Why shop with us? 0113 245 4399

Weekly Update Spectral Park, Desmadrados Soldados De Ventura, Rio En Medio, Pissed Jeans, K-X-P, and more...

Afternoon all! It’s been another busy week in the relentless vortex of audio retail that is Norman Towers II, and as usual we’ve been running around like idiots trying to get all your orders out in our usual double-quick time, all the while trying to take in the latest releases and write words about them for your shopping convenience. “It ain’t no picnic,” a wise man once said...


Parts & Labor fans should take note of our exciting competition - everyone who preorders a copy of Dan Friel’s debut solo LP on Thrill Jockey goes into the hat for a chance to win an incredibly rare music box, handmade by Dan himself, which plays one of the tunes from the record. A true collectors’ item!


Anyway time is short because trusty review workhorse Clinton is away so I’m gonna have to keep this spiel econo. Here we go. There’s a lot of proper old-fashioned sweaty rock music out this week, with Pissed Jeans topping the bill with the latest LP of their unhinged misanthropic neo-grunge genius (which I’ve discovered too late has been delayed until the 25th while we wait for the bonus 7” so it’s not strictly this week but you should pre-order ‘cause the bonus single is mega-limited!), while stoner heroes Bong have a trance-inducing live LP on MIE Music, Endless Boogie prove it’s not just a clever name with an 80-minute jam-a-thon, and adrenaline rock cheeseballs The Bronx have another LP of their goofy riff-worship. Elsewhere we’ve got a couple of bits of quality neo-psych from those lovely people at Trouble In Mind - a brilliant LP of hazy, reverby ‘60s ghost-psych from Maston and something more in the pastoral psych-pop vein from Dutch troubadour Jacco Gardner. Former post-rockers Fuzzy Lights have a hard-to-pigeonhole album of neofolk with touches of dreampop and noise rock, Nils Frahm’s debut LP of electronica and piano loveliness has been reissued, Boduf Songs has another excellent album of minimal, electronic-flecked singer-songwriter moodiness, and there’s two archive scouring newies apiece from the late great Muslimgauze and the late great J Dilla, including both regular and instrumental versions of the mythical ‘48 Hours’ Frank N Dank album.


There’s some bold synth rock from Finnish trio KXP on their second album, while on Mexican Summer Southampton’s Spectral Park comes out of nowhere with an absolutely stunning album of energetic sample-driven garage pop that’s totally infectious and genuinely doesn’t sound like anybody else, while on the same label shambly psych-folkers Happy Jawbone Family Band have the best bits of their first five albums compiled onto an easy-to-digest LP ahead of their Taverniere-produced effort later in the year. There’s a couple of 10”s so totally rad-ass I’m going to mention them with the albums instead of the singles - a blazing 10”+7” set of hard grooving skronk-pop from Blurt live in 1980 on Factory Benelux, and a classy ‘Rocket Infinity’ compilation of the global rise of rocking music 1942-62 on Mississippi, who’ve also sent us an LP of ragas from ‘47-’53 by Indian warbler Kesarbia Kerkar and a collection of 45s from ‘67-’74 by “the Ethiopian Elvis” Alameyahu Eshete. Plus we’ve got brand new tape cassettes from Acrid Lactations, Harappian Night Recordings, Elg and Gianni Giublena Rosacroce, not to mention the new albums from Lena Hughes, Art Zoyd, Luc + Brunhild Ferrari, Desmadrados Soldados De Ventura, Al Scorch And The Country Soul Ensemble, Inch Time, Orlandivo, Milky Wimpshake(!), PVT, Fimber Bravo, Darwin Deez, Bruno Spoerri, Shintaro Sakamoto, AEDI, Rio En Medio, and the Night Slugs All Stars Vol 2 sampler comp.


