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Weekly Update Vuurwerk, Alfa 9, The Knife, Johnny Borrell, Generationals, and more...

Hello everybody! Things have been crazy in our office this week as we’ve had to have a flash sale (...so that we can pay our own wages after being charged our VAT bill twice just before payday and the government not being able to refund us in time. Thanks a freaking bunch, taxman). Well done if you managed to find something you wanted in there!


Most excitingly, though, is the news that our application has been accepted to take part in Record Store Day this year! Since it’s our first time, we’re really just testing the water and our celebrations will be sedate this year, but if it’s a success then next time we’ll plan a massive party for you all. If you’re in Leeds please come down next Saturday, check out our weird shop and hopefully grab the records you’ve been wanting! Further details and a list of what we’re stocking can be found here.


On to this week’s releases, Norwegian psych rock giants Motorpsycho are back in business with Dungen’s Reine Fiske in tow for an exuberant LP of songs which didn’t fit their two recent concept epics, and after a long wait for it to get distributed in the UK, the superb Parquet Courts album is finally back in our office, while Trans Champ Phil Manley teams up with Golden boy Jon Theodore for an uplifting new Life Coach LP which brings the rock and the good vibes in equal measure. If I could make all three of these album of the week, I would. All you soundtrack collectors should turn your eyes towards this new white vinyl LP of Clint Mansell’s score to Park Chan Wook’s ‘Stoker’, and Thrill Jockey’s expansive 2LP collection of John Parish’s excellent and varied soundtrack work. Also on Thrill Jockey is another LP of dusky atmospheres from the ever-excellent Barn Owl, while all the way from Russia, IDM microlabel Sealt have sent us the thoroughly enjoyable new offering from Dirty Owl as well as a picture disc LP ‘S10’ compiling the cream of the Russian IDM underground. As well as that, the 3LP edition of the new Knife album has arrived, there’s some disarmingly naive no-wave on a previously unreleased album from 1981 by Rich Ristagno which has earned a worthy vinyl issue on Drag City.


The good people at Infraction have sent us a couple of CDs of their classy minimal darkness with some velvety deep space rumbles from Eluder and intricate, hushed compositions from Joseph Minadeo & Curt Brown, and if that’s not enough highbrow darkness for you then you should get stuck into the latest slow-flowing creep-fest from Haxan Cloak and the pure (toten) pop of original neofolksters Death In June’s ‘Snow Bunker Tapes’ 2x10” in fancy embossed gatefold sleeve, Kevin Drumm’s new ‘Kitchen’ full-length and the mangled noise assault of Wolf Eyes’ newie on De Stijl. If all that’s a bit heavy for you, take a look at Fabio Orsi’s latest CD of blurred guitar drift, treat yourself to the lushly packaged bliss out from The Ashes of Piemonte on Time Released Sound, or sink into a nostalgic reverie to the fresh reissue of Sigur Ros’s post rock genre-classic ‘( )’.


Finders Keepers have put together a superb collection of early electronic soundtrack fun from Tamil genius Ilaiyaraaja, there’s a Frank Zappa 2LP of hand-picked live recordings from the man’s own vault from ‘73 - kind of a prequel to his ‘You Can’t Do That On Stage Anymore’ series - and there’s the ‘Le Couperet’ comp LP of noise from ‘83, originally only on cassette, with contributions from the likes of Ramleh and The New Blockaders, which sees a vinyl pressing thanks to Harbinger Sound, who’ve also sent us a frankly bizarre LP from Sleaford Mods, and there’s the well priced and self-explanatory 2CD ‘A Soul Chronology Volume 1 1927-1951’. Other albums this week come from Xander Harris, Jonas Reinhardt, Crippled Black Phoenix, Solar Bears, Bishi, John Zorn, Alfa 9, Tera Melos, Born Ruffians, The Stark Reality, Young Galaxy, Locust, Jim Haynes, Wild Honey, Mark Templeton, The Lyres, Implodes, Cosmonauts, Krallice, Vuurwerk, Pharoahs, Heavy Hawaii, Panopticon, Rainbow Arabia, The Carrots, Machinefabriek/Minus Pilots, Colleen Green, Zomes, Futurebirds, David Grubbs, Iron & Wine, Generationals, Powerdove, Oscillotron, Tartufi, Lubomyr Melnyk, Crayola Lectern, Alessi’s Ark, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, ADR, Letherette, Harper Simon and Hiss Golden Messenger.


