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Weekly Update The Knife, Demdike Stare, Primal Scream, Entombed, Savaging Spires, and more...

Good afternoon, readers, and a warm welcome to this week’s Norman Records weekly update, where I will continue to regale you about all the new records which have come through our doors on this, the first sunny week of 2013. It’s our second four-day week in a row, too, so everything has had to be done at a more ridiculous pace than usual, but we continue to try our best! Here’s the new things.


There are two albums which I’m most pleased to have in the office this week. The first is The Knife’s sprawling new 3LP epic, a jaw-dropping exploration of their alien electropop sound which is well worth the seven-year wait since the last one, and the second is something quite different - the slick new platter of psych pop from California’s legendary Thee Oh Sees. You should buy both of these. If you don’t want to, though, there’s plenty of other acclaimed discs you might want to check out - Kurt Vile (whose name I just discovered is not a pseudonym!) has another LP of his classic-sounding singer songwriter business which to my ears is his warmest and most likeable to date, the brilliant Divorce album has a limited 2CD release on Night School paired with a disc collecting the band’s singles, singer-slash-model (and not the other way around) Carmen Villain has a surprisingly good album of warped darkpop, there’s some superb field recordings from Kenya on this Mukunguni LP, GPS have sent us the charming debut LP from Welsh alt-pop duo Trwbador which mixes pastoral folk and stumbling electronica, and in spite of a road accident’s best efforts, the hypecrapular Peace LP has reached our office.


Not only that but we’ve got a couple of LPs from Blackest Ever Black - some creeping analogue dreadscapes and field recorded rainstorms from the mysterious Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement *coughprurientcough* and some heartsore modern industrial from Alexander Lewis - and Sound In Silence have sent us a couple of their new limited CDs too, gorgeous melodic ambient pieces by Silencio and North Atlantic Drift, there’s an LP of stirring string drones from Greek trio Mohammad adorned with the usual beautiful packaging of PAN Records, while Jacob Kirkegaard has an interesting LP where he transposes his cerebral techno into orchestral scores and Ashley Paul has a magical album of hushed, heartfelt songs on Eli Keszler’s label REL. Meanwhile the pick of this week’s reissues are from opposite ends of the indie rock spectrum, with The Postal Service’s modern-classic slice of Pet Shop Boys-worship ‘Give Up’ getting a fancy expanded 3LP reissue to celebrate its 10th birthday, and Scandi-metal trailblazers Entombed’s definitive BM’n’roll document ‘Left Hand Path’ is back on wax too. Bang yo’ head! Also Captured Tracks have unearthed an LP of wonderful scratchy early ‘80s post-punk from Bona Dish, Morrissey’s ‘Kill Uncle’ has been remastered and reissued on LP, and Honest Jon’s have sent us the fifth and sixth instalments in their excellent ‘London Is The Place For Me’ comp series documenting the historical sound of young black London. There’s a very cool new volume of ‘Ruptured Sessions’ performances recorded for Beirut’s Radio Lebanon documenting the city’s young electronic composers. Not just that, but albums which don’t have time for my usual flowery verbosity this week include offerings from Violetshaped, Savaging Spires, Wild Belle, Kylie Minoise/Junko, Jerusalem In My Heart, Midas Fall, Luxury Liners, Bill Ryder-Jones, Bombino, Bored Nothing, OMD(!), Willy Moon, The Sonic Catering Band, Manual, Robin Guthrie, Harold Budd, The Sign of Four, Vondelpark, Growlers, Lowered and Stephan Mathieu.


“That’s the albums out of the way, but what about the singles?!”, I hear you cry. Well the singles are these! Kavinsky’s iconic ‘Night Call’ EP is back on 12” so you don’t have to spend crazy money for a first press any more, garage original Zed Bias teams up with Paleman for an infectious and assured bit of cheeky dancefloor manipulation, and House Of Black Lanterns have a cool 12” of future bass, there’s some remixes and a lovely cat screenprint on a very limited James Yorkston 10”, there’s a 12” of quality darkness from Demdike Stare, Girl One and the Grease Guns have an excellent 7” mixing fuzzy ‘60s pop and library synths, and then there’s other singles too, from Crime Killz, Chatham Forts, Barbarossa, Filthy Boy, Laurent Garnier, Boys Noize, Dub Mechz, Arnaldo, Casual Sex, Wareika Hill Sounds, Mark Ernestus Presents Jeri-Jeri and also Primal Scream.


Now leave me alone, I’m busy.


The MC-Mike and Primal Norm


Best records this week

According to our review team at least...

