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Weekly Update Listening Center / Pye Corner Audio, Devo, Jamie Isaac, Richard Youngs, Franz Ferdinand, and more...

Top of the afternoon to you. It's Friday, it's something PM, it's time for another edition of the Norman Records Weekly Update, and do we have some fun for you? Yes! The answer is yes. Now in the words of the chaps from The Ramones, “Hey Ho, Let's Go...”

First up, you will notice that we now are giving marks out of ten. This means that all the records we sell are now better. They are potentially, um, five whole points better than they used to be. AND this gives us greater scope to tell you what we really think. We also want you involved, so help save our tired fingers and worn out ears by writing some reviews for us. Please.

With our new reviewing system just in place, we already have had a straight 10 out of 10 for our Album of the Week, meaning that its one of the best records ever made. It's by Teho Teardo & Blixa Bargeld. Blixa as you know was in Einsturzende Neubauten who once supported Showaddywaddy so just imagine how good this is? It's gorgeous dusky chamber music and its string laden atmospherics caused our Reviewbot to cry real robot tears.

Who likes Pye? I like Pye. Lovely, lovely, lovely Pye. Our Single of the Week goes again to the consistently excellent Ghost Box records and their latest outpouring by Pye Corner Audio and Listening Center which Phil describes as ‘cheeky’, and Ian as a ‘hook laden super analogue synth tune’.

Elsewhere there is a ton of good stuff. Lo-fi madman/genius R.Stevie Moore has three (count ‘em) vinyl reissues out this week, so if you were smitten by that ‘Lo-Fi, Hi -Fives’ compilation thing and want more of his peculiar brand of whimsical pop magic you better click that button right now.

Heidi Harris previously won Album of the Week with a CD so limited that if you dropped one on the floor you threw half of the pressing away. This time her latest ‘Cut The Line‘ is out on vinyl and there are only 100. Its haunting, plaintive songwriting won Reviewbot over once again.

Devo are a band worshipped by plenty around here and we are blessed to have vinyl editions of the thoroughly exciting looking ‘Hardcore Vol 1’ and ‘Hardcore Vol 2’ albums, showcasing their rare early pre-debut album works. We also have a live CD of them singing their hits and more in Seattle back in ‘81’. Expect audience moustache.

Temples sound much like Tame Impala, even their name involves a few of the same letters. Their new 10” is flying out so be swift, very swift. Jamie Isaac has some beautifully sombre James Blake style piano-led tear-drenched melancholy on his debut 12” while Daniel Johnston (as Danny and the Nightmares) is in blitzkreig form on his howling and way-off-the-rails ‘Death of Satan’ album.

Exclusive to us, Epic 45 dark horse Rob Holton unleashes his debut album under the name Field Harmonics. In thrall to everything you love (and pretend to hate) about 80s synth pop it would not sound out of place on The Breakfast Club soundtrack.

Our independent music specialist pals from ‘cross t’pennines loved last years Hype Williams-esque Yong Yong tape they bought the company i.e. re-issued it on vinyl, in stock now.

Richard Youngs unleashes his 38th album which you need to hear to believe, check out my incredulous review.

Eat Lights Become Lights have a new split 12” out with Twelve (Six By Seven dude) whose electro-kraut jams are proving popular and Tame Impala’s Record Store Day 12” is back out again but this time on black vinyl.

Oh, I forgot to say that Franz Ferdinand have a new single out.

Anyway enough of my yakkin’, lets boogie the night away at the discotheque/sit at home in a tattered armchair nursing a bourbon cream. The choice is yours.

Clinton (and his gangsters of love) xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


Best records this week

According to our review team at least...

