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Weekly Update Atoms For Peace, Ithaca Trio, Chad Valley, Mouse On Mars, Temples, and more...

It has been frankly a chaotic week here at Norman Towers, and it’s fair to say we’re collectively knackered and ready for the weekend. People have been poorly, our trusty ReviewBot broke down, and even the site itself had a little meltdown midweek when somebody might have accidentally wiped the entire database or something. [Sorry about that, guys. Nathon. x] It’s been a right hassle, and the records haven’t stopped pouring in either. I think I need a holiday.

I can’t have one yet, though, because I’ve got records to describe. The LP edition of the Neneh Cherry & The Thing remix album has arrived and sounds ace, and there’s also a very interesting-looking 2LP of Philip Glass remixes from the likes of Beck, Amon Tobin, Dan Deacon and Johann Johannsson on The Kora Records, and post-rock survivors Mogwai have another remix album too! Mount Eerie is worthy of a special mention this week as well on account of the fact that he has TWO new albums, a 2LP of singles and rarities, and a weird experimental 7” where he plays all the songs from his last two albums over each other. Busy lad.

As well as that, Snow Palms has a particularly gorgeous LP of twinkly percussion and sweeping strings, Total Control lads UV Race have a superb third LP of smart garagey post-punk, Mind Over Mirrors has a new LP of cosmic synths and processed harmonium drones, BEAK>’s Matt Williams continues to reinvent himself, this time with some krauty synthpop as Fairhorns, and psych madheads Koolaid (Global Tyranny) have changed their name to Alien Ballroom for their new LP, if you’re into your dark ambience you may well be tempted by Kreng’s giant ‘Works For Abbatoir Ferme 2007-2011’ 4LP and 10” box, grunge fossils Soundgarden are resurrected with a brand new album, there’s a limited LP of rarities from ‘90s dreampoppers Flying Saucer Attack, and Luke Haines enlists a couple of buddies for a bizarre, sprawling pseudo-history lesson as The North Sea Scrolls.

The ever reliable Finders Keepers have compiled some riffy Manc-rock on their punnily-named ‘Man Chest Hair’ collection, there’s an impressive three disc box set of rare hillbilly 78s from 1923-36 called ‘Work Hard, Play Hard, Pray Hard’ on Tompkins Square, while newcomer Jessica Pratt emerges with her debut LP of gently picked, intimate folky songsmithery, The Sea & Cake’s long out of print debut LP has been reissued, and that’s before I’ve mentioned the fresh stock we’ve got from Tussle, My Education, Sudden Death of Stars, Sproatly Smith, Ithaca Trio, Strange Idols, Public Nuisance, Pernice Brothers, Raime, Julian Cope, Azita, Sigha, Mouse On Mars, Julian Curwin, Sungod and Chad Valley.

Meanwhile in singlesville, Thom Yorke and some famous cohorts have unveiled the first fruits of their labours as Atoms For Peace, Cloudland Canyon have a 12” on Trensmat with two 10-minute voyages into a danceable cosmic synth wilderness, there’s a split 7” on Drag City with a swaggering laid-back rock groover from ZZ Top’s Billy F Gibbons while Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy & Matt Sweeney sweetly try to break your heart on the flip, there’s a haunting 7” of blurred ethereal synthpop from Rome’s mysterious Mushy, original goth babe Elvira and the Black Belles team up for an expensively packaged novelty pic 7”, and yet more singles have arrived from the likes of Deap Vally, Twerps, Childhood, Wake The President/Casual Sex, Valerie June, Indians, Mala, Dro Carey, Starkey, Temples, The Vaccines, Wild Belle, Dracula Lewis, Dawn McCarthy & Bonny Billy, Jack White and LB Lynam.

And if you can’t find something you like in there then I think you’re in the wrong shop dude.

Mikey Hopkins and the Normfinder Generals

xo


Best records this week

According to our review team at least...

