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Weekly Update

Hello and we’re back again. I’ve been away from the office most of this week so I’m afraid I’m not as au fait with the week’s releases as I usually am at this point but I’ll muddle through the best I can ‘cause that’s what we’ve got to do. Some of it’s good, though, I do know that much.

One thing I do know about because I’m quite excited about it is that the new Pinback LP finally arrived this week after five years of near-silence. It sounds just like Pinback and it’s been soothing my poor weary head with its lapping waves of bass and graceful melodies this morning. Promising young songwriter Mac DeMarco has thoroughly impressed us all with his beguiling follow-up to his debut mini-album on Captured Tracks as well. Other soothing things that we’ve got include the amazing new full-length of unique beat-driven ambience from Kane Ikin on 12K, and that Superstorms LP of slow fuzz drones you’ve all been waiting for has arrived from Experimedia. Cut Hands have a full-length of their ecstatic rhythmic madness, U.S. Girls has a new album of her experimental lo-fi minimal pop, there’s a mammoth 5CD box set of classic Belgian new wave synth pop from Snowy Red, a haunting album of ghostly chamber pop warbling from Seaming, Natural Snow Buildings’ ‘Night Coercion...’ vinyl box set has showed up and indie rock workhorses Of Montreal have a collection of hard-to-find cuts for you as well. Oh, and good ol’ Death Waltz have reissued John Carpenter’s awesome soundtracks for Halloween II and Halloween III as well!

If you like things a bit more lively, on the rockier side of things the Lungfish classics ‘Indivisible’ and ‘Talking Songs For Walking’ have been repressed on vinyl, The Men’s rare debut LP of their distinctive dirge-grunge has been repressed, post-hardcore survivors ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead have a brand new album, Leeds’s favourite Jesus Lizard-a-likes Blacklisters’ impressive debut LP on Brew Records has dropped, the Causa Sui lads have a live recording under their Pewt’r JJJJ alias, there’s a virtual collaboration between Neil “Astral Social Club” Campbell and Robert Horton, Canada’s “goth Pet Shop Boys” Trust have an entertaining album of spooky industrial-tinged synthpop, and Norwegian jazz-noise nutters Paal Nilssen-Love, Massimo Pupillo & Lasse Marhaug have an album of abrasive nonsense on Bocian Records. Not only that, but there are new albums from Ben Gibbard, Reines D’Angleterre, Balmorhea, We Are The Physics, Roly Porter & Cynthia Millar, Majeure, Daniel Bachman, iTAL tEK, Super Biton National De Segou, African Brothers Band, Lukid, Main Attrakionz, Paul Banks, Halls, Peter Broderick, Cripped Black Phoenix, Merzbow, Sealings, Dakota Suite, Driftwood Manor, Giant Claw, Parastatic, Blue on Blue/Os Ovni, Fieldhead, Black Light White Light, and there are value priced comps in the form of Runningonair/Mountain’s ‘Phrenology’ collection of ambience and sound art, and a gorgeously packaged collection of lo-fi drug-fuelled psychedelic fun from Vanity Case entitled ‘The Carnival Is Over’, as well as a totally sweet 2LP comp of boogie and disco funk from the tiny South American country of Surinam!

As for the singles, old-school emo fans will no doubt be ecstatic to learn that not only have Dischord finally released proto-mo legends Rites Of Spring’s first demo, but At The Drive-In’s classic ‘Vaya’ EP reissue has turned up from Fearless hot on the heels of their In/Casino/Out repress, and antipodean minimal post-punk stalwarts My Disco have a new EP as well which is pretty cool. Oh, and The Bug’s new ganja-inspired 7” is mental, and Thisquietarmy has done a 7” with a massive-sounding Slowdive cover and another one originally by Radio Dept, and good ol’ Finders Keepers have sent us a couple of great 7”s of hoary ‘70s man-rock from Manchester, one by Plasma and a Stack Waddy/Spider King split. Other singles and EPs this week have arrived from Savages, Fun Adults, Fear of Men, The Invisible, Palma Violets, Villagers, Tom Fazzini, Charles Boyer and the Voyeurs, Stephan Mathieu and September Girls.

Keep it bleak.

Sad Mike and the NormFX crew.