On to the singles, and after a couple of quiet weeks there’s plenty to get excited about here too. For starters Ty Segall’s new trio Fuzz have their debut 7” on In The Red which as you’d imagine is ‘70s style stoner fuzz, there’s a really limited Parquet Courts 7” which you’re going to have to hurry for if you want a copy, and underground post-electro veterans The 15 Dead Minutes have their long overdue debut on wax with a superbly danceable 12” on Trensmat while Mark Fell teams up with his old SND buddy Mat Steel on the latest of his Sensate Focus 12”s. There’s also a whole heap of 12” reissues from dub techno pioneers Rhythm & Sound, The Raincoats’ ‘Extended Play’ EP has been reissued on CD, and other singles have come in from Ekman, Khing Kang King, Container, Anno Stamm, Solar Year, Christian Piers, Sepalcure, Plas Johnson, Amos Milburn, Band A Part, Attic Lights, Papa Topo, Bobby Browser, Guided By Voices, oOoOO, Vulgar Fashion, Autumns, Rachel Zeffira, Stubborn Heart, Restorations, Painted Palms, Wampire, Psychic Twin, Team Spirit, The RG Morrison, Wild Swim, Fainting By Numbers, Findlay, Audacity, White Woods, The Tango Saloon, Ralfe Band, Woman’s Hour, and finally, both last and least, Johnny Borrell.


See you next week (in person this time)!


Mikerpsycho & the Stale Normlokkens


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 »

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 Ashes Of Piemonte

Winter's Fire

9/10 from Mike

Time Released Sound’s packages just seem to get fancier and fancier. This one here comes in a wax-sealed envelope with a padlock and stuff so I can’t take a closer...read on »

The 15 Dead Minutes

Scheming Things

9/10 from Mike

The reliable Trensmat this week follow their recent techno-bangin’ Gnod 12” with this lengthy debut EP from The 15 Dead Minutes, a trio whose “post-electro, ...read on »

Parquet Courts

Borrowed Time

9/10 from Mike

Parquet Courts’ debut album ‘Light Up Gold’ is already one of my favourites of 2013, with our first shipment selling out pretty much instantaneously followed...read on »

Fuzz

Sleigh Ride/ You Won't See Me

9/10 from Mike

Not satisfied with bestriding the garage rock world like a colossus with his solo work, Ty Segall has formed another band. This one’s called Fuzz and as you would expect...read on »

Life Coach

Alphawaves

9/10 from Mike

The indefatigable Phil Manley is back under his Life Coach guise, and this time he’s got a sticksman - none other than Mars Volta/Fucking Am/Golden boy Jon Theodore! Any...read on »

Clint Mansell

Stoker

9/10 from Mike

Good old Clint Mansell has been up to his old soundtracking tricks again, this time for Park Chan Wook’s ‘Stoker’, with this entire LP being his work with th...read on »

John Parish

Screenplay

9/10 from ReviewBot300

Soundtracks are very much in vogue at the moment, so what better time for hairy-armed journeyman and frequent PJ Harvey collaborator John Parish to remind us of all the film m...read on »

Motorpsycho

Still Life With Eggplant

9/10 from ReviewBot300

Norway’s prolific psych-rock-jazz-pop-country-prog titans Motorpsycho have been on the form of their career lately, with new(ish) drummer Kenneth Kapstad well and truly ...read on »

Container

Treatment

9/10 from Ant

Now I’ll be a proud techno fiend til the day I die. More than any other strain of music it’s been the soundtrack to the absolute best times in my life, save when m...read on »

Wolf Eyes

No Answer : Lower Floors

9/10 from Ant

Always good to score a “more commercially available” Wolf Eyes album that’s not some hand dubbed cassette released in an edition of two copies in someone&rsq...read on »