Bee Mask

When We Were Eating Unripe Pears

9/10 from Mike

The mysterious Bee Mask always seems to make people’s ears prick up when he comes on the stereo...this one had Li’l Biz asking what it was within a couple of min...read on »

Dariush Dolat-Shahi

Electronic Music, Tar and Sehtar

9/10 from Ant

A Smithsonian Folkways classic has been unearthed to introduce to a new generation. Just when you think every stone has been unturned and every archive obscurity has been re-i...read on »

Mahmoud Ahmed

Mahmoud Ahmed

9/10 from Brian

Apparently, according to our dear departed Dave (he’s not dead though, like I said, no-one has died) Mr. Ahmed is the total Daddy of Ethiopian singers. This eponymous ...read on »

Guided By Voices

The Bears For Lunch

9/10 from Brian

Didn't expect this to actually live up to its glowing press release but it pretty much does. 'The Bears For Lunch' is the magic number three of a well-documented trilogy of ...read on »

Mugstar

Axis

9/10 from Brian

Mike was shocked the other day when I told him I had never seen Mugstar live. That is if you can imagine Mike actually registering anything as horrifying as shock. I think a...read on »

Golden Donna

Golden Donna

9/10 from Brian

Punny name alert but don’t worry, the music on this sublime disc of wax is no joke - this is one of the best things NNF have put their name to in the last couple of y...read on »

Tyvek

On Triple Beams

9/10 from Mike

Tyvek’s last album proper, ‘Nothing Fits’ was my introduction to the band, a sloppy, snotty blast of obnoxious garage punk delivered at breakneck speed, it...read on »

Brian Eno

LUX

9/10 from Brian

As with all Eno's 'Music For...’ series there'll be those that sneer with derision at the supposed nothingness and futility of ambient because they think all music sho...read on »

Horrid Red

Nightly Wreaths

9/10 from ReviewBot300

I’m a great advocate of everything Teenage Panzerkorps/Horrid Red-related...there’s something about their brand of muffled Ameri-Deutsch post-punk that never fai...read on »

Teenage Panzerkorps

Teenage Panzerkorps

9/10 from Mike

This 7" has the best Teenage Panzerkorps song on it, 'Arc de Triomphe'. If you like this band then you need this one. That's all I have to say....read on »

Neneh Cherry & The Thing

The Cherry Thing Remixes

9/10 from Mike

Neneh Cherry & The Thing’s ‘The Cherry Thing’ has been one of my surprise hits of 2012; an unlikely combination of seasoned free Scandi-jazzers and po...read on »

UV Race

Racism

9/10 from Mike

The reliable In The Red seem to have been on a particularly golden streak this year, with killer releases from (among others) The Intelligence, Ty Segall, Tyvek, Thee Oh Sees,...read on »

Mount Eerie

Ocean Roar

9/10 from ReviewBot300

Phil Elverum has been a busy lad lately. His most recent album ‘Clear Moon’ was a critical triumph and as far as I’m aware it sold pretty well too, and this ...read on »

Mount Eerie

Ocean Moon/ Ocean Roar

9/10 from Phil

This is an interesting release! if you’re a bit skint and can’t afford both of this years Mount Eerie albums then you can buy this 7” which has every track...read on »

Sungod

Crash Galactic

9/10 from Phil

Aha. Something cosmic for my ears. Nice! I never heard the cassette by these guys on Expo 70’s label that came out a while back but rest assured I wanted to. After a q...read on »

Mushy

1984

9/10 from ReviewBot300

At first I thought that this 7” was a reissue of one made in 1984, but on closer inspection it appears to be new record whose title is ‘1984’, perhaps in ...read on »

Mogwai

A Wrenched Virile Lore

9/10 from Phil

Mogwai are back with a brand new album! Well when I say brand new it’s Hardcore Will Never Die’ remixed by all and sundry. And when I say all and sundry and I d...read on »