Best records this week

According to our review team at least...

Dead Skeletons

Ord

9/10 from Brian

I can’t give Dead Skeletons any less than full marks as they’re such a bunch of total dudes I’d be seriously doing their genius take on relentless “man...read on »

Bee Mask

Vaporware / Scanops

9/10 from Brian

Wow, this initially reminds me of Global Communication’s languid astral grace but even more lush and cinematic. Not what I was expecting, I imagined Bee Mask to be a lit...read on »

Soom T & Disrupt

Summer Days

9/10 from Brian

I never listened to the ‘Ode to a Carrot’ album Soom T did with Disrupt because just the presence of it near her face made Business Lady want to get her Uzi out an...read on »

Alexander Turnquist

Like Sunburned Snowflakes

9/10 from Phil

Woo. A new Turnquist! I loved this guy’s last album so much that I’d say it was my favourite album of last year. I’ve played it to death. I’ve practica...read on »

Emptyset

Collapsed

9/10 from Phil

This guy has been kicking about for a few years after releases on Caravan and Subtext and now the Bristolian has a newie on das Raster Noton. There’s a reasonably comple...read on »

Various

Indonesia Pop Nostalgia

9/10 from Phil

Here’s a fun record! The subtitle of the record is ‘Pan-Indonesian Pop, Folk, Instrumentals & Children's Songs, 1970s-1980s’ but that’s a right gob...read on »

Four Tet (Fourtet)

Lion / Peace For Earth

9/10 from Clinton

“Maybe tomorrow, he’'ll want to settle down,/Until tomorrow, he’ll just keep moving on./Down this road that never seems to end,/Where new adventure lies just...read on »

Various

Tomorrow’s Achievements: Parry Music Library 1976-86 Public Information

9/10 from Clinton

Oh you’ll like it, you’ll love it! you’ll play it again and again. You’ll wallow in the nostalgia of the synth experiments of 1970s Canada. This is a c...read on »

Daughn Gibson

All Hell

9/10 from Brian

This man is so bizarre, not only is his name new to me but his truly idiosyncratic sound-world is too. Pegged by the London media as something quite retarded or crassly thou...read on »

New War

New War

9/10 from Brian

The eponymously-titled album by this Melbourne quartet is a real blast. It's one of those multi-faceted treats that come out of nowhere and begin to persistently beg to be p...read on »

eMMplekz

IZOD Days

9/10 from Ant

This dream team collaboration finally sees the light of day, and I'm pleased to report it has been worth the wait. This is of course a collaboration between Mordant Music and ...read on »

Pewt'r JJJJ

Byens Lys 061712

9/10 from Phil

I’m not sure how these guys differ from Pewt but on this Blueberry Honey release they’re known as Pewt’r JJJJ. Apparently when this performance was played (...read on »

Tom Fazzini

Castle On Wheels

9/10 from Phil

This is an odd little 7”. We had a single by this guy last year which Jarvis Cocker picked up on his Radio 6 show. Some of you may be remember him from when he was in &l...read on »

Various

The Vanity Case Reality Tunnel Volume Two - The Carnival is Over

9/10 from Phil

This is the nicest thing I’ve seen in a while (probably since the last one of these that came out a while back). So let me dwell on the packaging for a wee while whic...read on »

Kane Ikin

Sublunar

9/10 from Phil

Now I remember liking this chaps gear last time I heard it. That ‘Contrail’ single he did a while back was lovely! Sublunar is his first album proper after a jo...read on »

My Disco

Wrapped Coast

9/10 from Phil

‘Little Joy’ from these guys was one of my favourites when it came out. It didn’t even get reviewed here (not enough hours in the day!) which is a shame c...read on »

Thisquietarmy

Bleeding Mess

9/10 from Phil

Imagine my surprise when I picked up this single and stuck it on and within seconds I heard the music of ‘Bleed’ by Slowdive. I read the press release and this t...read on »

Pinback

Information Retrieved

9/10 from Mike

Well it’s been five years but everyone’s favourite indie rock duo have finally got a new album for us this week! I for one am pretty excited anyway, since withou...read on »

Various

Surinam! Boogie & Disco Funk From The Surinamese Dancefloors '76-'83

9/10 from ReviewBot300

Surinam is a tiny country with a population of only half a million, but with a lively musical culture, and this compilation on Kindred Spirits compiles a wealth of rare boog...read on »

