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Weekly Update Todd Osborn, Terror Bird, Town Portal, Young Fathers, Pilote, and more...

Good afternoon, Norm-lovers! I’m back to regale you with this week’s new records. As always we’ve been working our little bums off trying to get everything interesting reviewed and pack your orders to be shipped all around the globe, and now you get to peruse the fruits of our labours at your leisure. Quick mention too, in case you weren’t aware, that we are also on Twitter and Facebook so follow us on those if you want the complete Norman experience.

Anyway, down to business. I’d say there are three front-runners for album of the week at the time of writing (this number may increase over the next day as more reviews flood in). First, Zomby returns with his 2CD/3LP second album for 4AD of genre-jumping future dance which will almost certainly contain something you like within its mammoth 33 tracks, while London honk-rockers Melt Yourself Down have a hard-hitting and danceable LP of afro rhythms and punchy sax action, and Canadian bedroom synth-goth chanteuse Terror Bird has her most impressive collection of intimate romantic darkpop epics to date out on Night School.

As well as those three, Iceland’s finest export Sigur Ros have unleashed their latest collection of sweeping epics, TV funny man/musical serious man Matt Berry is back on the scene with another album of his head-scratching folk/prog/psych pop which is polarising office opinions, Jon Brooks (aka Advisory Circle) has had his excellent ‘Shapwick’ LP repressed with a different owl on the back cover for those who blinked and missed the first pressing, hypno-psych rockers The Cult Of Dom Keller impressed our Nath with their newie, and I was rather taken by the gentle, fluid guitar work and warm, soft vocals of Steve Gunn’s new album (recorded as a trio with Truscinsky and Tripp) and intrigued by the sonic journey of Dolphin Into The Future Lieven Martens Moana‘s new “play for magnetic tape recorder”, while Sonic Pieces have sent us their latest sonic piece, some subtle synth-inflected neoclassicism by Rauelsson.

United Bible Studies have a spooky and unique vocal-drone-heavy LP of rituals recorded at HP Lovecraft’s grave in 2008, Hiss Golden Messenger has an LP of tasteful alt-country non-album tracks and surprising soundtracky instrumentals, French duo Za! have a relentless LP of genre-hopping virtuosic loopy prog action, Dethscalator bring some 1990-sounding noise rock to the table on their superbly titled ‘Racial Golf Course No Bitches’, The Fall are live in San Francisco on a double LP, a Blue Man has field-recorded the sounds of Cape Cod for posterity in this ‘Hear Cape Cod’ collection, which sees remixed and reworked by an impressive line-up of sound artists, Edinburgh hip hoppers Young Fathers drop a second “tape” of clever rhymes and magpie-like sampling on Anticon, Jan St. Werner (Mouse On Mars, Von Sudafed, etc) has an LP of mind-melting experimental weirdness, there’s a couple of classic Frank Zappa reissues which look pretty nice, and other albums this week have arrived from Anna Von Hausswolff, Ashtray Boy, Baths, Captain Beefheart, Case Studies, Cristal, Denseland, , Digable Planets, Dinosaur Pile Up, Don Cherry, Eden Ahbez, Fennesz, Flying Ibex, Fordham Wilkes, Huon, Husky Rescue, Ignatz, Illuha, Jagwar Ma, Julian Cope, Kodaline, Lust For Youth, Maan, Mahogany, Maurizio Bianchi / M.B, Mental Architects, Michael Chapman, Palms, Peyton Pinkerton, Pilote, Seaworthy + Taylor Deupree, Time Columns, Tomotsugu Nakemura, Town Portal, Tripwires, unhappybirthday, Verma and Windy & Carl.

There’s plenty to enthuse about in terms of singles this week too, after a bit of a dry spell in the short-player front. Man...Or Astro-Man? drop the predictably excellent third and final analog series 7” before their hotly anticipated new album, the inimitable DJ Sprinkles has not one but two 12”s of remixes as a taster for his forthcoming album of remixes, we’ve snagged some copies of Texan synth kids Survive’s debut 10” which were a warehouse find (from the 2nd press of 150) and are unlikely to be seen again once they’re gone.