My Education

A Drink For All My Friends

9/10 from Phil

Many many moons ago, when you were all very small and Norman Records was based in a cave where I lived with the forest creatures, I ran a label called Jonathon Whiskey which f...read on »

Snow Palms

Intervals

9/10 from Clinton

My Friday morning malaise is immediately broken by a quick glance at the press release and a realisation that this is the work of David Sheppard (Phelan/Sheppard/Ellis Isla...read on »

Sigha

Living With Ghosts

9/10 from Ant

James Shaw’s productions as Sigha first emerged back in 2009 on Hotflush and since he’s been steadily knocking out some superb 12”s for the label along with ...read on »

Raime

Quarter Turns Over A Living Line

9/10 from Brian

Not one for the office first thing on a Monday maybe - bit bleak and oppressive - but I pinched this disc in order to unpick its dark enigmatic stitches in a more appropria...read on »

Strange Idols

Idolatry

9/10 from Brian

This cult London quintet were a sharp thorn of genuine old-skool indie passion caught in a boorish landscape of dreadful NME sponsored Strokes/Clash-aping acts who formed ar...read on »

R.Ring

Fall Out & Fire

9/10 from Clinton

Quite a lot of so-so records this week but it’s nice to bring a bit of Ibrahimovic-like class at the end with this nice little 7” by R. Ring, which features none...read on »

The Evens

The Odds

9/10 from Mike

It’s been a while now since Ian Mackaye’s legendary Fugazi went on hiatus and he started recording and touring with Amy Farina as The Evens, producing an altoget...read on »

Lee Gamble

Diversions 1994-1996

8/10 from Ant

The first time I heard Lee Gamble twisting old Jungle sounds into new and unexpected shapes was when I tuned into Resonance FM to listen to a Dalglish mix and someone had cock...read on »

LA Vampires With Maria Minerva

The Integration

8/10 from ReviewBot300

On this album Maria Minerva cross-pollinates her synthy lo-fi weirdpop with LA Vampires’ distant, sun-bleached house bump for a sultry album of hazy, distant synthpop ...read on »

Darkstar

Timeaway

8/10 from Brian

I’m one of those moaning stuck-in-a-rut buggers that wishes Darkstar had continued experimenting within a dubstep vein as there’s three twelves by them I could n...read on »

Dawn Hunger

Stumbling Room / Billowed Wind

8/10 from Brian

Fucking weird twelve from the one half of Fuck Buttons that didn’t do that ambient album on Mogwai’s label. One side ‘Billowed Wind’ is pretty abstra...read on »

The Babies

Our House On The Hill

8/10 from Clinton

Although most likely consisting of the sweepings off the floor of the ‘Tracker’ bar factory, a Sainsbury’s basics ‘Chocolate Chip and Raisin Bar&rsq...read on »

Snowgoose

Harmony Springs

8/10 from Clinton

Yesterday I was aching...ACHING to just disappear to a little wind-blown bolthole nestling in a quiet corner of the Yorkshire dales, fire crackling away in the corner. IPad,...read on »

Blank Realm

Go Easy

8/10 from Clinton

From Australia but by the Pere Ubu-style noise quirk you may think that they’d emerged from an industrial US city, Cleveland or Detroit for example. On ‘Cleaning...read on »

Thelightshines

Soul To Skin

8/10 from Clinton

It’s not every day you hear the autoharp but here it is, trilling away. Another 7” on the dependable Great Pop Supplement which, if you are a fan of lolloping, ...read on »

Ratking

Wiki93

8/10 from Brian

Curious story about these guys. The lead rapster/public face is called ‘Wiki’ and he’s a handsome young lad of Puerto Rican/Irish descent with a cracking m...read on »

Steve Hauschildt

Sequitur

8/10 from Ant

This is the second solo album for Kranky from Emeralds' Steve Hauschildt following on from the excellent 'Tragedy & Geometry'. From opener 'Interconnected' it's clear we'...read on »

Butterfly Child

No Longer Living In Your Shadow

8/10 from Clinton

Okay, hands up who HASN’T reformed. I can see Mr Morrissey and Mr Marr’s hands go up but...anyone else? There are so many reformations that even an old cynic lik...read on »

Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe

Timon Irnok Manta

8/10 from Clinton

It’s a view held by myself that it’s easier to get away with producing music of an experimental bent than to actually construct something with a bit of a tune in i...read on »

Alien Ballroom

Zero Pac A.D.

