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Weekly Update

Hello everybody, and welcome to another of our famous weekly mail-outs. Tweet-master Mike here (you do follow @normanrecords on Twitter, right?) to talk you through yet another week of vinyl and CDs from music’s gritty underbottom.

Before we get to that underbottom, just a quick Christmassy reminder or two:

  • We’re still pimping out two randomly-discounted records from our Top Fifty every day until Friday 21 December.
  • Monday 10 December is the last date for Christmas deliveries to North America and Eastern Europe.
  • Folks in Western Europe have until Wednesday 12 December.
  • You can now share your wishlists with people.
  • And, you can now buy Norman Records gift vouchers - email only, so v. useful for last-minute presents.


Right, now that we’ve got those “messages” from our “sales team” out of the way...it’s been a particularly exciting week for reissues, in my opinion at least, so I’m going to talk about those first for a change. The one I’m most ecstatic about (yes, ecstatic) is Rune Grammofon’s 4CD reissue of Motorpsycho’s classic ‘Blissard’ LP, a painstakingly comprehensive overview of the band at the peak of their powers in the mid-’90s with extensive liner notes and a massive 22 previously unreleased cuts! Labels, pay attention, THIS is how you do justice to a classic. As if that wasn’t enough, The Knife’s iconic ‘Deep Cuts’ is back on 2LP, Nurse With Wound’s hard to find ‘A Sucked Orange’ and ‘Scrag’ are out on double CD, early ‘80s coldwavey Belgian synthpoppers Twilight Ritual have had their excellent ‘Rituals’ LP repressed, and there’s a tenth anniversary expanded edition of Interpol’s ‘Turn On The Bright Lights’, not to mention that Leeds indie veterans Cud’s ‘Leggy Mambo’ and PWEI’s ‘Now For A Feast’ are back on vinyl too. Oh, there’s Beach House’s ‘Devotion’, a couple of Jawbreaker classics and the “JD Salinger of r’n’b” D’Angelo’s ‘Voodoo’ (featuring the mega-classy live rhythm section of ?uestlove and Pino Palladino) on deluxe 2LP as well! I bet you want at least one of those. Oh and if you want to spend £14 on The National’s ‘Virginia EP’ you can do that too. It’s entirely up to you.

As for the new albums, there’s a gorgeously packaged LP of haunting soundtracky sadness from Christoph Berg, there’s some soothing, delicate drift from Heathered Pearls on Ghostly International, Cat’s Eye Rachel Zeffira has her first solo album, as has The Coral’s Ian Skelly, Celer has another limited-to-100 LP of heart-stopping ambience, Yellow6 has another of his Christmas CDs of soundtracky loveliness, while on the livelier side of things there’s an LP of unique crunchy genre-skipping psych-noise grooves from Cherrystones, and Horse Arm have sent us some lively and unpredictable noise-pop from Buttonhead and wild early ‘90s-style noise rock from Poino. “Splatter-folk” types Thinguma*jigSaw have a new 2LP and separate CD of spooky organic beauty, Earth’s Dylan “drcarlsonalbion” Carlson is the latest to contribute to Southern’s awesome Latitudes series, Keyhole have a Velvet Underground live show from 1968, B13 have a couple of their mysterious live classics, this time from Joy Division and Can, noise connoisseurs Urashima have a tribute LP to MSBR and also LPs from Blue Sabbath Black Cheer/Josh Lay/Wilt and Werewolf Jersualem/Vomir/Dead Body Collection, and there’s also albums I don’t have time to describe by Black Moth Super Rainbow, Twilight Sad remixes, Scanner, Simon Lord, Two People In A Room, Immigrant.

As for the singles, we’re very impressed with the two ultra-limited (99 only!) 7”s of downbeat jazziness from Sternpost and dubby post-pop from Jonas Fust, Michael Kasparis has an intriguing and excellent 7” of murky oddpop under his Apostille alias, lo-fi lady Keel Her has gone into a proper studio to record her new 7” of quality indiepop, Mi Ami lad Magic Touch & Sapphire Slows (the mysterious Tokyo blurry house wizardess) team up for an ace 12” of bumpy summer drift house on 100% Silk, synth lady Julia Holter has a 12” with both the ‘Goddess Eyes’es from her last album and a couple of new cuts, Clinic and Stephen Malkmus are remixed on a 12” for Domino, and there’s other singles from Tomahawk, Connan Mockasin, Fred Locks, Braiden, Pure Bathing Culture, Old Apparatus, Laurel Halo, Gemmy, Dalhous, Dark Times, Nathan Fake, Eugene McGuinness, Alexis Taylor, Danny Clay, The #1s, Mystyrys, Harry Merry and last but not least ex-Ladybug Transistor lady The Garment District is remixed by good ol’ Sonic Boom!

