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Weekly Update Control Unit (featuring Massimo), James Ferraro, Pete Um, Pere Ubu, Joanna Gruesome, and more...

Happy New Year to you all, my chilly Norman faithful! I hope you’ve had a satisfying and restful festive period full of joy, anxiety, obligation and perhaps a few of the presents you actually wanted. After a quick break over Christmas, Norman Towers is once again abuzz with activity as we set to work frantically packing and mailing everything you ordered while we were off, as well as trying to turn our ears to what few new records have been arriving in what is always a pretty quiet week on the ol’ release schedule.

We started our Big January Sale yesterday where we're knocking 40% off a stonking 1,000 different items each day until next Thursday, so if you keep checking the site you might just find some sweet bargains.

One man with no fear of releasing a record in the dead of winter is Pete Um, whose new album reins in his ADD bedroom weirdpop for a woozy, unpredictable gem of an LP which is easily his most accessible to date, West Country pastoral glitch-psych oddballs Hacker Farm have sent us their new CD and also some copies of last year’s acclaimed debut. Irreverent sound doctor James Ferraro has an LP of playful electronic fun, Broadcast have an Italo-horror themed creep-fest of a soundtrack which they recorded before Trish Keenan’s tragic death last year, evergreen weirdsters Pere Ubu have an ace new LP (which hasn’t arrived yet), minimal supergroup Between (Illuha, Marcus Fischer, Taylor Deupree and Simon Scott!) have a tasteful CD of relaxing improvisation on 12k, Athens indie rockers Tunabunny have another album of charming shambly slacker pop on HHBTM, who’ve also got a really good 7” by Cardiff noise-pop tykes Joanna Gruesome, there’s some creaky post-punky darkness from Control Unit feat Massimo and some celestial lightness on a beautifully packaged lathe-cut 10” on Time Released Sound from Fabio Orsi!

And, er, that’s pretty much it for this week. We’ve only been back three days after all. Have a great weekend!

Mikey Holland and his Hoota-Normies

xo


Best records this week

According to our review team at least...

Hacker Farm

UHF

10/10 from ReviewBot300

Hacker Farm are a Somerset collective of experimental electronic mavericks who have been raising all the right eyebrows lately with their spooky glitchtronic pastoral weirdnes...read on »

Kangding Ray

The Pentaki Slopes

9/10 from Brian

This is totally my kind of techno. Built around a wicked metronome bassline, a warm slamming kick and some woozy panning/trippy ricocheting, this opener of ‘The Pentaki ...read on »

Lee Gamble

Dutch Tvashar Plumes

9/10 from Brian

This record opens up with a right awkward blast of mangled alien electronic shavings that veer from bright to dull in fidelity. It has one foot in glistening ambient pastures ...read on »

Sensate Focus

Deviation Heat-Treated

9/10 from Brian

Shit, with the other techno head probably grappling with several of his mad children right now, fifteen miles away, it’s up to me to get to grips with the new Mark Fell ...read on »

Robin the Fog (Howlround)

The Ghosts Of Bush

9/10 from Brian

Well this is another of those fascinating archive experimental gems, the source material of which has probably laid gathering dust for years because Robin the Fog most likely ...read on »

Eleh

Retreat, Return, Repose

9/10 from Ant

A much needed CD issue of this trilogy, previously only available on vinyl direct from the label and now somewhat collectable. The audio has been remastered especially for the...read on »

Various

The League Of Psychedelic Gentlemen

9/10 from Clinton

Wow. The best of this week’s three Fruits De Mer records was hiding, unreviewed in the stockroom when my eye wandered to its place on the shelf. To my utter surprise I s...read on »

IX Tab

Spindle & The Bregnut Tree

9/10 from Brian

I’ve listened to this dense mass of sparky ideas three times now and I’m still stumped as to what to compare it to. Which means it must be ace if it’s beyond...read on »