Xiu Xiu and Lawrence English both provide (comparatively) accessible offerings for an unusually leftfield split 7” on Famous Class, Kraak go down under for a four-way split by Mad Nanna/Pumice/Kraus/Slug Guts, there’s classic-sounding post-punk from both sides of the pond on 7”s by Mirrorism and Shopping, Powell’s got a hard-hitting new 12” of technoid insanity that Phil and Clinton both rate, there’s techno bumpers from Ancient Methods and SS/S and some warm Detroit-style house from Todd Osborn that our Ant enthused about and other miniature releases this week came from Brown Bombers & Soul Partners, Charles Bradley, Charmaine Burnette, Cosines, David Bowie, Everything Everything, Foals, H Hawkline, Hyetal, James Dockery, Jamie Hustle, Juan Atkins and Moritz Von Oswald, Mgun, Tabata Mitsuru and Tom O’Dell.

Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.

Mike’s Normy Valentines


Best records this week

According to our review team at least...

Boards of Canada

Tomorrow's Harvest

9/10 from Phil

I’ve been waiting far too long for this moment being a massive fanboy but finally I get to hear the long awaited Boards of Canada album! I found ‘Campfire Headphas...read on »

Terror Bird

All This Time

9/10 from ReviewBot300

Vancouverite Nikki Never is back under her Terror Bird alias with some more chilly synthetic bedroom goth-pop business, this time on the excellent Night School. For the uninit...read on »

Man Or Astro-Man?

Analog Series Vol: 3

9/10 from Mike

Not enough people know this but Man...or Astro-Man? in their original incarnation were one of the most consistently mind-blowing bands this universe has ever seen, so when the...read on »

Melt Yourself Down

Melt Yourself Down

9/10 from Mike

Pete Wareham from Acoustic Ladyland/Polar Bear has gathered together another of his supergroups for a cheeky Afro-dance jazz party which includes a Heliocentric, a Zun Zun Egu...read on »

Steve Gunn

Time Off

9/10 from Mike

Steve Gunn returns this week with a new album on the reliably classy Paradise of Bachelors, and this time he’s got a backing band. Gunn has enlisted the brilliant John T...read on »

Zomby

With Love

9/10 from Clinton

At last. When embarking on a reviewing marathon, it’s a challenge enough to try find a record you actually like. Phil has just wandered over with the new Zomby record. I...read on »

Powell

Fizz

9/10 from Clinton

Here we have the latest EP from Oscar Powell who has caused a bit of commotion with his previous releases and this new one on Mute will live up to the excitement caused. He pr...read on »

DJ Sprinkles

Vinyl Sampler Pt. 1

9/10 from Clinton

I like a bit of a DJ Sprinkles. Having discovered him via the magnificent reissue of the classic ‘Midtown 120’, it turns out that he makes a kind of airy, melodic ...read on »

Ancient Methods

Seventh Seal

9/10 from Ant

Ancient Methods unleash the seventh release on the Ancient Methods label with this four track belter. Going straight for the jugular with the no nonsense ‘Knights and B...read on »

SS/S (Silent Servant & Svreca)

Sicario De Dios

9/10 from Ant

Jealous God is a new label from Regis, James Ruskin and Silent Servant which is bound to be getting many folks in the techno community wetting themselves with excitement. The ...read on »

Todd Osborn

303 / 909

9/10 from Ant

Anyone that’s been following Detroit’s Jared Wilson will know he’s been making some of the finest authentic acid house around in recent years. Todd Osborn ap...read on »

Seaworthy + Taylor Deupree

Wood, Winter, Hollow

9/10 from Ant

The tale behind Seaworthy (Cameron Webb) and Taylor Deupree's first full length collaboration goes that Webb was flown away from a baking Australian summer and plunged into th...read on »

Illuha

Interstices

9/10 from Ant

Interstices is Illuha's second album for 12k and is the product of refining live performance; exploring, deconstructing and reconstructing ideas and sounds. The results are th...read on »

Sigur Rós

Kveikur

9/10 from Ian

Norman Records have given me the absolute honour of saying a few words about the new Sigur Ros album ‘Kveikur’, perks of the job indeed. Now down to a three piece ...read on »