In the singles box there’s a gorgeous one-sided 12” of soothing experimental ambience from ISAN, Olaf Bender and Carsten Nicolai’s Diamond Version have their third EP of futuristic art-techno, there’s a two-shot from FaltyDL, a CD EP from Italian post-rockers Giardini Di Miro, 7”s from Hank IV, Yosi Horikawa, BBII and Wolf Alice and hot new twelves from Cyclopean, Juan Atkins, Lindstrom, iTAL tEK, Luke Hess, Girl Unit/Morri$, Theo Parrish, VernoN, Trade, Boddika & Joy Orbison/Kassem Mosse, Boddika, Breach & Dark Sky, Bandshell, Bebop & Rocksteady, Kahn and Gantz.


Now buy more records!


Lots of love,

The Mikey Bar Kid and the rest of the Norm-stlé posse.

xo


Best records this week

According to our review team at least...

EOD

EOD Volume 1

10/10 from Brian

This Norwegian electronica super-kind has already amazed us with recent EPs 'Utrecht' and 'Questionmarks', the latter possibly still available from the label in America, the f...read on »

TM404 + Morphosis

The Morphosis Korg Response

9/10 from Brian

Well this is a bloody wonderful racket. It’s kind of like seriously twisted out of shape atonal warehouse acid. TM404 is a new project from Andreas Tilliander that utili...read on »

Pye Corner Audio

The Ever Present Hum

9/10 from Phil

I love everything about Pye Corner Audio. I love pie, I like hanging around in corners* and I like music (hence running a record shop). It’s all gravy (which I like too)...read on »

Matthew Collings

Splintered Instruments

9/10 from Clinton

Discipline makes the world go round, baby. So said King Tubby I believe. So labels take note: this is how you produce CDs in the modern age. The packaging is utterly tremendou...read on »

The Asphodells

Ruled By Passion, Destroyed By Lust

9/10 from Brian

I recall being bemused and slightly pissed-off at Two Lone Swordsmen's post-’Tiny Reminders’ musical direction. I (selfishly) wanted more bass-bin worrying electro...read on »

Grouper

The Man Who Died In His Boat

9/10 from Brian

Well it's always nice when an artist you love casually unearths an entire album of unreleased material. Liz Harris is a favourite of many of us here, we love her somnolent eth...read on »

Young Fathers

Tape One

9/10 from Clinton

Not heard much really good on Anticon for a long while but this really eats the proverbial biscuit. A hip hop troupe straight out of the mean streets of Edinburgh these lads b...read on »

Golden Grrrls

Golden Grrrls

9/10 from Mike

I got off my shiny metal arse and saw these Golden Grrrls (and boyyy) two or three days ago at the Leeds’s marvellous autonomous DIY social hub that is Wharf Chambers an...read on »

Pissed Jeans

Honeys

9/10 from ReviewBot300

Pissed Jeans are back! After three shitkicking albums there’s been a three-and-a-half year wait for this one but ‘Honeys’ is finally upon us, a welcome injec...read on »

Bong

Live at St Mary's Old Church & Burial Ground

9/10 from Mike

Oh! Usually at this point in the week the review pile is an arid wasteland populated only by self-released lo-fi drone and experimental noise, but not this week! I’ve go...read on »

Boduf Songs

Burnt Up On Re-entry

9/10 from ReviewBot300

The excellent Mat Sweet, aka Boduf Songs, has a new album of his hushed late-night introspection on Southern on the heels of a droney offering to their Latitudes series. My fi...read on »

Maston

Shadows

9/10 from ReviewBot300

...And here’s another psych-pop record, this time from Maston, Frank Maston, who approaches the ‘60s sound from a hazy, haunted angle which is reminding me a littl...read on »

Spectral Park

Spectral Park

9/10 from Mike

Spectral Park is the alias of Southampton’s Luke Donovan, who here dishes out a debut LP of energetic sampledelic psych-pop which, says the press release, was “lit...read on »

Nils Frahm

Streichelfisch

9/10 from Ian

This first release from 2005 by Berlin based composer Nils Frahm is a wonderful outing into electronic/acoustic bliss, full of clean tone blips and squelches that would deligh...read on »

Trade

SHEWORKS005

9/10 from Ant

I'd read in a Resident Advisor Interview that Blawan had been working with one of techno's old hands. The news of this Trade record on Works The Long Nights did come as a bit ...read on »

