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Weekly Update Blueneck, Wires Under Tension, Mike Shiflet, Lau Nau, Lichens, and more...

It’s that time of the week again, and we here in Norman Towers have been hard at work as usual. Probably even harder than usual in fact, since this week has seen our mega Brown Monday sale, with hundreds of records flying off the shelves at insanely reduced prices. I hope you were among the many who managed to bag themselves a bargain. If you missed it, why not console yourself by investigating the exciting offers we’ve got on a bunch of Home Assembly stuff at the moment?

Despite all the sale madness there have been plenty of new regular priced records coming in through our doors from all sorts of people. I’m really enjoying Andrey Kiritchenko’s classy new LP of intricate jazzy electro acoustica, and also Jim Jarmusch & Jozef Van Wissem’s heady new feedback-soaked LP for Sacred Bones, who also have some coldwavey stuff that Brian’s digging from Gothenburg duo Lust For Youth, while Robedoor’s M Geddes Gengras follows his triumphant collaboration with Sun Araw and The Congos with a his first album under his own name of astral synths and dark techno.

X-TG (“Throbbing Gristle without the dead one,” quoth Phil) send our Ant into raptures with their newie on Industrial Records, Sonic Youth have a live album with one of their first ever gigs with Steve Shelley from 1985 in Chicago, The Microphones’ seminal ‘The Glow Part 2’ has been reissued with bonus stuff on K, and we’ve got some new offerings from Fence in the shape of Rozi Plain’s second album of charmingly skewed songsmithery, a debut of sparse windswept neofolk from the talented Seamus Fogarty and a couple of singles from Pictish Trail and Randolph’s Leap.

Indiepop duo and office opinion polarisers The Lovely Eggs have a new LP of quirky, raucous fun for your ears, Greatest Hits’ Zak Maring has a new album of bedroom psych-pop ditties under his Raw Thrills alias, there’s a CD of intoxicatingly delicate scattershot electronica from Twigs & Yarn on Flau, Dakota Suite are back again with a varied album of downbeat loveliness, French inventor Jacques Brodier has a peculiar LP of contraption music which harnesses the shortwave noise in the air, Matt “Skullflower” Bower’s back with a new Sunroof album (now as Black Sun Roof) of screeching, clanging, cacophonous psychedelia, there’s a couple of reissues from sludge legends Orange Goblin, reissues and a CD box set from electronic masters To Rococo Rot, The Numero Group have reissued two by Shoes including Clinton’s favourite power-pop album of all time, and sound artist Mike Shiflet has an accomplished LP of diverse, organic-sounding drone miniatures on Under The Spire. There’s a compilation of Leeds indie-poppers called ‘By Hook Or By Crook’, the Drop on Down in Florida: Field Recordings of African American Traditional Music 1977-1980 comp pretty much explains itself, as does Jukebox Mambo - Rumba & Afro-Latin Accented Rhythm & Blues 1949 - 1960, The Black Lips are live at Third Man, and other long-players are here from Lichens, Felicia Atkinson, Gate, Smegma, Numbers Not Names, Kluster, Plateaus, Blueneck, Lento, Colossal Yes, Josef K, Toy Love, The Future Sound Of London, Lydia Lunch/Rowland S Howard, Container, Breathless, Lau Nau, Billy Roisz, Raglani, Forma, Nite Jewel, Wires Under Tension, Peepholes, House Reverends, Alex Cobb, Alec Cheer, Robert Macfarlane & Chris Watson, Tim Hecker & Daniel Lopatin, Triad God, By The Sea, I Am Ampersand, The Twilight Sad...oh, and Cerys Matthews has done a Christmas album. Great.

As for the singles, we’ve got a second EP of sunny ‘90s-style post-grungegaze from Cheatahs, and a couple of tasty sevens of UK garage rock from Leicester newcomers Thee Ludds and veteran Wild Billy Childish & his Spartan Dreggs, Laura J Martin has teamed up with Tunng’s Mike Lindsay for a gorgeous EP of experimental pop as Bonus Skor, Cloudland Canyon have the second in their trio of Sonic Boom-produced 12”s of cosmic synth chaos, The Child of Lov has a weird debut 7” of alien soul-funk pop, and other short-form releases are here from Friends/Total Slacker, Tropic of Cancer, Annelies Monsere/Circle Bros, Maigret Jnr, DVA, Marcel Dettmann, The Cribs/Jen Schande, Night Beds, Among Brothers, Cheap Time, Ex-Cult, The Wind-Up Birds, The White Stripes and a certain drcarlsonalbion & The Hackney Lass.