Whatever you’re doing, do it kindly.

The Velvet Undermike and the Exploding Norman Inevitable


Best records this week

According to our review team at least...

Pierre Bastien

Machinations

9/10 from Brian

Never really heard previous sonic endeavours from this chap. He’s a Parisian composer knocking on 60 years old whose first UK-released material was for Rephlex a decade ...read on »

Madteo

Noi No

9/10 from Ant

This is Matteo Ruzzon’s second album following the somewhat desirable debut on Morphine Records. I’ve been looking forward to getting to grips with this one since ...read on »

Rrose

Wedge Of Chastity

9/10 from Ant

Yet more solid wares from Rrose on his own Eaux imprint. If you’re still weeping about the demise of Sandwell District then rest assured this guy is still flying the fla...read on »

Truss

Splot

9/10 from Ant

Tom Russell seems to be gaining a lot of support lately under his MPIA3 guise, having recently been picked up by R&S, but personally I prefer his productions as Truss. Thi...read on »

Bleaching Agent

Part Two

9/10 from Ant

The second Mira 10” from Bleaching Agent is as twisted if not more so than the first. ‘75ml’ has a pretty funky bassline and looped drums over which some men...read on »

SHXCXCHCXSH

rjrjrffrjrj

9/10 from Ant

I just tried typing the artist and title name out for this and cocked it up so I’m not even gonna attempt it again. Apparently this is a Swedish artist but that’s ...read on »

Mission Of Burma

Learn How: The Essential Mission of Burma

9/10 from Brian

Well, let's face it, Mission of Burma were one of the most exciting, incendiary American bands. They straddled the intersection where the raw, chaotic visceral thrill of post-...read on »

Mushy

Breathless

9/10 from Brian

After her recent collaboration with the enigma that is Thierry Muller and his reactivated Ruth project, this Roman beauty surfaces with her own new full length after languishi...read on »

Twilight Ritual

Rituals

9/10 from Mike

Here’s a timely reissue of this lost treasure from early ‘80s Belgian coldwavey synthpoppy types Twilight Ritual, the original of which was going for collector pri...read on »

Christoph Berg

Paraphrases

9/10 from ReviewBot300

Blimey, they’ve really gone to town with the packaging on this one. Housed in a beautiful gatefold sleeve, you get an LP, a CD in a thick card fold-out book thing, a mas...read on »

Buttonhead

3D Opera Whale

9/10 from ReviewBot300

I’ve already reviewed one album on this Horse Arm label earlier today, the early-’90s-style noise rock of Poino, so I was expecting something like that from this o...read on »

Apostille

Wrong / The Road To War

9/10 from Mike

I’ve not heard Apostille before, but further investigation reveals it to be Night School honcho Michael Kasparis’s solo thing. ‘Wrong’ is a murky littl...read on »

Jonas Fust

Bulb in dust

9/10 from Mike

This very limited (only 99!) 7” from Swede Jonas Fust comes in a natty colour printed fold-out poster sleeve and a download and contains four tasty little experimental p...read on »

Meddicine / Vision Fortune

Split

9/10 from ReviewBot300

Here’s a split EP from the reliable Italian Beach Babes which pairs up analogue babe Meddicine with hypno-fuzzers Vision Fortune whose cassette debut so impressed us a f...read on »

Keel Her

Riot Grrrl

9/10 from Mike

I just had an abortive attempt at reviewing a slab of mid-’90s techno, which really isn’t my area at all, so it’s a refreshing relief to be in more comfortab...read on »

Sternpost

Sternpost

9/10 from Clinton

Limited to just 99 copies (insane considering the quality of music on board) and coming with a lovely fold out poster, this is a real surprise of a record. The opening track i...read on »

Triptides

Sun Pavilion

9/10 from Clinton

To my absolute horror, this peach of a record has been in stock for weeks yet we have somehow managed not to review it, put soundclips up or rave til we are blue in the teeth ...read on »

Cherrystones

Red Nails

9/10 from ReviewBot300

I’ve really got my work cut out trying to describe this one! Cherrystones is the alias of a certain Gareth Goddard, and on this album here he’s mixing up a whole s...read on »

Terrence Dixon

Midnight Hours / Two Sides To Every Story

9/10 from Brian

We’ve been selling rather a lot of Terrence Dixon recently but as always, we’re the last to ever see any copies (if at all) as they all get snapped up in mainland ...read on »

Motorpsycho

Blissard - Deluxe Edition

9/10 from ReviewBot300

Before I start out here, I think it’s fair to say that I’m biased when it comes to Motorpsycho, and in particular their output between the years of 1994-&rsqu...read on »

Heathered Pearls

Loyal

9/10 from Ant

I had a sneaky skip through this the other day and thought I’d save it for some late night listening to chill me out so I put it on at 2:00 AM to get in the zone. The hy...read on »