Stack Waddy / Spider King

Hunt The Stag / Animals

9/10 from Phil

Finders Keepers are going all local on your ass and instead of digging up some crazy rare gem from Turkey from 1968 which never charted and was written by a horse (yet still...read on »

The Bug

Ganja Baby

9/10 from Li'l Biz

Haha!! This 7" is well LAWLS. The second in a series of mental collaborations on the new Acid Ragga label, 'Ganja Baby' sees The Bug team up with Daddy Freddy a.k.a &lsquo...read on »

Rites Of Spring

Six Song Demo

9/10 from Mike

Pretty excited about this one coming into the office. Dischord are finally treating us to a definitive official release of the mythical first demo of Guy Picciotto and Brend...read on »

Neil Campbell & Robert Horton

Trojandropper

9/10 from ReviewBot300

Astral Socialite and former Vibracathedral Neil Campbell and The Appliances’ Robert Horton are an unlikely pairing for a collaboration. For starters, the pair have nev...read on »

Paal Nilssen-Love/ Lasse Marhaug/ Massimo Pupillo

You're Next

9/10 from Mike

Well this one’ll wake you up! Here’s the obnoxious, exuberant jazz-noise mega-trio that is Nilssen-Love/Marhaug/Pupillo, and from the outset of opener ‘Nec...read on »

Kevin Drumm

Crowded

9/10 from Ant

The latest emission from one of my favourite sound operators comes courtesy of Poland’s increasingly great Bocian label. This fine slab of wax contains two rather splend...read on »

BJ Nilsen & Stilluppsteypa

Goda Nott

9/10 from Ant

BJ Nilsen and Helgi Thorssen go back to business after a brief excursion into nu-kosmische terrain on their ‘Big Shadow Montana’ LP. The story goes that the artist...read on »

Russell Haswell

Factual

9/10 from Ant

When listening to Russell Haswell’s output I’m often given the impression that he primarily creates to fulfill his own personal sonic cravings. I can somehow just ...read on »

The Men

Immaculada

9/10 from ReviewBot300

Given the rate at which they’ve been accumulating plaudits and column inches over the past couple of years for their gnarly post-grungey noise rock dirge-pop, on the bac...read on »

U.S. Girls

GEM

9/10 from Brian

From humble beginnings with the murky ‘60s girl-group-channelling spectre-pop and lo-fi psychedelia/grainy hypnagogic noise of her first couple of records, the lovely Me...read on »

Reines D'Angleterre

Globe Et Dynastie

9/10 from Ant

This one has been knocking around for a short while on CD and didn’t receive the review treatment. As it’s a great record and now available on vinyl I thought I&rs...read on »

Mac DeMarco

2

9/10 from Clinton

Despite the sleeve depicting him as some kind of buffoonishly made up grandson of one of the New York Dolls, I fell very quickly in love with Mac DeMarco’s debut 12&r...read on »

Fieldhead

A Correction

9/10 from Clinton

On the ever dependable Gizeh records, first up it must be said that the packaging is spot on superb, on delicious 180 gram vinyl with download code and when you open it all ...read on »

John Carpenter & Alan Howarth

Halloween II

9/10 from ReviewBot300

This has got to be one of the most exciting developments in the unfolding Death Waltz saga so far - reissues of John Carpenter and Alan Howarth’s scores to his excelle...read on »

John Carpenter

Halloween III: Season Of The Witch

9/10 from ReviewBot300

This has got to be one of the most exciting developments in the unfolding Death Waltz saga so far - reissues of John Carpenter and Alan Howarth’s scores to his excelle...read on »

Oren Ambarchi & Robin Fox

Connected

9/10 from Ant

Oren Ambarchi has released countless records this year, both solo and collaborative works. He appears to be unstoppable at the moment and has unleashed some real gems. Fellow ...read on »

Snowy Red

The Ultimate Edition

9/10 from Brian

Well I was hoping for a Wikipedia entry on this most celebrated of underground Belgian synth-wave artists but there isn't one. Marcel Thiel (aka Micky Mike) was originally t...read on »