SHXCXCHCXSH

STRGTHS RCNSTRCTNS

9/10 from Ant

Here we have three remixes from the forthcoming SHXCXCHCXSH album on Avian, coming courtesy of Shifted, Sigha and Ventress who've all dropped the vowels from their names which...read on »

Various

The Black Ideal

9/10 from Ant

Here we have a superb gatefold 180g vinyl 2LP set which is the first release on Unknown Percept. Featuring some of the cream of the current wave of darkside techno operators: ...read on »

Thundercat

Apocalypse

9/10 from Clinton

Thundercat was the big new lad on the block a few years ago whose confusingly similarly-titled and Flying Lotus-produced album ‘The Golden Age of Apocalypse’ was a...read on »

Ancient Methods, Anne-James Chaton, Steven Porter, Sawlin

Mu EP

9/10 from Ant

It's no secret that yours truly's spider sense tingles whenever the words Ancient Methods are uttered. So I'm immediately all over this record on Japanese 10 Label. AM open th...read on »

Various

Scared To Get Happy - A Story Of Indie-Pop 1980-1989

9/10 from Nathon

Barely any need to review this one really, is there? Just take a look at the tracklist! And after you've done so dig out your old cardigan, go and buy some cheap cider, and e...read on »

R Stevie Moore

Delicate Tension

9/10 from ReviewBot300

R Stevie Moore’s impressive back catalogue was recently brought under the spotlight again thanks to collaborations with Ariel Pink and a near-flawless career-spanning an...read on »

U.S. Steel Cello Ensemble

Bitter Suites

9/10 from ReviewBot300

Those marvellous people at Holidays have sent us a couple more records this week which I’m pleased about because their output is at worst interesting. This one here is a...read on »

Heidi Harris

Cut The Line

9/10 from ReviewBot300

Heidi Harris’s first CD ‘In The Lee’ may well have been the most limited release ever to lay its hands on our coveted Album of the Week trophy when it came o...read on »

Devo

Hardcore Vol: 1

9/10 from ReviewBot300

This is a bit special. Superior Viaduct have only gone and done a first ever vinyl pressing of DEVO’s Hardcore Vol I and Hardcore Vol II, with three LPs worth of four-tr...read on »

Devo

Hardcore Vol: 2

9/10 from ReviewBot300

This is a bit special. Superior Viaduct have only gone and done a first ever vinyl pressing of DEVO’s Hardcore Vol I and Hardcore Vol II, with three LPs worth of four-tr...read on »

Fat History Month

Bad History Month

9/10 from ReviewBot300

Here’s the latest LP from are-they-serious?/aren’t-they-serious? indie rockers Fat History Month, who peddle a style of slightly folk-influenced indie rock which w...read on »

Teho Teardo & Blixa Bargeld

Still Smiling

9/10 from ReviewBot300

The promo for this album turned up a few years ago and has been on fairly regular rotation here at Norman Towers ever since, with former Einsturzende Neubauten/Bad Seeds chara...read on »

Listening Center / Pye Corner Audio

Study Series 09 'Projections'

9/10 from Ian

Ghost Box crack out another great Study Series seven incher, this time with New York's Listening Center. ‘Titoli’ is a super analogue synth pop tune in the same v...read on »

Floorplan (Robert Hood)

Paradise

9/10 from Ant

Detroit’s Robert Hood's Floorplan alias is aimed squarely at the dancefloor and embraces house disco and funk influences. The first Floorplan 12" dropped on his Drama la...read on »

Kevin Drumm

Imperial Distortion

9/10 from Ant

I once zoned out to this album so much that I thought I was actually dead. Originally released on Hospital Productions as a 2CD back in 2008 it was thee Kevin Drumm album that...read on »

The Young Sinclairs

Engineer Man / Problems

8/10 from Clinton

I have a sieve of a memory,  Phil had to remind me I’d five starred these 60s inspired power pop lot just weeks ago. Nothing...couldn’t remember a thing. But ...read on »

Jamaican Queens

Kids Get Away / Can't Say No To Annie

8/10 from Clinton

“My girlfriend went to the Caribbean”. “Jamaica?” “No, she went of her own accord”. Ha ha ha ha. Oh brilliant. Always start with a joke rub...read on »

Mark Pritchard

Ghosts

8/10 from Clinton

Originally with Global Communication, then Harmonic 313 it has been swiftly established during an office chat that he doesn’t normally do music like opener ‘Manaba...read on »

Mala

Noches Suenos (Mala & Simbad Super Dub)

8/10 from Clinton

Mala has put his cuban hat back on and cuban cigar in mouth and reworks are track from his ‘Mala in Cuba’ album pumping it full of the Croydon dubstep which made h...read on »