Blue Sabbath Black Cheer/Josh Lay/Wilt

Bleak

9/10 from Brian

The main track on one side of this album is an absolutely stunning monolithic sculpture of judgement day-style noise. I'm assuming it's by Blue Sabbath Black Cheer. Sorry if i...read on »

Cemeteries

The Wilderness

9/10 from Clinton

If you give Fernando Torres 100 shots on goal he might eventually score one of them, similarly let Lefse put out a lot of records and one...might...just might be a winner...an...read on »

Various

Touch. 30 years and counting

9/10 from Brian

These are virtually no labels on this planet that are in my thoughts as much as Touch these days, I have releases in my collection by almost the entire current roster, strange...read on »

Luke Abbott

Object Is A Navigator

8/10 from Brian

Loving this new Luke Abbott 12”, he’s another consummate player in the melodic electronica field that consistently delivers the goods. The title track opens procee...read on »

Peder Mannerfelt

Come Closer

8/10 from Brian

Some deep atmospheric work here from one half of Roll The Dice. I’ve opted to play this EP at 45, it sounds more enjoyable at this speed regardless of whether it’s...read on »

MPIA3

Your Orders

8/10 from Brian

No idea what the fuck is going on here, some dude has given me all the techno. Possibly as I’m the only one who actually attends techno nights bar our Ant who sprinkles ...read on »

Monopoly Child Star Searchers

The Garnet Toucan

8/10 from Clinton

Toucan eh? According to the press release the toucan is a mediator between human and nature. Next time I want to discuss something with a tree I’ll know who to ask.Anywa...read on »

Discoverer

Tunnels

8/10 from Ant

This is the work of Brandon Knocke who’s turned in a cool long player for Digitalis. From start to finish the LP is packed with sleek soulful synth-tronica and late nigh...read on »

Ian Drennan

The Wonderful World

8/10 from Clinton

R&J Foods, your flapjacks are bizarre. I’ve just bought one from the corner shop and I would dare to say it’s full of salt. I’ll probably enjoy it when I...read on »

You Walk Through Walls

Destroyed Places

8/10 from Clinton

Rising out of the ashes of Air Formation, the south coast’s You Walk Through Walls continue Club AC30’s dream pop/shoegaze revolution by sounding like all of the m...read on »

The xx

Angels / Chained

8/10 from Clinton

I desperately want to be irritated by The xx. That second album is just more of the same but that’s fine by me. I’d get more angry if they TV On The Radio’d ...read on »

The Blanche Hudson Weekend

The Deep Thrust EP

8/10 from Clinton

A retro CD single type thing for you from Leeds popsters The Blanche Hudson Weekend. Opener ‘Consume Me’ uses  the bass line from Joy Division’s ‘...read on »

Shrag

Unseasonal Thoughts

8/10 from Clinton

Shrag are a decent quality indie-pop band from Brighton who take influence from the first wave of such outfits such as Shop Assistants and Tallulah Gosh add a touch of Huggy B...read on »

Allo Darlin'

Only Dust Remains

8/10 from Clinton

I still giggle at the band name. The type of utterance an alpha male like my good self would say to a lady at some Hockney exhibition or other. Anyway I should be getting used...read on »

Various

Five Minutes To Midnight

8/10 from Clinton

This is good. It’s a collection of gospel performances from the 1960s and ‘70s culled from old dusty 7” records. Opener ‘This May Be The Last Time&rsqu...read on »

Four Tet (Fourtet)

Jupiters (Happa Remix) / Lion (Jamie XX Remix)

8/10 from Mike

Our lad Keiran ‘FourTet’ Hebden seems to have it all figured out; a lucrative residency slot to keep the moolah rolling in while he casually works on new stuff a...read on »

Talvihorros

And It Was So

8/10 from Brian

We've supported this Londoner since we stocked his first ever hand-assembled CDr way back in the mists of 2008. Ben Chatwin he goes by the name of when in the company of his r...read on »

Taylor Deupree

Faint

8/10 from Brian

I wasn't aware Taylor Deupree had been releasing ambient music for two decades now or that his esteemed 12k imprint has been operational since 1997. His first CD for this burg...read on »

Poino

Moan Loose

8/10 from Mike

This trio of noise-rocking lads are British but a brief internet search won’t tell me specifically where they’re from, so I’m going to say “London&rdqu...read on »

Thingumajigsaw

Misery Together

8/10 from ReviewBot300

I really like the idea of this record. The press release describes it as a celebration of “splatter-folk” and an homage “to the films of John Carpenter, Dari...read on »

Dalhous

Mitchell Heisman

8/10 from ReviewBot300

I don’t know a lot about this duo, but apparently Mark Dall and Alex Ander have previously brought out records on Blackest Ever Black under the name Young Hunting and th...read on »