8/10 from Mike

Agitated Records previously released a very limited and out-there LP from these lads under the name Koolaid (Global Tyranny), but having decided that there’s a surfeit o...read on »

Ithaca Trio

New Music From the Delta Quadrant

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Ithaca Trio are in fact a Leodensian duo of Oliver Thurley and James Lavender and they’ve got a new CD here for us from those drifty bliss-merchants at Hibernate, mast...read on »

Mind Over Mirrors

Check Your Swing

8/10 from Mike

Cosmic harmonium dronesmith Jaime “Mind Over Mirrors” Fennelly (also of Peeesseye and Acid Birds) is back with his third LP in two years, ‘Check Your Swing...read on »

Fairhorns

Doki Doki Run

8/10 from Mike

This CD here is the work of Matt Williams, best known for being a member of Geoff Barrow’s excellent BEAK> but also for his alter egos Team Brick and Knife Liibrary...read on »

Temples

Shelter Song / Prisms

8/10 from Mike

Wow, this is properly shameless ‘60s revivalism and make no mistake! All the ingredients are present and correct, jangly shuffle beat, soulful backing vocals, psych-tw...read on »

Atoms For Peace

Default

8/10 from Mike

Well this one’s certainly interesting, and I expect a fair few of you have been eagerly awaiting its arrival. After getting together to translate Yorke’s solo a...read on »

Twerps

Work It Out

8/10 from Mike

I was pleasantly surprised by Twerps’ LP of sunshiney slacker pop that came out on Underwater Peoples earlier in the year and now they’re back with this three so...read on »

Wake The President / Casual Sex

A Mao Disney 45 From Glasgow

8/10 from Mike

I’m a little unclear as to exactly what Mao Disney is but as far as I can tell they’re some kind of Glasgow indie collective (we’ve got a comp LP from them...read on »

Times New Viking

Over & Over

8/10 from ReviewBot300

This new EP from Times New Viking is pretty much a mini-album, giving us six whole new songs on a 33rpm 12”. They start strongly too, dispensing of much of their previ...read on »

Mouse On Mars

WOW

8/10 from Phil

Mouse On Mars are back for their 11th album. It only seems like yesterday I was listening to Vulvaland and Ioara Tahiti (actually I was listening to Ioara Tahiti yesterday!)...read on »

Jack White

I'm Shakin'

8/10 from Phil

Jack White is on a mission to bring blues rock to the masses. Not being content with Blueshammer’s attempt in Ghost World, the Willy Wonka of rock is determined to con...read on »

Dracula Lewis

Permafrost

8/10 from Li'l Biz

Dracula Lewis returns with a 45rpm 12” for the excellent Souterrain Transmissions, and he’s on fine form, dispensing four golden nuggets of lo-fi synth ambience ...read on »

The North Sea Scrolls

The North Sea Scrolls

8/10 from ReviewBot300

I’ve long been a fan of Luke Haines. I celebrate him as one of the country’s most acerbic, mischievous and underappreciated songwriters, and he’s more oft...read on »

Billy F. Gibbons / Matt Sweeney / Bonnie Prince Billy

Oh Well / Storms

8/10 from Mike

Got a weird pairing on this split 7” from Drag City, with Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy teaming up with regular collaborator Matt Sweeney for a nostalgic bit of co...read on »

Jessica Pratt

Jessica Pratt

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Phil says people are talking about this record as far and wide as Pitchfork, so surely this Pratt lassie ain’t fooling around, and it’s easy to see why people ar...read on »

