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Weekly Update Triptides, Pearson Sound / Endian, A Hawk And A Hacksaw, Klaus Dinger + Japandorf, Athanor, and more...

Good Thursday to you all, tomorrow is Good Friday so we’re updating a little early this week, resulting in an extra-hectic rush through the week’s releases in a valiant attempt to get the most important things reviewed (which is hard because they’re all important!). Here’s my scattered thoughts on what I heard and liked anyway...


Recharged with an ex-Part Chimp on board, Hey Colossus have a new album on MIE of wild noise rock which is well worth a listen, Mike Cooper has a wonderful otherworldly CD of broken exotica, tropical field recordings and wibbly slide guitar on Room 40, who’ve also sent us a more difficult CD of ambience from Chris Abrahams, Sun City Girl Alan “Alvarius B” Bishop has put together an all-Egyptian band for a polished album of sinister psych-folk as The Invisible Hands, Japambient master Chihei Hatakeyama has a new CD with a long celestial drone and another darker piece in digipak and super-rare wooden box editions, Control Unit have another LP of their weird minimal post-industrial post-dub post-apocalyptic choogle, grunge survivors Mudhoney have their first album in five years, they’re always fun.


We’ve got all manner of indie including Chicago’s indie-synthpop crooners Animal City on Sophomore Lounge, who’ve also sent us the debut Giving Up LP because we liked their last one so much, Californian sisters Bleached have a masterful album of sun-drenched reverb-pop on Dead Oceans, British Sea Power and The Leisure Society both have new albums, and the indie kids may also wish to turn their eyes to these reissued LPs of Elliott Smith’s ‘Figure 8’, Talking Heads’ ‘Remain In Light’, Spacemen 3’s ‘Performance’, Dead Moon’s ‘Strange Pray Tell’ and At The Drive-In’s lo-fi debut ‘Acrobatic Tenement’. Those are five records you should already have by now, here’s your chance to set that right if you don’t! There’s a couple of reissues from first wave pop-punkers The Boys which are worth a listen too.


As well as that, there’s a great collection of ‘Music For Dancefloors’ from the KPM Music Library on Strut, Soul Jazz have a great compilation of classic Chicago acid house, ‘Acid : Mysterons Invade The Jackin' Zone Chicago Acid and Experimental House 1986-1993’, Bonobo has a new album of his thoughtful dance fun, French sleaze-garage practitioners Catholic Spray have a trashily entertaining LP on Born Bad, A Hawk And A Hacksaw have one of their finest LPs of globe-trotting neofolk to date, psych rockers The Black Angels have unleashed their fourth long-player, Merchandise mix ‘80s pop with a hazy modern aesthetic for a varied LP on Night People, and other albums have arrived from Klaus Dinger & Japandorf, Athanor, Lower Plenty, N.A.D., Various, Dead Gaze, Betting On The Mouse, Fol Chen, Vondelpark, Alkaline Trio, Harper Simon, Filthy Boy, Various, Moongazing Hare, The Untied Knot, Ahmed Abdul-Malik, Max Roach, and the CD edition of the amazing Klaus Schulze & Gunther Schickert Session is here too!


Which brings me to the singles. The debut 7” from Last Year’s Men on Sophomore Lounge of Segall-esque psych-garage pop is totally great, as is the massively catchy first single from Leeds indie-fuzz newcomers Menace Beach (who boast a Hookworm and a Sky Larkin in their ranks), and while you’re buying indie rock singles I’d advise you to pick up the first two 7”s by Triptides which we managed to get hold of after deciding their album was brilliant. Norway’s CN (aka Stian Gjevik aka EOD) has a superb EP of bright and catchy acid house/electronica, while if you’re after something a little slower paced there’s an excellent, fancy and limited 12” from Disappears with three brooding slow-burners on one side and a beautiful etching on the other, while Red Stars Over Tokyo provides value for money with a lengthy bit of ambient techno and a rework from German collective Magazine, and other singles and EPs come from Stormfield, Sun Ra & His Arkestra, Gil De Ray/Madame De C***, Mayer Hawthorne, Jagwar Ma, The Strokes, Tom O’Dell, Disclosure, Instra:mental & dBridge/Martyn, Pearson Sound/Endian, Boddika & Joy Orbison/Lowtek, Ulrich Schnauss, Boddika & Joy Orbison/Kassem Mosse, Machinedrum, Roshi feat. Pars Radio, Literature Thieves, The Young Sinclairs, Sunless ‘97 and Snakadaktal!