Old Apparatus

Harem EP

8/10 from Mike

Here’s a new EP from reliable dread-merchants Old Apparatus, the third in a trilogy of solo EPs by its various members, this time a fella who calls himself Harem. It&rsq...read on »

Drcarlsonalbion

La Strega And The Cunning Man In The Smoke

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Earth honcho and living guitar legend Dylan Carlson was in the UK recently (“researching folklore and faire folk of the British Isles”, quoth the press release) an...read on »

Nathan Fake

Paean

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Electronica dude Nathan Fake is a popular man in the Norman office, with both Phil and Brian singing his praises enthusiastically when he last album dropped, so I’m curi...read on »

The #1s

The #1s

8/10 from Mike

Got a new 7” here from those fine purveyors of the UK DIY indie-rock underground at Art For Blind. This one’s from Dublin power-popsters The #1s, who feature among...read on »

yellow6

Merry6mas2012

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Evergreen neoclambient mainstay Yellow6 is back with the latest in his series of annual ‘Merry6mas’ releases, this time featuring 40 selected minutes from the two ...read on »

The Garment District

Nature-Nurture (Sonic Boom Remix)

8/10 from ReviewBot300

I’ve not heard these Garment District characters before but this 7” is out on the trusty La Station Radar and their album is on Night People AND this track has bee...read on »

Julia Holter

Goddess Eyes

8/10 from Clinton

My mouth has just taken delivery of a mince pie, the teeth are chewing away at it and some glorious juices are sliding down my throat.  Providing the soundtrack to this f...read on »

Alex Dingley

Cats Eyes

8/10 from Clinton

Seemingly only in my review pile because Phil finds the woman on the back sleeve attractive. I can’t quite figure out who she is as the Alex Dingley band seems to consis...read on »

Celer

An Immensity Merely to Save Life

8/10 from Clinton

Has anyone out there got every Celer release? And if so, where do you put them all? The thing is despite their ubiquity, once I put the needle on the record I get very quickly...read on »

Lockets

Camera Shy

8/10 from Brian

This LP was brandished in front of my startled face a couple of hours by our harried manic boss who breathlessly declared that “I don’t know what the fuck this is....read on »

Magic Touch & Sapphire Slows

Just Wanna Feel

8/10 from Clinton

Magic Touch is Damon Palermo, one part of Mi Ami amongst other things, and here he collaborates with Tokyo based Sapphire Slows on a prime slab of euphoric balearic influenced...read on »

Two People in a Room

Endless Bummer

8/10 from Clinton

An ‘Endless Bummer’ by Two People in a Room could create a frisson of excitement if thought about a certain way, not that this album is likely to soundtrack any af...read on »

Martin Eden

Worker

8/10 from Clinton

I’ve just tried to put this record into the CD player but CD players don’t play records do they? It’s good to know I’ve learnt something over the past ...read on »

Pavlov's Children

Little Douglas

8/10 from Clinton

Here is a wonderful little curio from Tim Burgess’s excellent O Genesis imprint. From listening to the first track I could have sworn that this was a reissue by some lon...read on »

Ian Skelly

Cut From A Star

8/10 from Brian

Well, much like Erland and the Carnival and Skelly's own original priority, The Coral, 'Cut From a Star's' vibe centres on the late ‘60s as a minefield of inspiration. T...read on »

Danny Clay

When the curtains of night are pinned back by the stars

8/10 from Brian

I picked this one as it's wrapped with coarse string and I like string. Probably because I am gradually turning into Garfield, a lazy cynical cartoon cat beloved of millions. ...read on »

Featured albums

Two People in a Room
Sternpost
Danny Clay
Mystyrys
Various
Werewolf Jerusalem /Vomir /Dead Body Collection
Celer
Immigrant
Jonas Fust
The #1s
Blue Sabbath Black Cheer/Josh Lay/Wilt
yellow6
Buttonhead
Thingumajigsaw
Apostille
The Garment District
Christoph Berg
Poino
Twilight Ritual
Alexis Taylor
Thingumajigsaw
Harry Merry
Cherrystones
Fred Locks
Keel Her
Eugene McGuinness
Clinic / Stephen Malkmus
Rachel Zeffira
Julia Holter
The National
Ian Skelly
Magic Touch & Sapphire Slows
Heathered Pearls
Interpol
D'Angelo
Simon Lord
Nathan Fake
Gemmy
Motorpsycho
Dark Times
Nurse With Wound
Laurel Halo
Dalhous
Scanner
The Twilight Sad
The Velvet Underground
Old Apparatus
Pure Bathing Culture
Joy Division
Can (Unofficial)
Black Moth Super Rainbow
Braiden
Drcarlsonalbion
Connan Mockasin
Beach House
Cud
The Knife
Pop Will Eat Itself