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Weekly Update Swim Deep, Cutting Pink With Knives, Popstrangers, Tim, Chad & Sherry, Bastions, and more...

It’s Friday afternoon and I hope you’re sitting comfortably because once again I’m going to burble on about the week’s new releases which, as ever, we have listened to so you don’t have to, sifting through the chaff in search of shiny gems. It’s what we do.

I’m particularly pleased that we’ve finally managed to snag some copies of Castleface’s superb ‘The Velvet Underground & Nico’ compilation where the likes of Ty Segall, Kelley Stoltz, Thee Oh Sees and White Fence reinvent the iconic album while a certain Mr Shrigley approximates its sleeve. There are a few very familiar faces making reappearances this week as alt-pop legends They Might Be Giants are back on rollicking form with their sweeping 25-song new CD ‘Nanobots’, and Saint David Bowie PhD also has a brand new record which is dividing opinions to some extent, Reznor’s How To Destroy Angels thing came in, oh and the new My Bloody Valentine is here on vinyl now too! If you’re looking for something more cerebral and eyebrow, Savvas Ysatis and Taylor Deupree have teamed up again for an LP of noisily ecstatic drones, Marsen Jules has a chin-stroking and lengthy passage of process-oriented drones, Nickolas Mohanna mixes ominous industrial noise with cosmic synth drones for a disorienting but impressive LP of dark narrative weirdness on Low Point, and noise archivists Urashima have some more of their crazily limited reissues with noise pioneer Maurizio “M.B.” Bianchi’s final two early concrete experiments as Sacher-pelz and an excavated collection by Merzbow. Horror reissue specialists Death Waltz have a rare contemporary release from Crippled Black Phoenix’s Justin Greaves and MiruMir’s fancy gatefold reissue of the rare Klaus Schulze & Gunther Schickert session from 1975.

Hyped up indie-noise dreamers Popstrangers achieve the improbable and live up to the acclaim being heaped on them with their debut LP ‘Antipodes’, Clinic had a very cool version of their ‘Free Reign’ LP reworked by Daniel Lopatin which came and went in about 15 minutes because it was so scarce so well done if you snagged one of those. Stones Throw and Leaving Records have teamed up for the ‘Dual Form’ compilation of wonky future weirdness by people like Sun Araw, Julia Holter and Dntel, and Mississippi Records have sent a couple of their excellent comps by way of the ‘Assiyo Bellema’ collection of Ethiopian soul and r’n’b from the ‘60s and ‘70s, while their more downbeat ‘A Short Life Of Trouble’ collects sorrowful American ballads from 1927-43, and they’ve also unearthed an LP of ‘60s magic from Orchestre Regional de Mauritanie which was slated for destruction but thankfully salvaged during the Mauritanian coup d’etat of ‘78. As well as that there’s some sax-laden party rock’n’roll on Dirty Water from London’s King Salami & The Cumberland Three, the latest from indiepop journeypeople Mice Parade, there’s a couple of those cool limited live LPs on B13, this time from Fotheringay and Fela Ransome Kuti & His Koola Lobitos, and other albums have appeared from the likes of Hurts, Julie Doiron & The Wooden Stars, STRFKR, The Cribs, Stornoway, X Ray Pop, John Grant, Iannis Xenakis, Phil Niblock, Kid Canaveral, Spunk, Alfa 9, Phil Odgers, Space Dimension Controller, Cutting Pink With Knives, Magic Arrows, Mandible Chatter, Josh Ritter, Tim, Chad & Sherry, Qluster, The Mary Onettes, Skream, and a little pile of cassettes from Hivver, Aging, Yaaard, dtcpu and Joane Skyler!