Tindersticks

This Fire Of Autumn

8/10 from Brian

I go through so many phases with this band that I’m not sure who I actually am anymore, never mind them. The last album I largely hated but it was also the first one to ...read on »

Tamaryn

Tender New Signs

8/10 from Phil

I feel an almost instant affinity with this band because a tamarin monkey (okay, it’s spelt slightly differently but it’s near enough) once pissed on my ex-wife in...read on »

Bat For Lashes

The Haunted Man

8/10 from Clinton

When people tell me they like Florence and the Machine, rather than tell them my true feelings on the subject, I have started to say, yes but have you heard Bat For Lashes? &n...read on »

Children of The Wave

The Electric Sounds Of Far Away Choirs

8/10 from Clinton

It’s a double-edged sword for us reviewers when finding a band who sound like no-one else. On one hand in this day and age of homogenised music (within all genres) it&rs...read on »

Melody's Echo Chamber

Melody's Echo Chamber

8/10 from Clinton

Tame Impala are everywhere at the moment. The Guardian last week told me they were the best band I’d never heard. But I had heard them and so had loads of other people. ...read on »

Christ

Cathexis Motion Picture Soundtrack

8/10 from Clinton

Phil is chuntering away in the corner saying Boards of Canada over and over again.  Okay then I’ll put him out of his misery. Christ. do, indeed sound a lot like Bo...read on »

The Pyramids

Otherworldy

8/10 from Clinton

Founded 40 years ago in 1972, “Otherworldly” is the first Pyramids’ album in over 35 years. They released three albums before splitting up in 1977. I guess l...read on »

Trimbal

Confidence Boost / Saying

8/10 from Clinton

Proving once again that James Blake is a lot better than his later solo soul-lite ‘work’ would suggest, this collaboration between himself and ex-Roll Deep member ...read on »

Olan Mill

Home

8/10 from Brian

This, believe it or not, is my first serious listen to Olan Mill whom we have formerly had two previous best-selling releases in by. While I'm not getting distracted by my u...read on »

Drape

An Idea And Its Map

8/10 from Li'l Biz

Ambient craftsmen Ryan Gracey and Spencer Williams a.k.a Drape follow up their mental split tape collaboration with Odd Nosdam with an epic full length on Infraction. As with ...read on »

Tokolosh

The Hollow / TokoHorse

8/10 from Mike

Good ol’ Static Caravan have sent us a new 7” this week from this five-piece Tokolosh, about whom I know nothing. Put the needle on the groove and you’re tre...read on »

Various

Phrenology

8/10 from Phil

The Runnningonair label serves up a nice little comp CD which was released for a show they’ve done/ are doing. I can’t possibly tell you which! It is/was availab...read on »

Stephan Mathieu

Coda (for wk)

8/10 from Phil

The last thing I heard by this guy was the Remain CD on Line which was one of the most intense things I’ve heard. It proper blew me away! Here’s a rare CD single b...read on »

Blacklisters

Blklstrs

8/10 from Phil

I saw these guys play live a coupla years ago at a festival in Leeds and they were the highlight of the day for me. A year or 2 later they’re signed to Brew Records of L...read on »

Of Montreal

Daughter Of Cloud

8/10 from Phil

I remember back in the day when no one bought Of Montreal records apart from a handful of eccentric loonies and now you’re all at it. All of you! In fact so many of you...read on »

Trust

TRST

8/10 from Mike

Weirdly enough, this album from Canadian duo Trust opens with the outro from the Pet Shop Boys’ ‘It’s A Sin’, over which Klaus Kinski (as Nosferatu) ...read on »

Plasma

Ectoplasma

8/10 from Li'l Biz

First up, it's good see Finders Keepers back on their feet and releasing vinyl again. This strictly limited 7" is a companion release to their eagerly awaited compilation of...read on »

Fun Adults

Sap Solid/Acacia

8/10 from Phil

I pulled one of these in our stock room earlier before and I was slightly bemused by the name. Fun Adults...where do these guys get their names from? Well this is their debu...read on »

Ned Collette and Joe Talia (Wirewalker)

Long You Lie

8/10 from Phil

I don’t know these guys. I don’t really know anyone we sell. I just know of them. What I’m trying to say (badly) is I’ve not heard of these guys bef...read on »