Action Beat

The Condition

9/10 from Mike

Well we’re down to the last couple of hours in the office and I’m just rushing off a couple of reviews before we break off for Christmas so I’m going to have...read on »

Pete Um

Babysitting The Apocalypse

9/10 from Mike

Lo-fi contrarian and tireless enemy of mundanity Pete Um is back with yet another limited LP of his oddball ramblings and stuttering sample mayhem (nice to spot yours truly on...read on »

Broadcast

Berberian Sound Studio

9/10 from ReviewBot300

Peter Strickland’s new film Berberian Sound Studio - a thriller centring around a foley artist working on a ‘70s giallo film - looks completely fascinating but sad...read on »

Fabio Orsi

High On Shards

9/10 from ReviewBot300

Ooh, look at this! It’s a 10” on Time Released Sound from Fabio Orsi, lathe cut by the legendary Peter King, with painstakingly handmade covers, each one hand-alte...read on »

James Ferraro

Sushi

9/10 from Mike

Now our Li’l Biz has long sung the praises of big-haired pop culture vulture James Ferraro but she’s busy on the boxes today so it’s up to me, something of a...read on »

Joanna Gruesome

Do You Really Wanna Know Why Yr Still in Love with Me

9/10 from Mike

Here’s a 7” from Cardiff’s Joanna Gruesome, who have impressed me on a split single or two in the past. I’m enjoying this one too. They’re playin...read on »

Pere Ubu

Lady From Shanghai

9/10 from Brian

One of the strangest and most challenging bands on the international experimental rock/post-punk circuit must be these Cleveland OH oddballs led by the larger-than-life David ...read on »

Hacker Farm

Poundland

9/10 from Brian

I dunno who checked out the Wire spread on this Yeovil collective in the Scott Walker issue but I have been scouring the net ever since, all over the Festive period, attemptin...read on »

Michael Pollard

Translations 01

8/10 from Brian

Well this record is a challenge to comment about on the drab morning that is apparently the last day of Earth if those pesky old Mayans were as visionary as these internet-clo...read on »

I O

Flamenco Abstractions

8/10 from Clinton

I’m generally happy with anything that makes my life easier. A chair for example. This morning I was moving stock around the stock room, on my feet the whole time. After...read on »

Wayter

Team Spirit / Urugauy

8/10 from Clinton

I’m getting hurled way back into my young adulthood with this breezy little 7”. The A side has a fairly decent stab at the type of sound produced by swathes of pla...read on »

John Tilbury

For Tomasz Sikorski

8/10 from Brian

I’ll make this a short(er) one, it’s a four-headed piano attack by an old respected British avant-garde ivory-smasher and forms a loving tribute to a fellow obscur...read on »

Nick Diamonds

I Am An Attic

8/10 from Clinton

No relation to Neil Diamond(s), this instead is the guy from The Unicorns, whom, it transpires from a glance at my font of all knowledge Wikipedia once played in a band with a...read on »

Rites Wild

Ways Of Being

8/10 from Clinton

The final review before Christmas and we’ve just had our resident comedy customer in store. After forcing Mike to feed him a crisp [This actually happened! - Mike] he we...read on »

Between

Between

8/10 from ReviewBot300

I think it’s fair to describe this collaboration here as a “supergroup”; a ten-armed ambient sound art assault featuring Illuha (individually known as Corey ...read on »

Control Unit (featuring Massimo)

Top Trans

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Clan Destine have been sending us a lot of good LPs lately, and this one comes from the shadowy duo Control Unit, with their friend Massimo providing electronics. This little ...read on »

Tunabunny

Genius Fatigue

8/10 from Mike

Athens, Georgia’s Tunabunny have returned with another album of their ramshackle slacker indie rock stylings. They’ve got a girl singer, a lo-fi rough around the e...read on »

Featured albums

Hacker Farm
Joanna Gruesome
Tunabunny
Between
Fabio Orsi
Control Unit (featuring Massimo)
Pete Um
James Ferraro
Hacker Farm
Pere Ubu
Broadcast