As for the singles, it’s been a really solid week as we’ve been sent a whole heap of brilliant split 7”s from Famous Class Records - there’s Thee Oh Sees/The Mallard, Future Islands/Ed Schrader’s Music Beat, A Place To Bury Strangers/Ceremony, Deerhoof/Half Waif, Hunx/Cassie Ramone and Cass McCombs/White Magic. The Deerhoof effort is particularly great. Another thing that’s particularly great is this week’s Guided By Voices 7”, a spiky indiepop tour de force which reminds us why we love them. Also on a garagey tip, New York-based Aussie Scott & Charlene’s Wedding has a really excellent Jarvis Taveniere-produced five-song 10” which boasts his most infectious and brilliant material yet, sounding exactly how you would want an Aussie living in New York to sound, while back on this side of the pond Southend’s formidable Wobbly Lamps knock out their second limited 7” of scuzzy garage rock for Polyvinyl Craftsmen - very much a name to watch out for I think! There’s a lively 12” from Melt Yourself Down, a hard jazz Afrofunk supergroup featuring Polar Bears and Acoustic Ladylands and a Zun Zun Egui, and we’ve also got a couple of sevens from Great Pop Supplement - debuts from psych pop duo Two Sunsets and twinklestep duo Trwbador. There’s a weird one-sided 12” of unknown origin simply labelled ‘I Lost My Shoes On Acid’, and other singles have arrived thanks to Pete Swanson, Swim Deep, Jens Lekman, Soap & Skin, Atoms For Peace, The Bilinda Butchers, Dauwd, JTC (James Cotton), Stabber, Conforce, Last Witness, Bastions, Cloud Boat, Snapped Ankles, Fort Romeau, Function, Madteo, The Black Dog, Deadbeat, and of course who could forget Nung Lamyong Kularbseemuang?

I can take the despair, it’s the hope I can’t stand.

Mikey Mouse & the Norm-fold


Best records this week

According to our review team at least...

Function

Incubation

9/10 from Ant

David Sumner has been recording and releasing records as Function  since 1996 when he first emerged on fellow NYC techno don Damon Wild's Synewave label and later went on...read on »

My Bloody Valentine

m b v

9/10 from Clinton

It was the “where were you moment” for the ‘Loveless’ generation when My Bloody Valentine finally, halfway through Match Of The Day, decided enough is ...read on »

Fabio Orsi / Pimmon

Procrastination

9/10 from Ant

'Procrastination' I believe marks Home Normal's first foray into the world of the vinyl format. This is one heavyweight bliss-out session from two expert craftsmen: Italian ar...read on »

Future Islands / Ed Schrader's Music Beat

LAMC Vol 2

9/10 from Mike

We’ve got a whole stack of this sweet split single series on Famous Class this week so I’m sitting down to have a listen. First up’s this little celebration ...read on »

Deerhoof / Half Waif

LAMC Vol 4

9/10 from Mike

Next up on this Famous Class split series is Deerhoof and Half Waif. One band I’m very familiar with and one I’ve never heard of. Anyway, the Deerhoof track on her...read on »

Thee Oh Sees / The Mallard

LAMC Vol 3

9/10 from Mike

Today’s third split on this Famous Class series is from Thee Oh Sees and The Mallard, so we’re talking a warm Californian retro garage theme here. On Thee Oh Sees&...read on »

Wobbly Lamps

Drella

9/10 from Mike

I was very impressed with the debut 7” from Wobbly Lamps, a garage rock band from the unlikely cultural hotspot that is Southend-on-Sea, and here’s another one on ...read on »

Two Sunsets

Venetian Skies / Sandunes

9/10 from ReviewBot300

We’ve got some more sevens in from the ever-reliable Great Pop Supplement this week, and the one I’ve got to talk about is this effort from Wirral duo Two Sunsets ...read on »

Clinic

Free Reign II

9/10 from ReviewBot300

Evergreen Liverpudlian krautpoppers Clinic came up with their strongest offerings to date last year with ‘Free Reign’ and on this LP Daniel “Oneohtrix Point ...read on »

They Might Be Giants

Nanobots

9/10 from Mike

Here’s a treat in the middle of our otherwise somewhat dreary review parade this week - a brand new album from indiepop legends They Might Be Giants! Yes indeed, the Joh...read on »

Scott & Charlene's Wedding

Two Weeks

9/10 from Mike

An Aussie living in New York, Craig Dermody has adopted a moniker sure to always remind him of home and bashes out a brand of lo-fi indie pop which straddles the Big Apple and...read on »

Various

The Velvet Underground & Nico

9/10 from Mike

Wow! It briefly looked like we weren’t going to be able to get any of these so I’m delighted that this compilation has actually turned up at the office at all. Tho...read on »

Guided By Voices

Trash Can Full Of Nails

9/10 from Mike

Here’s this week’s Guided By Voices single, and it’s a good’un! Their output is notoriously mixed of course, but on ‘Trash Can Full Of Nails&rsqu...read on »