Thee Oh Sees

Floating Coffin

10/10 from Mike

We have a dilemma here at Norman Towers this week - do we award our coveted Album of the Week trophy to The Knife’s ambitious and sprawling new 3LP masterpiece or this l...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 »

Various

London Is The Place For Me Afro-Cubism, Calypso, Highlife, Mento, Jazz The Music Of Young Black London, 5 & 6

9/10 from Ant

Now this compilation is really warming me up during yet another freezing day on old blighty. Before grime, jungle, dubstep, garage, etc, the youth of London were creating some...read on »

Ashley Paul

Line The Clouds

9/10 from Ant

Records on Eli Keszler’s REL imprint are always very beautiful artefacts. You hold them and immediately they demand to be listened to. This LP is no exception on gorgeou...read on »

The Knife

Shaking The Habitual

9/10 from ReviewBot300

Oh gawd, look what I’ve landed on the review carousel today. None other than the welcome return of mysterious Swedish avant-techno-synth-poppers The Knife, a whopping se...read on »

Bona Dish

The Zaragoza Tapes: 1981-82

9/10 from Clinton

The lovely Captured Tracks people bring us yet more nuggets from the early 1980s with this fantastic re-issue from a band who originally resided in the rock and roll capital o...read on »

Demdike Stare

Testpressing#001

9/10 from Ant

Just when you think you’ve got these guys sussed they drop this belter truly defying my expectations. ‘Misappropriation’ is a rugged as fuck clanking distort...read on »

Mohammad

Som Sakrifis

9/10 from Ant

PAN pull out another ace in the form of some extended string drone works from Greek trio Mohammad. From the off it becomes apparent that these guys really have mastered their ...read on »

Violetshaped

Violetshaped

9/10 from Ant

This is the debut album from this Berlin based duo and the third release on the Violet Poison label. If you’ve picked up any of the previous releases or indeed any by Sh...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 »

Mukunguni

New Recordings From Coast Province, Kenya

8/10 from Mike

Here on Honest Jons is this magical collection of field recordings of the Mijikenda tribes in Kenya, recorded in and around Mukunguni village in 2011, which both press release...read on »

North Atlantic Drift

Monuments

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Toronto duo North Atlantic Drift make a warm and unsurprisingly drifty sound on this new CD on Sound In Silence, combining elements of melodic drone with electronic and post-r...read on »

Lowered

Lost Seas

8/10 from Ant

Both the sleeve and title give a good indication of what to expect from this record. Together Chris Gowers and Katie English (aka Karina ESP and Isnaj Dui) conjure up a sonic ...read on »

Silencio

Floods

8/10 from Ant

This is is the fifth album from Silencio, originally released as a CDr back in 2010. This edition has two previously unreleased bonus tracks, has been properly mastered and co...read on »

Zed Bias & Paleman

Furrball / Boiler

8/10 from Ant

The latest emission from Loefah’s Swamp 81 stable is a plate from oldskool garage don Zed Bias & Paleman. On the topside is ‘Furrball’ a quirky techno/ho...read on »

Jacob Kirkegaard

Conversion

8/10 from Ant

Always a treat to get a vinyl release from the Touch camp. This I believe is the Kirkegaard’s second release for the label and consists of two of his pieces transformed ...read on »

Trwbador

Trwbador

8/10 from Mike

Phil just called this duo “the latest pop sensations”, a phrase sure to do a band no favours when they’re about to be reviewed in a place like this. I rememb...read on »

Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement

Black Magic Cannot Cross Water

8/10 from Mike

The press release for this LP claims that the two longform pieces of analogue synth-laden dark ambience was in fact, and I quote, “sourced from a box of cassettes found ...read on »

James Blake

Overgrown

8/10 from Clinton

The story goes something like this, precocious young man releases slew of excellent electronic 12”s garnering the love of head nodding types before doing an about turn i...read on »

Girl One And The Grease Guns

Driving Without Headlights (Once Again)

8/10 from Clinton

Hopefully someone will beep you or flash at you if your lights are off. I do the exact opposite, I keep leaving my headlights on during the day. I’m obviously pretending...read on »

Carmen Villain

Sleeper

8/10 from Clinton

As those who know me will attest, I’m not averse to hanging out with models. Breezing into nightclubs, I enter the VIP area, ask them to try on my glasses and post the r...read on »

Alexander Lewis

A Luminous Veil

8/10 from Ian

Debut from Alexander Lewis on the Blackest Ever Black imprint, for fans of dark industrial synth noise this is the stuff of dreams! There are just six tracks on this EP but wh...read on »

Kurt Vile

Wakin On A Pretty Daze

8/10 from Mike

I learned something today. I learned that Kurt Vile is not a pseudonym but in fact the actual name of popular singer and songwriter Kurt Vile. I know! Me neither! Anyway, Mr V...read on »

Featured albums

Violetshaped
Mohammad
Demdike Stare
Stephan Mathieu
Arnaldo
Dub Mechz
Zed Bias & Paleman
Jacob Kirkegaard
Carmen Villain
Trwbador
Willy Moon
Silencio
Ashley Paul
The Sign Of Four
North Atlantic Drift
Lowered
The Sonic Catering Band
Thee Oh Sees
The Postal Service
Bombino
OMD
Barbarossa
Divorce
Laurent Garnier
Mark Ernestus Presents Jeri-Jeri
Bill Ryder-Jones
Bored Nothing
Jerusalem In My Heart
Filthy Boy
Various
Vondelpark
Wareika Hill Sounds
Kavinsky
Mukunguni
Casual Sex
Kurt Vile
Chatham Forts
Bona Dish
Various
Kylie Minoise / Junko
James Yorkston
House Of Black Lanterns
Peace
The Growlers
Primal Scream
Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement
Luxury Liners
Crimekillz
Alexander Lewis
Midas Fall
Boys Noize
Girl One And The Grease Guns
Wild Belle
The Knife
Savaging Spires
Entombed
Robin Guthrie
Harold Budd
Manual
Morrissey