And before I finish I should also mention that ‘Acid Archives’ author Patrick Lundborg has a mammoth new volume named Psychedelia: An Ancient Culture, A Modern Way Of Life which looks amazing.

That’s it! See you next week.

Bald Mikey Childish and the Norman Dregs


Best records this week

According to our review team at least...

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 »

Andrey Kiritchenko

Chrysalis

9/10 from Mike

Ooh, this is a bit of a treat. To my shame I hadn’t heard of this Andrey Kiritchenko fella (or if I had, I’d forgotten his name) until I discovered this record ...read on »

Thee Ludds

Crumhorn/ Skeleton Rider

9/10 from Mike

Aha, here’s a single from the UK’s garagiest garage rockers Thee Ludds in a tasty looking meat-sleeve. On the disc itself are two juicy prime cuts of the band&r...read on »

M. Geddes Gengras

Test Leads

9/10 from ReviewBot300

When that amazing Sun Araw, M Geddes Gengras & The Congos record came out at the start of the summer it took us ages to twig who Gengras was and where he’d come...read on »

Black Sun Roof

Feral

9/10 from ReviewBot300

Here’s the long-awaited new album from Matt “Skullflower” Bower’s Sunroof!, or Black Sun Roof as they/he are/is calling them/himselves/self this time r...read on »

Various

By Hook or By Crook

9/10 from Clinton

Leeds. I’m in it today. It’s raining, almost pitch black and completely grim. This unrelenting, unremitting greyness is maybe why it produces so many great under...read on »

Bonus Skor

Bonus Skor

9/10 from Mike

Named after a shoe shop in Iceland, this Bonus Skor collaboration came about when “flute wrangler” Laura J Martin got together with Tunng/Cheek Mountain Thief&rs...read on »

Jozef Van Wissem & Jim Jarmusch

The Mystery of Heaven

9/10 from ReviewBot300

The opening of this record immediately reminds me of Songs: Ohia’s ‘The Lioness’ - a wearily picked chord progression cutting through silence. Instead of t...read on »

Sonic Youth

Smart Bar Chicago 1985

9/10 from Mike

Sonic Youth, let’s face it, are a band we all love and a valued part of our modern lives, so how are we supposed to fill the yawning void left in our lives while they&...read on »

Shoes

Black Vinyl Shoes

9/10 from Clinton

Allow me to be self indulgent for a moment, I generally need no excuse but seeing as pretty much MY FAVOURITE ALBUM OF ALL TIME has come into stock, surely I’m allowed...read on »

The Lovely Eggs

Wildlife

9/10 from Brian

There are a handful of bands that only poor "musical tramp" Brian likes in this office. Mike thought it was hilarious that I got the new Lovely Eggs albumen to review while ...read on »

Josef K

Sorry For Laughing (+ The TV Art Demos CD)

9/10 from Brian

Holy Crap! I said to Phil I was gonna sack off reviewing JK's hallowed "unreleased" début 'Sorry For Laughing' in favour of concentrating on the curious enclosed bon...read on »

Burial

Street Halo EP / Kindred EP

9/10 from Clinton

Clintony scrawled this enthused gush-forth 'bout Street Halo: Here he comes to save the day. As dubstep slowly morphs into chilled out electronic pop (Darkstar), wibbling cof...read on »

X-TG

Desertshore / The Final Report

9/10 from Ant

The Mission Is Terminated. Or so we thought. In 2007 Throbbing Gristle rose from the ashes and reunited to create the brilliant 'Part Two: The Endless Not' and played some bli...read on »

Lichens

Litio Folk

9/10 from Brian

This is a very lovely sounding record from the super-multi-talented ex-90 Day Man who made the recent live shows by Om sound even more stratospheric than ever the other mont...read on »