Various

Assiyo Bellema

9/10 from Mike

Yet more goodies from our friends at Mississippi Records this week, with my personal pick of the batch being this infectiously groovy collection of Ethiopian soul and r’...read on »

Popstrangers

Antipodes

9/10 from Clinton

There are a few of us here a little bit in love with New Zealand and the music that comes from it. As a young man, once weaned off Farley’s rusks, I graduated to the sch...read on »

Melt Yourself Down

Fix My Life

9/10 from ReviewBot300

Well this is a band with some serious pedigree, a hard jazz/afrofunk seven-piece with contributors from Polar Bear and Acoustic Ladyland joined by people who’ve played w...read on »

Rhye

Woman

8/10 from Clinton

“An attempt to merge Beethoven and Autechre”, screams the press release bizarrely. What the Dickens are they on about? I implore you NOT to buy this album if you l...read on »

Yoshito Murakami

Mu To Eien

8/10 from Clinton

Time Released Sound, you’ve really done it now. This is the most preposterously packaged CD I’ve seen in quite some time. For your thirty-odd quid you get handwork...read on »

Inga Copeland

Don't Look Back, That's Not Where You're Going

8/10 from Clinton

Nothing...Not. A. Sausage. No band name, no title. Just a picture of a girl. Please put your names on your records. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Any ...read on »

Gold Panda

Trust

8/10 from Clinton

I wonder why this 12” plays at 33rpm...and why have they not told anyone? At any point did someone not think that a 33rpm anywhere on the artwork might be useful? Right-...read on »

Benoît Pioulard

Hymnal

8/10 from Clinton

I have only a small number of things in common with our lord, our leader, our saviour Philip Leigh and one is an absolute adoration of a previous Benoit Pioulard album ‘...read on »

MV & EE (Matt Valentine & Erica Elder)

Fuzzweed

8/10 from Clinton

Absolutely stunningly packaged new album from the psych/freak/folk twosome. Beautiful silk screened sleeve, downloadable coupon thingy and...AND...a ridiculously limited editi...read on »

Sacher-Pelz (Maurizio Bianchi)

Velours

8/10 from Mike

Noise archivists Urashima continue their unearthing of Italian noise pioneer Maurizio Bianchi’s intimidating back-catalogue with the other two of his four LPs which came...read on »

Cass McCombs / White Magic

LAMC No. 6

8/10 from Mike

Okay, fourth of these Famous Class splits up for review today is from Cass McCombs and White Magic. On McCombs’s side, the prolific and consistently decent singer-songwr...read on »

Nickolas Mohanna

Parallax View

8/10 from ReviewBot300

This fella’s got releases out already on good labels like Preservation and Slow Flow which all went down well with our Ant but I’ve not come across his work before...read on »

Savvas Ysatis + Taylor Deupree

Origin

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Here on 12k is the latest collaboration between Savvas Ysatis and Taylor Deupree. I never noticed how lovely 12k’s inner sleeves were but this one is logo-embossed and h...read on »

Trwbador

Mountain / Once I Had a Love

8/10 from Ian

Interesting slice of electro/pop from Welsh duo Trwbador, Side A is an almost plinky plonky Japan-pop style number made mostly of a toy-like keyboard loop, singer Angharad has...read on »

Marsen Jules

The Endless Change Of Colour

8/10 from Ian

This latest from German composer Marsen Jules is an epic 47 minute piece of a lulling drone that really challenges the listener, warm tones flow like lava that give you an alm...read on »

King Salami And The Cumberland Three

Cookin' Up a Party

8/10 from Mike

After a slow and cerebral start to the week things have really livened up today with that superb Castleface Velvet Underground thing and now this latest offering from King Sal...read on »

Pete Swanson

Punk Authority

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Pete Yellow Swanson is back again making some more weird noises, and this time he’s on Mexican Summer. He’s making some distorted electronic sounds, lots of farty ...read on »

Unknown Artist

I Lost My Shoes On Acid

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Oh, marvellous, here’s a highly mysterious, super limited, one-sided 12” which comes with no information whatsoever, except it’s very limited and the song is...read on »