Cannibal Movie

Mondo Music

8/10 from ReviewBot300

With my regular partner in review crime Mike taking a well-earned break this week, I’ve got a hard day’s reviewing ahead of me, starting with this Cannibal Movie L...read on »

M83

Oblivion - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

8/10 from ReviewBot300

This isn’t technically an M83 record but in fact is the work of M83’s Anthony Gonzalez and soundtracker Joseph Trabanese (‘Tron’, ‘The Raid&rsquo...read on »

Les Conversions

Snowwhite

8/10 from ReviewBot300

After an impressive debut LP of playful darkness on Decimus’s own Kelippah imprint, No-Necking trio Pat Murano, Jason Meagher and Dave Shuford have teamed up once more a...read on »

Christophe Bailleau and Julien Demoulin

Outshining Memories

8/10 from Phil

Ooh this thing sounds promising. Two guys from the experimental floaty underworld joining forces to create some unique scapeyspheres whilst holding hands (hopefully). I loved ...read on »

Atoms For Peace

Before Your Very Eyes

8/10 from Ian

Third single taken from the critically acclaimed album from Thom Yorke and co. and in my mind probably the standout track from ‘Amok’. ‘Before Your Very Eye...read on »

Temples

Colours To Life

8/10 from Li'l Biz

Might as well not even bother reviewing this as it’s shitting out... If you managed to grab the coloured vinyl version you no doubt have a collector's item on your hand...read on »

Chester Endersby Gwazda

Shroud

8/10 from Li'l Biz

Chester Endersby Gwazda is a new name to me but he’s a household name back in his native Baltimore, with a history of performing with and producing records for all the W...read on »

R Stevie Moore

Glad Music

8/10 from Li'l Biz

I’ll try not to go on about ‘Glad Music’ for too long. It’s one of three reissues from R Stevie Moore’s back catalog out this week. Mike has alre...read on »

Jamie Isaac

I Will Be Cold Soon

8/10 from Clinton

They are all called Jamie aren’t they? Jamie Woon, Jamie XX....ummm...Jamie And The Magic Torch? I’m quite surprised that its taken the suits so long to find a mo...read on »

The Duckworth Lewis Method

Sticky Wickets

8/10 from Clinton

2010’s self titled cricket-themed record was a plenty amusing and tuneful sidestep for The Divine Comedy songsmith Neil Hannon (alongside the similarly melodic charms of...read on »

Young Echo

Nexus

8/10 from Clinton

Taking their cue from the original Wild Bunch (which spawned the likes of Massive Attack and later Tricky and Portishead) Young Echo are a collective of like-minded Bristol fo...read on »

Field Harmonics

Walls

8/10 from Nathon

In a sign of the audience-splitting effect that this new album from Epic 45's Rob Glover is likely to have it fell on me, by far the least experienced of our venerable reviewi...read on »

Eat Lights Become Lights / Twelve

Split

8/10 from Clinton

Eat Lights Become Lights eschew their usual motorik groove for something a lot more slowly evolving and euphoric, like an updating on the Ibiza chill out sound, orchestral sam...read on »

Danny And The Nightmares

Death Of Satan

8/10 from Clinton

Daniel Johnston has really been back to his best in recent years; ‘Is and Always Was’ had some excellent moments while his contributions to this years ‘Space...read on »

Morphosis

Dismantle / Music For Vampyr

8/10 from Ant

So good to get some more stuff from Lebanese producer Rabih Beaini so soon after his magnificent ‘Albidaya’ album for Annihaya released under his own name. This ho...read on »

Tame Impala

EP

8/10 from Clinton

Queued for hours for the Tame Impala record store day 12”? Thrilled that you got it? Desolate that you missed out? Well you will either be pleased/infuriated that here i...read on »

Kat Epple & Bob Stohl

Sanctus Spiritus

8/10 from Ant

The Andy Votel curated / Finders Keepers sub-label are doing a mighty fine job at unearthing some long lost obscurities, digging deeper than many current reissue labels. This ...read on »

Featured albums

Franz Ferdinand
Richard Youngs
Listening Center / Pye Corner Audio
Jamie Isaac
Temples
Teho Teardo & Blixa Bargeld
Devo
Devo
Devo
Danny And The Nightmares
Field Harmonics
Tame Impala
Yong Yong