Cloudland Canyon

Born Blonde

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Cloudland Canyon’s last 12”, on the Great Pop Supplement and now sadly long gone, was crammed full of blissed out cosmic synth action crammed with spacious analo...read on »

Sudden Death of Stars

Getting Up, Going Down

8/10 from Mike

I’m not familiar with this French psych troupe but apparently they’ve already had a well-received debut 7” and this is on the same label that put out that ...read on »

Edie Sedgwick

We Wear White

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Edie Sedgwick is the long-running solo outlet of Justin Moyer, who has also been variously involved in El Guapo, Supersystem, Antelope and SPRCSS over the years. Now, howeve...read on »

Various

Portal 2 Soundtrack: Songs To Test By Collectors Edition

8/10 from Phil

Valve make great videogames. That’s a fact! Portal 2 is a great videogame. That’s another fact. It combined the genres of shooty and puzzle with physics and thou...read on »

Dawn McCarthy & Bonnie 'Prince' Billy

Christmas Eve Can Kill You

8/10 from Phil

Is it Bonnie or Bonny? Or does it change all the time? I don’t know anymore. This week has been a pain in the tits and I’m unable to do things properly now... An...read on »

bvdub

All Is Forgiven

8/10 from Clinton

You could time my sleep last night in seconds rather than minutes. It was a sheer waste of time for all concerned. Thursday nights? This feller aint sleepin’. Whether ...read on »

Roll The Dice meets Pole

In Dubs

8/10 from Clinton

I met Pole once - he could be described in one word - cuddly. Never met Roll the Dice though but I’m sure they are cuddly in their own way. Here they’ve hooked u...read on »

GR

A Reverse Age

8/10 from Clinton

When I get in on a Friday morning I sit myself down and after telling me about all the various ailments affecting Norman Records staff, Phil goes through my review pile with...read on »

Mark Lanegan / Karen Dalton

Same Old Man

8/10 from Clinton

Here, ol’ gravel voice Mark Lanegan covers a tune by ‘70s folk minstrel Karen Dalton and who am I to argue. It’s great. In the background churning strings,...read on »

Various

Rework_ Philip Glass Remixed

8/10 from Mike

One of America’s greatest ever composers gets the remix treatment. What is it with remix albums this week - are they back? Anyway it’s always an odd thing the re...read on »

Harold Budd

Bandits Of Stature

8/10 from Clinton

What we have in our warm, clammy hands is an album featuring a slew of new compositions for string quartet by ambient master Harold Budd. These are minimal, sometimes melodi...read on »

Nico Muhly

Drones

8/10 from Brian

This isn't quite the drone-fest I was anticipating from this Vermonter. His work is stationed within more abstract/avant-classical fields, primarily piano/string based, so t...read on »

Featured albums

My Education
Sproatly Smith
Cloudland Canyon
Sudden Death of Stars
Mushy
Jessica Pratt
Soundgarden
Jack White
Mind Over Mirrors
Mala
Sungod
Strange Idols
Kreng
Flying Saucer Attack
Sigha
Starkey
Julian Curwin
Ithaca Trio
Mount Eerie
Mount Eerie
Mount Eerie
Mount Eerie
UV Race
Indians
Deap Vally
The North Sea Scrolls
Wild Belle
The Vaccines
Chad Valley
Dracula Lewis
Mogwai
The Sea and Cake
Various
Snow Palms
Azita
Atoms For Peace
Dawn McCarthy & Bonnie 'Prince' Billy
Billy F. Gibbons / Matt Sweeney / Bonnie Prince Billy
Wake The President / Casual Sex
Childhood
Valerie June
Temples
Neneh Cherry & The Thing
Fairhorns
Julian Cope
LB Lynam
Raime
Mouse On Mars
Elvira / The Black Belles
Pernice Brothers
Public Nuisance
Various
Twerps
Various
Alien Ballroom
Tussle