That’s me done for another week, enjoy your bank holiday weekend, I hope someone gives you chocolate!


Mikey Pineapple and his Normchestra


Best records this week

According to our review team at least...

Haiku Salut

Tricolore

9/10 from Ian

Derbyshire trio Haiku Salut hit us with this amazing debut ‘Tricolore’. There is a little favouritism going on here as I’m a Midlands lad myself but seriousl...read on »

Jon Brooks

Shapwick

9/10 from Ian

‘Shapwick’ is an album created by The Advisory Circle/Ghost Box Records composer Jon Brooks based on an imaginary impression of a quaint little village in Somerset...read on »

William Ryan Fritch

The Waiting Room (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

9/10 from Clinton

I first came across William Ryan Fritch through a remarkable track he contributed to the bonus CD on the recent Yuri Lugovskoy album. I had no previous idea that he made such ...read on »

Last Year's Men

Clawless Paw

9/10 from ReviewBot300

I like this instantly! Here’s a 7” from Last Year’s Men on Indiana’s excellent Sophomore Lounge label, with huge drums and handclaps and saturated, fuz...read on »

Triptides

Bright Sky

9/10 from Mike

We were all really charmed here in the office by Triptides’ debut album ‘Sun Pavilion’ - a hazy, summery mix of Real Estate-ish neo-AOR and surfy Californian...read on »

Mike Cooper

White Shadows In The South Seas

9/10 from Mike

Mike Cooper has lived a long and interesting life, but the septuagenarian shows no signs of slowing by the evidence of this delightful collection of delightfully weird, restle...read on »

Hey Colossus

Cuckoo Live Life Like Cuckoo

9/10 from Mike

Ooof, here’s the chunky new offering from UK noise rockers Hey Colossus, reinvigorated by the addition of an ex-Part Chimp on drums and this time round opting for a more...read on »

Bleached

Ride Your Heart

9/10 from Mike

Here’s an excellent CD of good old fashioned ‘60s influenced girl fronted indie rock in the vein of Best Coast or Golden Grrrls. This sort of garagey girl-group in...read on »

Catholic Spray

Earth Slime

9/10 from Mike

Here’s an album of snotty and sloppy garage punk from French madheads Catholic Spray. It’s a murky concoction full of fuzzed out guitar, obnoxiously distorted voca...read on »

Menace Beach

Drop Outs / Tastes Like Medicine

9/10 from Mike

Here’s the debut 7” from a very interesting band indeed, Menace Beach, who feature various members of cool Leeds bands past and present including MJ Hookworm and a...read on »

The Young Sinclairs

Hurt My Pride

9/10 from Clinton

Ooooooh, this is good. So nice when something unexpectedly good comes in. From the same label that brought us the excellent Triptides 7”s (no better guitar pop album tha...read on »

CN

Voyages

9/10 from Mike

Norway’s Stian Gjevik has been wowing everyone of late with his ecstatic neo-acid house alias EOD, and on this new 12” he’s back to another of his alter-egos...read on »

Ceephax

Cro Magnox

9/10 from Mike

Sadly it’s sometimes the case when you work in a place like this that a record arrives to review when there’s simply not enough time to do it justice. Today that h...read on »