The Haxan Cloak

Excavation

9/10 from Ant

The cover on this looks uncannily like a Prurient sleeve, an indicator to the darkness that lurks within. This is the follow up to the well received self titled debut from Bob...read on »

The Raincoats

Extended Play

9/10 from Clinton

A strange thing happened to The Raincoats in the mid ‘90s. After being bigged up by Kurt Cobain, they reappeared and had a little indian summer to their career, having o...read on »

Lubomyr Melnyk

Corollaries

9/10 from Clinton

Lubomyr Melnyk is a Ukrainian pianist who has recently hooked up with Peter Broderick and Nils Frahm to create this wonderful record. Opener ‘Pockets of Light’ jus...read on »

Sightings

Terribly Well

9/10 from Ant

A friend and I recently seized a rare opportunity to catch this NYC band play these shores. We made a 240 mile round trip and it was totally worth it. I could probably count o...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 »

Dirty Owl

Dirty Owl

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Russian label Sealt have sent us a couple of their very limited LPs this week, and I’ve gravitated towards this one because I have a certain affinity with owls and the f...read on »

Hiss Golden Messenger

Haw

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Hiss Golden Messenger’s last album ‘Poor Moon’ saw singer-songwriter MC Taylor’s profile increase dramatically with a positive critical reception and p...read on »

Audacity

Finders Keepers

8/10 from Mike

Blasting out a couple of tracks of high-octane ‘90s-style power pop on this 7” here are Orange County funsters Audacity, who channel the post-grunge brigade with b...read on »

White Woods

Big Talking

8/10 from Mike

Julia Kugel, singer and guitarist for Atlanta garage rockers The Coathangers, also makes music on her own as White Woods, and here’s a new limited 7” on Suicide Sq...read on »

Fabio Orsi

Glowing Echoes

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Respected droney character Fabio Orsi has a new limited CD this week, with more than 40 minutes of his sleepy blurred guitar drones stretched over two slow-drifting tracks, cl...read on »

Eluder

Through Horizon

8/10 from ReviewBot300

On this CD, Patrick “Eluder” Benolkin treats us to some trance-inducing deep space music inspired by lectures on astronomy; a patient tapestry of deep, rumbling sw...read on »

East India Youth

Hostel EP

8/10 from ReviewBot300

This record is two firsts rolled into one. It’s the debut EP of 22-year-old synthpop hopeful William Doyle, and it’s also the first record to be released on the Qu...read on »

Various

Le Couperet: Music For The Crimes Of Dr. Petiot

8/10 from Ant

This is the first ever vinyl issue of a 1983 cassette from legendary UK underground noise imprint Broken Flag. It kicks off with Third Phase’s ‘Ashley Grove’...read on »

Kevin Drumm

Kitchen

8/10 from Ant

We finally scored some copies of this clear vinyl plate from the excellent Bocian label. It follows Drumm’s ‘Crowded’ record for the imprint which was one of...read on »

Sensate Focus

Sensate Focus 2

8/10 from Ant

For the fifth installment in the Sensate Focus 12" series Mark Fell has enlisted fellow SND partner Mat Steel for two extended, luxurious sleek techno/house cuts. The tracks u...read on »

Barn Owl

V

8/10 from Ant

Evan Caminiti and Jon Porras are pretty reliable chaps, now five albums strong as a duo they’ve yet to unleash a turkey. Yes, the title is indeed a reference to the fact...read on »

Various

S10

8/10 from Ant

Here we have a limited picture disc compilation LP which is in an edition of 100 hand-numbered copies. I have to confess to not being familiar with any of the artists on this ...read on »

Joseph Minadeo & Curt Brown

Wood Land

8/10 from Ant

I listened to this at home last night and it was so beautiful and lovely sounding it made me feel positively evil in comparison. The Infraction label’s release schedule ...read on »

ADR

Chunky Monkey

8/10 from Ant

ADR some of you may recall was the chap responsible for the inaugural release on the Public Information label. Real name Aaron David Ross, he is also half of Gatekeeper. I was...read on »