Mice Parade

Candela

8/10 from Clinton

Mice Parade made a few good albums in the early 2000s which were impressive mainly for the incredible drumming of Adam Pierce (Adam Pierce=Mice Parade geddit?). He has a fanta...read on »

Atoms For Peace

Judge Jury And Executioner

8/10 from Clinton

It’s a remarkable achievement that Atoms For Peace have at the helm Radioheads’ Thom Yorke, and at his disposal drummer Joey Waronker, bassist Flea and super produ...read on »

Dauwd

Heat Division

8/10 from Mike

Here’s something nice. It’s the new EP on Ghostly International/Pictures Music from a UK techno lad who calls himself Dauwd. The press release says that this EP mo...read on »

X Ray Pop

Pirate! The Dark Side Of The X

8/10 from Clinton

We are in despair. We’ve listened to three records in a row that were so bad we just couldn’t bring ourselves to review them and I’ve thrown them into stock ...read on »

Soap&Skin

Sugarbread

8/10 from Clinton

Today could pretty much be the bleakest day since records began. It’s almost pitch black outside, so much cloud you’d think it was going out of fashion and it&rsqu...read on »

STRFKR

Miracle Mile

8/10 from Clinton

This lot a from Portland, Oregon and seem very happy chappies. Well you would be wouldn’t you? I’m sure it’s better living there than grim old West Yorkshire...read on »

Conforce

Time Dilation EP

8/10 from Clinton

Welcome to a new regular feature. Clint’s Friday morning techno corner. We have at least two techno experts amongst our resident reviewers, sadly neither of whom are reg...read on »

Various

A Short Life Of Trouble

8/10 from Clinton

Way back in the day, people were just as affected by misery, death, disease, famine, atrocious weather conditions, idiots, romantic catastrophe, poverty, appalling television,...read on »

The Black Dog

The Return Ov Bleep

8/10 from ReviewBot300

The Black Dog are back with this 12” of chilly, futuristic techno with that familiar insistent bass pulse alongside some gliding synth drones and electro bleeps. It&rsqu...read on »

Nung Lamyong Kularbseemuang

Kati Sorn Jai / Chanpen Dennapa - Lam Toey Dai Lao Leaw Luem Mia

8/10 from Mike

Here’s a superb little slice of ‘70s Thai exotica from the tongue-tangling Nung Lamyong Kularbseemuang and Chanpen Dennapa I think, it's all a bit cryptic...either...read on »

Featured albums

Yaaard
Kid Canaveral
Joane Skyler
dtcpu
Magic Arrows
Mandible Chatter
JTC (James Cotton)
Dauwd
Unknown Artist
Iannis Xenakis
Trwbador
Two Sunsets
Tim, Chad & Sherry
Snapped Ankles
Sacher-Pelz (Maurizio Bianchi)
Merzbow
Sacher-Pelz (Maurizio Bianchi)
Wobbly Lamps
Cloud Boat
The Bilinda Butchers
The Black Dog
Marsen Jules
Aging
Fort Romeau
Madteo
Deadbeat
Savvas Ysatis + Taylor Deupree
Nickolas Mohanna
Hivver
How To Destroy Angels
Guided By Voices
Swim Deep
Soap&Skin
David Bowie
My Bloody Valentine
Hurts
STRFKR
Stornoway
John Grant
Pete Swanson
They Might Be Giants
Atoms For Peace
Mice Parade
X Ray Pop
Various
Melt Yourself Down
Future Islands / Ed Schrader's Music Beat
Deerhoof / Half Waif
Cass McCombs / White Magic
Josh Ritter
Clinic
Thee Oh Sees / The Mallard
HUNX / Cassie Ramone
Space Dimension Controller
Klaus Schulze & Günter Schickert
Alfa 9
King Salami And The Cumberland Three
Scott & Charlene's Wedding
Spunk
Phil Odgers
Nung Lamyong Kularbseemuang
Bastions
Last Witness
The Cribs
Justin Greaves
Qluster
Function
Jens Lekman
Julie Doiron & The Wooden Stars
Popstrangers
Fotheringay
Conforce
Fela Ramsone Kuti & His Koola Lobitos
Stabber
Various
Various
Orchestre Regional de Mauritanie
The Mary Onettes
Various
Skream
A Place To Bury Strangers/ Ceremony
Phill Niblock
Cutting Pink With Knives