The Invisible

Generational

8/10 from Li'l Biz

Played with these guys the other day - thought they we’re daft good players and stand-up dudes. I’m assuming (sorry - no press info) that this is the first singl...read on »

Savages

I Am Here

8/10 from Mike

Hype magnets Savages have made the audacious move of making their second release a live EP, although these slick recordings don’t seem to have lost a lot in translation ...read on »

Seaming

Seaming

8/10 from Mike

I don’t know a lot about this lady but apparently she’s been having all sorts of superlatives thrown around regarding her act so I guess it’s about time I ...read on »

Cut Hands

Black Mamba (The Album)

8/10 from Brian

Professional grimacing noisy bastard "Lovely" Bill Bennett (as me girlfriend likes to call him after he cadged a ciggie off her at Supersonic) brings forth the percussive terr...read on »

Halls

Ark

8/10 from Brian

Another of these youngsters brandishing a form of sad, soulful confessional chamber pop for these strained times, this young south Londoner looking to dust his work with somet...read on »

Lukid

Lonely At The Top

8/10 from Brian

Well I've been struck down with an awful cold this week, always in October I land myself with this unwelcome curse but enough of my saga into of unwellness and cheers to Lukid...read on »

Dakota Suite

Accompanying Music From Other Rooms

8/10 from Brian

Not massively familiar with much Dakota Suite music. Chris Hooson and co. have been a staple feature of the dreaded Norman stockroom since its very inception but because of th...read on »

Majeure

Solar Maximum

8/10 from Brian

Always makes me giggle this music, mainly due to the fact it's really audacious and very slightly preposterous. Cosmic ‘70s disco strut, cruising sci-fi bliss-scapes and...read on »

Paul Banks

Banks

8/10 from Clinton

Main Interpol slightly strange man Paul Banks finally releases his debut album although he seems to have changed his name back from Julian Plenti. What on earth goes on in t...read on »

Blue on Blue / Os Ovni

Vision Imaginary / Holographic Dreams

8/10 from Mike

This split 12" here has two variations on dreamy synthpop on it. On side A Blue On Blue open with a kind of twinkly toytown thing that morphs into a free-churning nightmare of...read on »

September Girls

Green Eyed / Danny Wood

8/10 from Clinton

Ah, September Girls or Gurls. A good song eh? Pretty much the blueprint for every Teenage Fanclub song ever written. This is the band September Girls and they are girls appa...read on »

Sealings

Sealings

8/10 from Clinton

Forgive me if I get a little emotional during this review but I’ve just got a lovely card and cake from the guys as they found out it was my birthday...thanks everyone...read on »

Ital Tek

Nebula Dance

8/10 from Brian

Jeeez, this sounds "well Planet Mu" from the off. Alan Myson opens his "difficult third album" under his iTAL tEK moniker with a chunk of plunging kaleidoscopic tribal grime...read on »

Featured albums

Paal Nilssen-Love/ Lasse Marhaug/ Massimo Pupillo
Seaming
The Men
Thisquietarmy
Black White White Light
Various
Stephan Mathieu
Kane Ikin
Snowy Red
Parastatic
At The Drive In
Superstorms
Giant Claw
Pewt'r JJJJ
Sealings
The Driftwood Manor
Various
Charlie Boyer And the Voyeurs
September Girls
Merzbow
Dakota Suite
Tom Fazzini
Crippled Black Phoenix
And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead
Main Attrakionz
Trust
Stack Waddy / Spider King
Villagers
Lukid
Paul Banks
The Bug
U.S. Girls
Plasma
Of Montreal
Palma Violets
Fieldhead
Super Biton National De Segou
African Brothers Band
Rites Of Spring
Ben Gibbard
The Invisible
Fear of Men
Lungfish
Halls
Various
Peter Broderick
Ital Tek
Pinback
My Disco
Cut Hands
Roly Porter & Cynthia Millar
Daniel Bachman
Mac DeMarco
We Are The Physics
Majeure
Savages
Fun Adults
Balmorhea
Neil Campbell & Robert Horton
Natural Snow Buildings
John Carpenter & Alan Howarth
John Carpenter
Reines D'Angleterre
Blue on Blue / Os Ovni
Blacklisters
Lungfish