Date Palms

The Dusted Sessions

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Argh, it’s another of those weeks where loads of interesting stuff turns up at Friday lunchtime just when we’re wrapping up so I’ll have to keep my words on ...read on »

Blood Music

Blood Music EP

8/10 from Mike

Arriving at 2.30 on a Friday afternoon, this EP nearly didn’t get reviewed at all but Phil insisted it was one we should listen to so here goes. On Rare Earth there&rsqu...read on »

Rodan

Fifteen Quiet Years

8/10 from Mike

Rodan were one of those bands who most indie rock fans wish had brought out more records. Their solitary album, ‘Rusty’, is still spoken about in hushed tones by b...read on »

Holden

Renata

8/10 from Clinton

It’s probably best not to look at a photograph of James Holden before listening to his music. With his scarf and assymetrical hair you could be forgiven for thinking of ...read on »

Tuff Sherm

Shrapnel Maestro

8/10 from Clinton

Still fuming over not being allowed to review the new Beady Eye single, I’ve instead been given a slew of difficult Arabic music and impenetrable techno to wade through....read on »

Survive

LLR002

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Texas synth kids Survive totally blew me away with their first 7” a while back, with its B-side ‘Part Tiger’ boasting a right-to-the-limits Moroder-esque syn...read on »

Lieven Martens Moana

Music From The Guardhouse

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Here’s an LP from the man formerly known as Dolphins Into The Future, Lieven Martens Moana, and it’s a bit of a head-scratcher. Described as “A play for magn...read on »

Xiu Xiu / Lawrence English

LAMC No. 8

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Bit of a departure for the Famous Class 7” series, as they head into more experimental territory with these numbers from Xiu Xiu and Lawrence English. Xiu Xiu’s ou...read on »

Jan St. Werner

Blaze Colour Burn

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Here’s a surprising and confusing LP on Thrill Jockey from Mouse on Mars/Microstoria/Lithops/Von Sudafed/Sonig Recs workaholic Jan St Werner, and it’s a pretty int...read on »

Mad Nanna / Pumice / Kraus/ Slug Guts

Realistic Pillow

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Here’s a four-way split on Kraak, the fifth in a series of four-ways focusing on “caviar from Oceania”. First up, Mad Nanna have a lean and lazy bit of lo-fi...read on »

Various

Hear Cape Cod Vol. 1

8/10 from Mike

On this 2CD set, music professor and Blue Man Group drummer Steve Wilkes collects a series of field recordings he has made over the past three years in Cape Cod as part of a f...read on »

United Bible Studies

I Am Providence

8/10 from Mike

In an unusual twist, the new United Bible Studies album was all recorded in a single day, July 1, 2008, when the collective performed a “musical ritual” at HP Love...read on »

Hiss Golden Messenger

Lord I Love The Rain

8/10 from Mike

Here’s an LP of odds’n’sods from esteemed Americana mumbler Hiss Golden Messenger. The first side is populated by a series of unreleased offcuts from around ...read on »

Case Studies

This Is Another Life

8/10 from Li'l Biz

Right, got the sophomore solo outing from Dutchess & The Duke mainman Jesse Lortz, a man who likes to busy himself in the old songwriting game. He’s written ten song...read on »

Rauelsson

Vora

8/10 from Li'l Biz

Sonic Pieces return with a tastefully packaged little outing from Rauelsson a.k.a Raúl Pastor Medall. You may remember the artist from the Heather Woods Broderick compi...read on »

Matt Berry

Kill The Wolf

8/10 from Mike

Reviewing the follow-up to an album you really love, especially when time is limited, can be a bit of a handicap sometimes. It can take two or three listens to really get over...read on »

Shopping

In Other Words / You Are A Sort (Don't Call Me)

8/10 from Mike

Ooh, I’m liking this. I don’t know much about Shopping except they’re from London, they’re two girls and a boy, they play post-punk and one of them is ...read on »

Dethscalator

Racial Golf Course, No Bitches

8/10 from Mike

This release seems to have been on the horizon for a long time now, but finally the wait is over and the bubblegum pink slab of vinyl is in our hands. Dethscalator play a no-h...read on »