Legowelt

The Paranormal Soul

9/10 from Ant

Whoa! It doesn’t seem that long since Legowelt’s last album ‘The Teac Life’ but then Danny Wolfers release schedule is pretty restless. This guy must b...read on »

Lau Nau

Valohiukkanen

9/10 from Brian

This record is easily one of the most sublime releases I've had the pleasure of meeting through the long-running Finnish psych folk stable Fonal. What used to be a safe haven ...read on »

Lust For Youth

Growing Seeds

9/10 from Brian

Oh bloody hell here come the goths again. My mate used to come to Leeds just to go goth spotting and believe me, there was a fair amount of the pasty-faced miserablists shuf...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 »

Raw Thrills

Sick Steez

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Raw Thrills, aka Greatest Hits’ Zak Mering, is back with his second album of adventurous bedroom weirdpop, squeezing an astonishing 16 experimental, psychedelic nugget...read on »

Jacques Brodier

Filtre De Realite

8/10 from Mike

As the press release makes clear, Jacques Brodier isn’t exactly a musician per se, but an “artist, researcher, writer and inventor”...actually, the press r...read on »

Annelies Monsere / Circle Bros

Split EP

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Here’s a mega-limited (100 only!) split 7” from a couple of seasoned Belgian experimentalists, Annelies Monsere and Morc Records dude Wim “Circle Bros&rdqu...read on »

Gate

Damned Revolutions

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Fuzz fans will be happy to see that we’ve managed to score a few copies of this very limited new LP from Dead C guitarist Michael Morley’s long-running Gate solo...read on »

Seamus Fogarty

God Damn You Mountain

8/10 from Clinton

I need to go up to Anstruther, home of Fence Records, just to see what it’s like. I have no excuse not to go, it’s just up the coast somewhere, right? Fence seem...read on »

Rozi Plain

Joined Sometimes Unjoined

8/10 from Clinton

It’s Fence day here at the Towers, although this appears to be a split release with Need No Water. So I’ve seen the name bandied around but I’ve never hear...read on »

Mike Shiflet

The Choir, The Army

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Sound artist Mike Shiflet seems to have had releases by a whole load of big hitters in the past, including Type and Digitalis, and now it’s the turn of trusty ol&rsquo...read on »

Wild Billy Childish & The Spartan Dreggs

We Spartan Dreggs (Be Fine)

8/10 from Mike

Well it’s only evergreen garage rocker Billy bleedin’ Childish again isn’t it. I’ve just learned that this month his Spartan Dreggs are bringing out ...read on »

The Child Of Lov

Heal

8/10 from Mike

The Child of Lov is a mysterious, reclusive youngster who started recording his own unique brand of bedroom soul-funk at the age of 15. Now in his early twenties, he’s...read on »

Cheatahs

SANS

8/10 from Mike

This is the second 12” EP by London’s Cheatahs, who feature members of Male Bonding and Weird Dreams, treating us to four more songs of their nostalgic-sounding ...read on »

Dakota Suite

An Almost Silent Life

8/10 from Clinton

Dakota Suite are nothing if not prolific these days. Its hard to imagine but there was a time not so long ago they didn’t release any albums at all. This one comes in th...read on »

Twigs & Yarn

The Language Of Flowers

8/10 from Clinton

I’ve just spent an hour trying to file away this weeks releases. Can I just ask something, nicely? Can people stop releasing records please? A good percentage of them...read on »

Robert Macfarlane & Chris Watson

The Sea Road

8/10 from Clinton

“Listen, listen now. Listen now to the songs of the googamen.......the burbling puffins........”. This is a collaboration between author Robert MacFarlane and so...read on »

Container

LP (2)

8/10 from Clinton

On the whole, I’m a misery guts. Whining about this, whingeing about that and if doing neither of those things then grumbling about something completely different. The...read on »

Maigret Jnr

Sick Friends EP

8/10 from Clinton

Like anyone, I can have a low voice if I want to- especially if I’m in full on seduction mode (readers, please calm yourselves) . I’m not sure how low it would b...read on »