A Hawk And A Hacksaw

You Have Already Gone To The Other World

9/10 from Phil

It’s a last minute rush this week getting all the reviews done and I’ve only just found out the new album from A Hawk And A Hacksaw has come in so I thought I...read on »

Various

Acid : Mysterons Invade The Jackin' Zone Chicago Acid and Experimental House 1986-1993

9/10 from Ant

Soul Jazz follow up their 'Can You Jack?' compilation from some years ago with this dual 2LP / 2CD set compiling some gems from the golden era of house music 1986-93. Chicago ...read on »

Sleeparchive

A Man Dies In The Street Pt. 1

9/10 from Ant

It's always a good day for me whenever Roger Semsroth unleashes a new 12" under his Sleeparchive alias. This is the first 12" in a two part series following his debut release ...read on »

Vector Lovers

iPhonica

8/10 from Ian

Martin Wheeler returns after a two-year hiatus with his Vector Lovers project, here we see him composing an entire album on his iPhone 4, pretty amazing as straight away iPhon...read on »

Edwyn Collins

Understated

8/10 from Clinton

As I noted on a previous Edwyn Collins review, it’s very hard to critically assess his music post illness as it’s such a major achievement that he’s actually...read on »

Lapalux

Nostalchic

8/10 from Clinton

This album is the masterwork of 22-year-old Brit Stewart Howard, the first UK resident on Brainfeeder and an album which really bodes well for the future. Yep some of the soun...read on »

Mike Dehnert

Roulement EP

8/10 from Clinton

On powder puff mauve vinyl, this is the latest offering from the consistently good Echocord label. We are all so tired here at Norman Records, Phil says he is suicidally tired...read on »

Jon Mueller

Death Blues

8/10 from Clinton

Oh god, not more death. Death here, death there...everyone is dying it seems. It certainly does give you the blues when you read about it but then someone tweets something abo...read on »

Les Sins

Grind / Prelims

8/10 from Clinton

Summer, come to me my lovely. Ah, days at the beach, late evenings strolling round the park...it’s not going to happen is it? It will probably still be snowing in June. ...read on »

Damien Dubrovnik

First Burning Attraction

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Copenhagen duo Damien Dubrovnik take no prisoners on the opening track of their new album, ‘Key Of Unesco’, a buzzing, ear-scouring wall of impenetrable robotic no...read on »

Roberto Cacciapaglia

Ann Steel Album

8/10 from ReviewBot300

‘The Ann Steel Album’ is seen as an “anomaly” in Roberto Cacciapaglia’s impressive canon, the Italian electronic composer joining forces with exp...read on »

Mudhoney

Vanishing Point

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Mudhoney seem to have settled into a bit of a holding pattern over the past 15 years or so, with regular touring and an album every four or five years to remind us that they s...read on »

Control Unit

In The Frame

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Control Unit, the duo of Silvia Kastel and Ninni Morgia, have another LP of their curious post-industrial analogue shudderscapes out, this time on Alt. Vinyl after previous of...read on »

Animal City

See You In The Funny Pages

8/10 from Mike

As well as getting copies of the first Giving Up album and the ace new 7” of blazing garage pop from Last Year’s Men, this week Sophomore Lounge have sent us this ...read on »

Red Stars Over Tokyo

Crossing A Frozen Sea

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Here’s a 12” single which is longer than most albums, featuring an “extended all night version” of Red Stars Over Tokyo’s ‘Crossing A Froze...read on »

Alastair Galbraith

Cry

8/10 from Mike

We’ve got the latest from New Zealand legend Alasdair Galbraith from good ol’ Henry at MIE this week, full of spluttering organic drones from fiddles and guitars a...read on »

Merchandise

Totale Night

8/10 from Mike

Here’s an album from Merchandise on Night People, with the label’s usual ace Shawn Reed artwork, and the Florida post-punkers immersing themselves in a woozy mogad...read on »

