a nuclear winter in the UK.
- Back after two decades of silence are Revolutionary Army of The Infant Jesus with some lovely understated chamber music. Fans of Piano Magic and This Mortal Coil should cock an ear.
- Dan Friel plays psych rock on lo-fi keys and is not as annoying as all the reviews are trying to make out
- Skylar Spence gets his funk on with some groovy disco that is compared to people as good as Chic and as bad as Chromeo.
- She plays our Bradford on Sunday - what will she think? To celebrate, the Spacelady has released a split with fellow West Coast woozers Burnt Ones.
- No terrible corner this week as everything is generally ok.
- Loads of Bert Jansch re-issues including his high water mark ‘Moonshine’.
- Masses of Fela Kuti re-issues as he would have celebrated what would have been his seventieth somethingth birthday this week.
- Horn blower Miles Davis has some of his parps re-pressed.
- There’s a nice collection of our old scribe Mike’s favorites Motorpsycho. Someone has trawled through their bulbous back catalogue and picked the best bits.
- Fuzztones fans- all your christmases have come at once. Huge splurging box set available.
- Trader Horne are one of those interestingly twisty early ‘70’s folk bands. Those flutes are soooo 2015.
- Adrian Sherwood gets all anxious over the nuclear war threat and finds solace in the dub of his Missing Brazilians project
- ‘Slicer’ is a great name for a record. You could call a particularly savage dog Slicer. Anyway this early Wolf Eyes cassette is now here on vinyl.
- Don’t be slovenly and go get a copy of the Shocking Pinks re-issue. This is amazing post punk/shoegaze/NZ pop/dub and funk that should live in more people’s homes.
- A shedload of Francois Hardy re-issues. Easy on the ear and eye.
Ant’s Electronic Roundup:
Here he is…founder of the Menston bleak-tech scene with all your beatz…..
- UK rave warrior Luke Vibert is still at it with ‘Bizarster’ - another album on Planet Mu with hip-hop/ jungle/ electro and whatnot ‘to make yer brain’s dance.
- Grischa Lichtenberger‘s ‘La Demeure; Il Y A Peril En La Demeure’ is in on Raster Noton. Gotta love CTRL+P cuz there’s no bloody way I was typing that out.
- Nu-skool krauty/ kosmische gear on Umor-Rex from Hamburg based Phantom Horse - which our Phil described to me as being ‘Mint’. 300 copies
- Warp continue to survey the vibrant Portuguese underground electronic dance music scene; with the third installment in their ‘CARGAA’ series. Also straight outta Portugal a plate from DJ Firmeza on Principie.
- Did Genesis Breyer P-Orridge really get his/her hands dirty for this ‘Dreamachine Mix’ of Blanck Mass? 500 copies one-sided 12” on Sacred Bones.
- Perception of time altering LP of lush ambient soundscapes on Root Strata from Byron Westbrook aka Corridors.
- Minimal Wave resurrect obscure Japanese synth-pop artist Tomo Akikawabaya’‘s ‘The Castle’ and ‘Anju’ releases from the mid ‘80’s - newly remastered as ‘The Invitation of The Dead’
- Move fast for our few remaining copies of Mall Grab ‘s ‘Elegy’ 12” on 1080p. Recommended for fans of Black Opal etc.
- Posthuman are in acid house mode with remix action from Nexus 21 bossman Mark Archer.
- Limited ‘Letting Go’ 12" on Get The Balance Right inc. Ever Moving, Mutual Attraction, Itpdwip and Jeremiah R. Already sold out at source.
- Move with Hi-NRG last few copies of Pender Street Steppers limited repress of Lo-NRG cuts ‘The Glass City / Golden Garden’ 12” on Mood Hut.
- Terminator techno from Scalameriya & VSK on the ever reliable Power Vacuum.
- Limited Mio Mio 12” of wigged out left-field house music on Anthony Naples Proibito. Designed to make your posterior wiggle.
- Luca Lozano updates classic UK bleep ‘n’ bass sounds and takes them cosmic on Super Rhythm Trax.
- December 12” EP on Where To Now? With Legowelt reminiscent Low Jack Remix.
- Saskatchewan avant black metal band Wold’s Fortress Crookedjaw brings the distortion and rudimentary electronics on The Death of Rave as Black Mecha. First track sounds like he’s stuck in a washing machine!
- Powell ‘Insomniac / Should’ve Been A Drummer’ 12” on XL - the one promoted with a stunt straight out of Nathan Barley. The idiots are bloody winning!
7 inches of deep desperation:
Who else saw Manic Preacher James Bradfield slaver over his indie 7” collection on telly last week? Heartwarming. This lot too might mean something to someone one day……
Batteries is Bis guy Sci-fi Steve - remember them? Seratones do southern tinged garage rock. That’s the American south not Eastbourne. Simon Love is so zany he’s put an apple on his head and covered Oasis. It’s not every day we can say that there’s a new Tricky 7” in town. This time it’s with his Skilled Mechanics clan. New singles from folks as diverse as Courtney Barnett and Wolf Eyes on Third Man. Finally The Great Pop Supplement unleash The Hanging Stars and their twangy indie.
That’s it from us. Another big week next week with big new shiny things from Mogwai, Joanna Newsom and the Heads coming in. How are we going to cope? Well don’t worry your pretty little heads about that just leave it to us.
Finally, let’s wish Robin a wonderful trip to America where he’s going to convince naive shoegazers that he’s Mark Gardner and the hat was all just a terrible nightmare.
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...
Be My Friend In Exile
8/10 from Ant