Blurt

Live In Berlin

9/10 from Mike

Speed review time! There’s too many records and not enough people this week so I’m keepin’ it brief! Underappreciated sax-skronk post-punkers Blurt debut alb...read on »

Jonathan Richman

La Fiesta Es Para Todos / La Guitarra Flamenca Neg

9/10 from Mike

Ooh, how about this! A rare 7” outing from living legend Jonathan Richman, he of Modern Lovers fame, containing two flamenco-tinged Spanish language cuts of his trademar...read on »

Diamond Version

EP3

9/10 from Phil

In case you’ve been on holiday or something then you’ve missed out on this sweet series of 12”s from Diamond Version on Mute. Diamond Version comprise of Car...read on »

Cyclopean

Cyclopean

9/10 from Mike

Can legends Jaki Liebezeit and Irmin Schmidt are joined by Burnt Friedman and Jono Podmore for this delightful EP of rhythmic tribalism, with smart repetitive polyrhythms over...read on »

J Dilla

48 Hours Instrumentals

9/10 from ReviewBot300

Here they are, J Dilla's instrumental cuts from the mythical Frank N Dank '48 Hours' album in their entirety on one LP thanks to the good people at Delicious Vinyl. The origin...read on »

Inch Time

Myth & Impermanence

9/10 from Phil

It’s a long time since I’ve heard anything by this guy. In fact the last thing I remembered hearing was a 7” he did on Static Caravan that came out in 2006. ...read on »

Acteurs

Acteurs

9/10 from Mike

We’ve had a few interesting debuts this week and this mini-LP from Chicago duo Acteurs is no exception, harnessing a hypnotic technoid pulse and some classy production t...read on »

KH

The Track I've Been Playing That People Keep Asking About And That Joy Used In His RA Mix And Daphni Played On Boiler Room

8/10 from Brian

Well this track and the subsequent blogosphere queries as regards to what it actually is have apparently been driving Hebden mad, so mad he’s put all the info he can mus...read on »

Chelsea Wolfe

Prayer For The Unborn

8/10 from Clinton

Chelsea Wolfe is a dark, bleak lady. She produces howling, visceral music which relies on the goth/foghorn of her voice which quavers and quivers around the dingy, grimy rock ...read on »

Drowners

Between Us Girls

8/10 from Clinton

This is the first release on the label formed by former (it says here) Kaiser Chief Nick Hodgson. I wonder if he stomped out in disgust after their Olympic travesty? Hang on, ...read on »

Fear of Men

Early Fragments

8/10 from Clinton

Whilst making a curry last night I threw on 6music and heard Allo Darlin’ interviewed. I never realised two of them were Australian. I think that makes me like them more...read on »

Unknown Mortal Orchestra

II

8/10 from Brian

I'm the only person in this office who doesn't seem to like Tame Impala all that much, these fellow antipodeans are more my bag. Although they appear to plough a similar furro...read on »

Veronica Falls

Waiting For Something

8/10 from Clinton

Five out of five in The Guardian today for this. Here at the Towers we dish out top marks like confetti but the broadsheets are a little more choosy so this better bloody be g...read on »

The Market Squares

Afternoon Tide / Inside My Mind

8/10 from ReviewBot300

This bunch are a collaborative project between Paul Messis and The Sufis and they’re playing deliciously well-observed ‘60s-style psychedelic pop which brings to m...read on »

Jacco Gardner

Cabinet Of Curiosities

8/10 from ReviewBot300

There’s an awful lot of psychedelia knocking about nowadays which owes a huge debt to ‘60s pop, and Dutchman Jacco Gardner is no exception, deftly crafting a dream...read on »

Fuzzy Lights

Rule Of Twelfths

8/10 from ReviewBot300

I’ve heard this band before, but not for a while. I remember back in the dark days of ‘06 or ‘07 a friend of mine had a 3” CD of theirs which we’...read on »

K-X-P

II

8/10 from Mike

I missed the first KXP album ‘cause I’m lazy and contrary to popular belief don’t actually listen to every new album on the day of its release, but I just st...read on »