Mirrorism

Night Flight / Exit The Loop

8/10 from Mike

Neither of the Trouble In Mind 7”s this week are quite what I was expecting. This one’s a spindly, clattery bit of post-punk which sounds like something between Ga...read on »

Windy & Carl

Antarctica: Bliss Out v.2

8/10 from Ian

Michigan space-rock legends Windy & Carl’s 1997 album ‘Antarctica’ gets a second release on Darla Records, and with their names now cemented in experimen...read on »

Young Fathers

Tape Two

8/10 from Clinton

If you buy one record this year buy ‘Tape One’ by Young Fathers. It really is a stunner. Read my review here. This is the follow up and...is that child wearing a &...read on »

The Travellers

Summer With No Sun/ 74 Times

8/10 from Clinton

I read about this lot somewhere ....but where??? So many things pop through my head on a daily basis that there is no room in there anymore and most of the information gets sq...read on »

Ashtray Boy

Together

8/10 from Clinton

Now I’m excited. Randall Lee is the man who, if he wanted to, could have been another Robert Forster, if the world had needed another Robert Forster which maybe it did. ...read on »

unhappybirthday

Sirup

8/10 from Clinton

“I’d like to wish you an unhappy birthday” spake Morrissey towards the tail end of his usefulness within the Smiths, though it is other 80’s deities th...read on »

MGUN

If You're Reading This EP

8/10 from Clinton

If you are reading this you must be either our proof reader extraordinaire Mike or be very bored indeed. This is my last review of the day and it will be followed be a big jui...read on »

Tunng

Turbines

8/10 from Ian

This is the fifth album from those folktronica masters Tunng, ‘Turbines’ is the fruits of a heady 3 years work what with their last album being 2010’s &lsquo...read on »

The Cult Of Dom Keller

The Cult Of Dom Keller

8/10 from Nathon

Sensing potential in these The Cult Of Dom Keller chaps after giving them a good listen over on Soundcloud, Phil ordered so many copies of their new album - the also-titled &l...read on »

Za!

Wanananai

8/10 from ReviewBot300

It’s my job this week to try and pin down the slippery sound of Barcelona's dynamic oddball duo Za!, and their sprawling hour-long new album ‘Wanananai’. It&...read on »

Karel Goeyvaerts

Karel Goeyvaerts

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Finders Keepers’ experimental offshoot Cacophonic have unearthed some rare recordings from Karel Goeyvaerts, whose work I’m not familiar with but who was a contemp...read on »

Featured albums

Ancient Methods
Shopping
Brown Bombers & Soul Partners
Maan
Mad Nanna / Pumice / Kraus/ Slug Guts
James Dockery
Foals
Time Columns
Town Portal
MGUN
Lieven Martens Moana
Peyton Pinkerton
Flying Ibex
Mental Architects
Don Cherry
Various
Fordham Wilkes
Rauelsson
Frank Zappa
Charmaine Burnette
DJ Sprinkles
Seaworthy + Taylor Deupree
Frank Zappa
Illuha
Charles Bradley
DJ Sprinkles
Survive
Steve Gunn
Anna von Hausswolff
Dinosaur Pile Up
H Hawkline
Tripwires
Kodaline
David Bowie
United Bible Studies
Ashtray Boy
Everything Everything
Hiss Golden Messenger
Ignatz
Maurizio Bianchi / M.B
Mirrorism
Verma
Palms
Hyetal
Powell
Jan St. Werner
SS/S (Silent Servant & Svreca)
unhappybirthday
Jagwar Ma
Za!
The Fall
Husky Rescue
Julian Cope
Cosines
Xiu Xiu / Lawrence English
Young Fathers
Melt Yourself Down
Jamie Hustle
Case Studies
Lust For Youth
Zomby
Michael Chapman
Sigur Rós
Digable Planets
Terror Bird
The Cult Of Dom Keller
Cristal
Matt Berry
Baths
Denseland
Juan Atkins and Moritz Von Oswald
Todd Osborn
Pilote
Windy & Carl
Tomotsugu Nakemura
Man Or Astro-Man?
Tabata Mitsuru
Dethscalator
Captain Beefheart
Jon Brooks
Fennesz
Tom Odell
Eden Ahbez
Huon
Mahogany