Rich Ristagno

What Would It Be Like To Be Rich

8/10 from Ant

This guy is totally rockin’ a strong moustache and mullet combo in the photo on the inner sleeve. This record was an autobiographical concept album recorded in 1981 in f...read on »

Woman's Hour

To The End

8/10 from Ian

A nice little single from Kendal (home of the mint cake!) band Woman’s Hour. A side ‘To The End’ is a smooth soulful number that kinda floats past without an...read on »

Guided By Voices

Noble Insect

8/10 from Clinton

Currently on a one-band mission to rid the world of its vinyl resources, this is Guided By Voices’ billionth record this year. The A side has a lovely sound to it, strum...read on »

Solar Bears

Supermigration

8/10 from Clinton

Solar Bears’ previous was another of those records indebted to that kind of hazed ‘70s melancholy that streams through records by the likes of Boards of Canada, Bi...read on »

Machinefabriek / Minus Pilots

Signals

8/10 from Clinton

Dutch behemoth Machinefabriek’s millionth album is a collaboration with Minus Pilots who provide electric basses and looped guitar sounds as a basis for Mister Fabriek t...read on »

The R.G. Morrison

Slumber

8/10 from Clinton

The R.G. Morrison is a lad from Totnes (home of the bickering fair!) who as well as singing in this very un-English sounding group, runs a label, a record shop and has a girlf...read on »

Locust

You'll Be Safe Forever

8/10 from Ant

Who’d have thought that Mark Van Hoen’s Locust project would re-emerge after a 12 year hiatus and nineteen years after the debut album ‘Weathered Well’...read on »

Mark Templeton

Jealous Heart

8/10 from Clinton

My tooth has been aching. It’s okay, I made an appointment at the dentist, I’m going at 2.30 (tooth hurty). Ha!...What??? I’m just trying to cheer everyone u...read on »

Vulgar Fashion

Vulgar Fashion

8/10 from Clinton

Ok, outta Denton, Texas (home of Havergal!), I have no idea who these people are. If that is them on their facebook page then they look kind of like Peaking Lights gone feral....read on »

Featured albums

Born Ruffians
Fuzz
Wild Swim
Joseph Minadeo & Curt Brown
Various
The 15 Dead Minutes
Eluder
Sepalcure
Parquet Courts
Jim Haynes
Amos Milburn
Sleaford Mods
Sensate Focus
White Woods
Johnny Borrell
Christian Piers
Locust
Plas Johnson
Wild Honey
Audacity
The Tango Saloon
Kevin Drumm
The Ashes Of Piemonte
Machinefabriek / Minus Pilots
Fabio Orsi
Clint Mansell
Team Spirit
Findlay
ADR
Attic Lights
The Carrots
Band A Part
Papa Topo
Cosmonauts
Letherette
Zomes
Barn Owl
David Grubbs
Ekman
Rich Ristagno
Autumns
Alessi's Ark
Stubborn Heart
Life Coach
Ilaiyaraaja
John Parish
Futurebirds
Fainting By Numbers
Iron and Wine
The Haxan Cloak
Crayola Lectern
Rachel Zeffira
Various
Lubomyr Melnyk
Pharaohs
Dirty Owl
Jonas Reinhardt
Heavy Hawaii
Rainbow Arabia
Young Galaxy
Oscillotron
Ralfe Band
Panopticon
Wolf Eyes
Tartufi
Vuurwerk
Vulgar Fashion
Woman's Hour
John Zorn
Tera Melos
Various
Solar Bears
John Zorn
Generationals
Harper Simon
Psychic Twin
Implodes
Container
Bish
The R.G. Morrison
The Raincoats
Khing Kang King
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Frank Zappa
Hiss Golden Messenger
Mark Templeton
The Stark Reality
Anno Stamm
Xander Harris
Bobby Browser
Colleen Green
Guided By Voices
Death In June
Parquet Courts
Restorations
Wampire
Painted Palms
The Lyres
Krallice
Powerdove
The Knife
Solar Year
Alfa 9
oOoOO
Crippled Black Phoenix
Sigur Rós