Happy Jawbone Family Band

Tastes The Broom

8/10 from Mike

Happy Jawbone Family Band are a six-piece who are apparently scattered all over the place, “Brattleboro to Boulder”, and yet somehow manage to be fairly prolific s...read on »

Endless Boogie

Long Island

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Here’s the third album from New York’s classic rock worshippers Endless Boogie, as they boogie endlessly (averaging about 10 minutes per song) over four sides of v...read on »

ISAN

Descette

8/10 from Ian

This is a bizarre little outing from Isan, a one sided album recorded entirely on a Sanyo auto stop and Sony cassette-corder, it really shows too, a very lo-fi production of s...read on »

Giardini Di Miro

Unluck

8/10 from Ian

This little three track EP from Italian post rockers Giardini Di Miro has all the trademarks of the genre, lightly picked reverbed guitar, soft floating vocals and shimmering ...read on »

Thumpers

Dancing's Done

8/10 from Ian

An uplifting single from London duo Thumpers that reminds me a little of alt-poppers Guillemots with a hint of Arcade Fire thrown in for good measure, both tracks here are tai...read on »

Desmadrados Soldados De Ventura

Desmadrados Soldados De Ventura

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Well, the psych-noise fans are going to enjoy this one! Here’s Golden Lab honcho Nick Mitchell with five buddies creating a nonstop racket of clattering drums and widdli...read on »

Ital Tek

Hyper Real EP

8/10 from Ant

Alan Myson follows up his ‘Nebula Dance’ full length for Planet Mu with a 6 track EP for Civil Music which kicks off with the title track. ‘Hyper Real’...read on »

Koboku Senju

Joining The Queue To Become One Of Those Ordinary Ghosts

8/10 from Phil

I’ve not heard of these guys before but knowing the quality of releases on MIE (Bong, Pelt, Sarin Smoke, Gate, Richard Youngs, etc) you know it’s gonna be interest...read on »

Bruno Spoerri

Teddy Bar / Lilith

8/10 from ReviewBot300

“German yet fun”, screams a slightly racist quote from 808 State’s Graham Massey in the press release to Swiss composer Bruno Spoerri’s previous reissu...read on »

J Dilla

Music From The Lost Scrolls Vol. 1

8/10 from Phil

Since Dilla died in 2006 there have been more posthumous releases than humous releases. I wonder if that’s happened with the likes of Elvis yet? Anyway ‘Donuts&rsq...read on »

Milky Wimpshake

Heart And Soul In The Milky Way

8/10 from Mike

It's getting on for 20 years since Milky Wimpshake put out their first (cassette) album, and now here they are with their fifth! MBV would call that productive, Ty Segall woul...read on »

Featured albums

BBII
Luke Hess
Theo Parrish
ISAN
Giardini Di Miro
Girl Unit / Morri$
Various
VerNoN
Bandshell
Yosi Horikawa
AEDI
Diamond Version
Boddika & Joy Orbison / Kassem Mosse
Breach & Dark Sky
Bebop And Rocksteady
Acrid Lactations
Gianni Giublena Rosacroce
Harappian Night Recordings
Rio En Medio
Jacco Gardner
K-X-P
Maston
Hank IV
Dan Friel
Gantz
Endless Boogie
Ital Tek
Wolf Alice
FaltyDL
FaltyDL
PVT
Darwin Deez
Lindstrom
Shintaro Sakamoto
The Bronx
Pissed Jeans
Fimber Bravo
Bruno Spoerri
Nils Frahm
J Dilla
Frank N Dank
Cyclopean
Blurt
Boddika
Trade
Bong
Inch Time
Milky Wimpshake
Lena Hughes
Spectral Park
Happy Jawbone Family Band
Fuzzy Lights
Desmadrados Soldados De Ventura
Boduf Songs
Art Zoyd
Muslimgauze
Muslimgauze
Luc + Brunhild Ferrari
Kahn
Al Scorch And The Country Soul Ensemble
Orlandivo
Kesarbia Kerkar
Various
Alameyahu Eshete
Juan Atkins