Chihei Hatakeyama

Bare Strata

8/10 from ReviewBot300

There are two different editions of this CD to choose from. One is a regular price and comes in a digipak with a nice photo of some birds by Fabio Orsi on it, while the other ...read on »

Disappears

A New House in a New Town

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Here’s a limited and fancy one-sided 12” from Chicago’s Disappears, featuring Pony/90 Day Man Brian Case and sometimes Sonic Youth Steve Shelley (although no...read on »

The Invisible Hands

The Invisible Hands

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Sun City Girl Alan “Alvarius B” Bishop has spent the last couple of years putting together an Egyptian psych-folk troupe The Invisible Hands and composing this deb...read on »

Bonobo

The North Borders

8/10 from Clinton

Bonobo is the master of sunny, warm, chilled out, slightly jazzy instrumental electronica so it comes as a surprise to find some slightly bland vocals adorning the opening tra...read on »

Sunless '97

Aurora

8/10 from Clinton

As we are still months away from the end of winter, I’m increasingly turning to upbeat balearic-sounding anthems as a source of sunshine and serotonin. Three-piece Sunle...read on »

Snakadaktal

Air / Dance Bear

8/10 from Clinton

I’m not sure what’s going on with all these vocalists sounding so...tired all the time. Is there a gas leak in south London? I blame The xx. This lot are from Aust...read on »

Tame Impala

Mind Mischief

8/10 from Ian

Latest single from the now classic album ‘Lonerism’, ‘Mind Mischief’ is an odd choice for a single as it’s one of the more low key tracks on the ...read on »

Various

Music For Dancefloors – The KPM Music Library (Deluxe Version)

8/10 from Ian

Another great compilation from the KPM Music Library series, here DJ Adrian Gibson and Strut’s Quinton Scott have gathered together a fantastic mix of funk, groove, and ...read on »

Solyst

Lead

8/10 from Clinton

Thomas Klein, as well as being the drummer in the excellent Kreidler, is the main man in Solyst and must still dine out on the fact that he got awarded our coveted Album of th...read on »

Nadia Sirota

Baroque

8/10 from Clinton

Nadia Sirota is the “go to violist for the likes of  Max Richter, Jóhann Jóhannsson, The Swell Season, Grizzly Bear, Jónsi, The National, and A...read on »

The Flaming Lips

The Terror

8/10 from Ian

Thirteenth studio album from the mighty Flaming Lips and we’re subjected to a much more darker theme than other recent efforts like ‘Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robot...read on »

Featured albums

Athanor
Various
Ahmed Abdul-Malik
Pearson Sound / Endian
Ulrich Schnauss
Machinedrum
Control Unit
Max Roach
Instra:mental & dBridge / Martyn
Boddika & Joy Orbison / Lowtek
CN
Giving Up
Animal City
Last Year's Men
Hey Colossus
The Young Sinclairs
Triptides
Triptides
Red Stars Over Tokyo
Alkaline Trio
Chihei Hatakeyama
Fol Chen
Filthy Boy
Bonobo
Mudhoney
The Strokes
British Sea Power
Harper Simon
Various
Bleached
Various
Vondelpark
Tom Odell
The Black Angels
Chris Abrahams
Mike Cooper
Menace Beach
Klaus Dinger + Japandorf
At The Drive In
Sunless '97
Dead Moon
Disappears
The Invisible Hands
Gil De Ray / Madame De C***
Lower Plenty
A Hawk And A Hacksaw
Catholic Spray
Roshi (featuring Pars Radio)
Merchandise
Literature Thieves
N.A.D.
Stormfield
Various
The Boys
The Boys
Klaus Schulze & Günter Schickert
Mayer Hawthorne
Jagwar Ma
Boddika & Joy Orbison / Kassem Mosse
The Leisure Society
Snakadaktal
Moongazing Hare
The Untied Knot
Sun Ra And His Arkestra
Disclosure
Dead Gaze
Spacemen 3
Elliott Smith
Talking Heads