Yuri Lugovskoy

Yuri Lugovskoy

8/10 from Ant

My first encounter with Yuri Lugovskoy’s music was around two and a half years ago through his debut CD (also self-titled) on Moteer. The Ukranian artist’s soph...read on »

Tim Hecker & Daniel Lopatin

Instrumental Tourist

8/10 from Ant

It was quite an unexpected discovery to find that these two chaps had collaborated on an album, but hey far stranger things have occurred. From the off you very much get the s...read on »

Alex Cobb

Passage to Morning

8/10 from Brian

Yo, this could be a load of old Cobb-lers, being yet another undulating, reverberating pile of old drone but it often has that magic profound quality that gets stuck in your...read on »

Cloudland Canyon

Prophetic Frequencies

8/10 from Brian

It amuses me that in the press release, this duo are accused of being ‘Synth abusing weirdos’. There doesn’t seem to be much occurring in the way of actual...read on »

Diamond Version

EP2

8/10 from Brian

Impact-wise I’m unsure how I would react to ‘Science For A Better Life’ in a club. I love bits by both producers and this is very much the work of both Bye...read on »

The Wind-Up Birds

The Mild Awards

8/10 from Brian

These fellas are one of those passionate feisty homegrown bands you cannot help but be energised by. They're kind of what you'd term new-wave pub-rock doom and channel the ...read on »

Triad God

NXB

8/10 from Clinton

“Imagine Arab Strap if they came from Vietnam rather than Glasgow.” This is what Phil said to me as he passed me this record to review apart from saying he has a...read on »

I Am Ampersand

Grave Goods

8/10 from Clinton

We had a single in recently by I am Ampersand (the new name for the guy who was one half of Fujiya & Miyagi) which flew out at a rate of knots. The single was rather goo...read on »

Minny Pops

Waiting For This To Happen / Glistering

8/10 from Clinton

Having run out of English and American bands to reform we are now looking to Holland and obscure long forgotten Factory outfits to fulfill the quota. It has to be reiterate...read on »

Love Cult

Fingers Crossed

8/10 from Mike

One of my favourite ever bands, Norsk-psych chameleons Motorpsycho, once brought out an album called ‘It’s A Love Cult’ and I have my “fingers crosse...read on »

Plateaus

Plateaus

8/10 from ReviewBot300

As a man who spends more of his life than he would like reviewing records by non-American bands doing their damndest to sound American, it’s interesting to have a reco...read on »

Featured albums

Orange Goblin
Orange Goblin
Patrick Lundborg
Lau Nau
Breathless
The Wind-Up Birds
Seamus Fogarty
Twigs & Yarn
Alex Cobb
Mike Shiflet
Rozi Plain
The Pictish Trail
Annelies Monsere / Circle Bros
Andrey Kiritchenko
Alec Cheer
Thee Ludds
Felicia Atkinson
Raglani
Smegma
Jacques Brodier
Tropic of Cancer
Robert Macfarlane & Chris Watson
Lichens
Billy Roisz
Gate
Raw Thrills
Friends / Total Slacker
Container
drcarlsonalbion & The Hackney Lass: Modern
Various
Forma
The Future Sound Of London
Lydia Lunch / Rowland S. Howard
Triad God
Kluster
I Am Ampersand
House Reverends
Shoes
Among Brothers
The Twilight Sad
Black Lips
Ex-Cult
The White Stripes
The Child Of Lov
Peepholes
Shoes
Toy Love
Night Beds
Cheap Time
The White Stripes
Cloudland Canyon
To Rococo Rot
Lust For Youth
The Cribs / Jen Schande
X-TG
The Lovely Eggs
Bonus Skor
Nite Jewel
Jozef Van Wissem & Jim Jarmusch
Sonic Youth
Wires Under Tension
Josef K
Cerys Matthews
Marcel Dettmann
Dakota Suite
DVA
Colossal Yes
By The Sea
Maigret Jnr
Lento
Various
Blueneck
Wild Billy Childish & The Spartan Dreggs
Tim Hecker & Daniel Lopatin
M. Geddes Gengras
Plateaus
Numbers Not Names
The Microphones
The White Stripes