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Weekly Update Karl Hector & The Malcouns, Goth Trad, Keith Fullerton Whitman / Floris Vanhoof, Sleeping Bag, Interplanetary Prophets, and more...

Phew! You wait ages for some summer and then suddenly it’s so poundingly hot you feel like you’re getting punched in the face. Good old British summer. That’s the closest you’re getting to a complaint from me about it though, we’re wallowing in this heatwave here at Norman Towers, even if it does make it a bit difficult to keep up our usual workrate without getting drenched in sweat. Enough about the weather, though, it’s time to whip out the Normometer and talk about which records are hot this week.

There’s some right gems in our bag of goodies this week too. There’s an instant classic LP of textbook slacker pop from New York-based Aussie Free Time which is inducing office positivity with its Scott & Charlene’s Wedding-meets-Real Estate sunshine vibes, while the mercurial and enigmatic Julian Lynch has also quietly dropped another album of unclassifiable silky smooth post-pop, and the prolific Bitchin’ Bajas have a new LP of krauty mystical bong drift amusingly titled ‘Bitchitronics’, Master Musicians of Bukkake are back on the scene with a light-filled stoner epic on Important (CD only at the moment, vinyl to follow), and for my money the new High Wolf LP of sun-kissed psychedelia is his best yet.

We’ve been lucky enough to snag a few of the limited coloured vinyl editions of the latest two Blackest Rainbow releases, very different but equally hypnotic offerings from Carlton Melton and Hellvete, the former dropping dusky psychedelic repeato grooves and the latter carving out dense organic multi-instrumental drones. There’s a couple of albums of pulsating krautrock that I’m finding it hard to pick a favourite from, too - the newies from the trustworthy Eat Lights Become Lights and d_rradio who both seem to be upping their game this time round.

The Pet Shop Boys are back to their dancefloor-oriented roots with a new album of pumping synthpop, director David Lynch drops his sophomore singing record, A Grave With No Name has an LP of perfectly-constructed understated hangdog pop, classic records by Loop and Spacemen 3 are back on vinyl, Matt Elliott’s ‘The Mess We Made’ is on 2LP for the first time ever, The Janitors are the latest psych rockers to get a fancy gatefold 2LP released by new cultists Cardinal Fuzz, Bestial Mouths have a hard-hitting LP of blown out gothy post-punk on Glasgow’s Clan Destine, and the sultry and prolific Heidi Harris has a very limited new CD on Reverb Worship showcasing some recent songs and experiments hot on the tail of her first ever vinyl LP a few weeks ago.

If you like darkly awkward comedy, there’s a picture LP of Tig Notaro talking about having cancer and her life falling apart on Secretly Canadian while Drag City have dredged up an album’s worth of Andy Kaufman’s personal tape recordings so you can hear him perfecting his cruel and unusual style of wit on family and friends. If you like darkly awkward music, you could try the new LP of freeform skronk by Nate Wooley, Chris Corsano, Hugo Antunes, Giovanni Di Domenico & Daniele Martini, or the split LP of analogue tomfoolery from experimentalists Keith Fullerton Whitman/Floris Vanhoof.

As if that wasn’t enough there’s some great crunchy indie rock from Fists on Gringo/Hello Thor, there’s a superb LP of antipodean dirge-garage by Constant Mongrel on Siltbreeze that left me wanting more, Ian was rather taken by the gothy stylings of Gauntlet Hair’s sophomore album, Salvia Plath (formerly Run DMT) has an album of unpredictable pastoral psych pop, there’s an LP of wibbly broken analogue atmospheres from 1991, a soaring synthpop reissue from 2003 on Mexican Summer by Ashrae Fax, and that’s before I even get started on the albums by Airhead, Ashley Eriksson, AUN, Birdhead, Chris Schlarb, Danny And The Nightmares, David A Jaycock, Earth Dies Burning, Else Marie Pade & Jacob Kirkegaard, Eric Lau, Filastine, Georgia Anne Muldrow & Dudley Perkins, Goodiepal /Flower Farmer, Grandmaster Gareth, Greg Haines, Hidden Masters, John Lemke, Karl Hector & The Malcouns, Landshapes, Maps, Matt Elliott, Merzbow, Morningdeer, Near Paris, Omasin, Our Love Will Destroy The World, Paula, Psyche / BFC, Rainer Ptacek, Ramesses, Rangefinder, Rusted Sounds, Salty Dog, Sankt Otten, Sarah Johns Music Party, Shxcxchcxsh, See-Saw, Sleeping Bag, Soft Metals, Son House, The Crimea, The Mantles, The Monochrome Set, The Weeks, Toy Love, Vazz, White Fence, Witxes and Zoos Of Berlin! Jeepers!

As for the singles, Lone takes his genre-mashing future dance to the next level on a hot new 12” I expect to be hearing a lot of this summer, the Pet Shop Boys christen their new label x2 with a limited 12” with a Boys Noize remix on it, Brian Jonestown’s Anton Newcombe has created some psychedelic reinventions of tracks from Tim Burgess’s excellent ‘Oh No I Love You’ for a bright yellow 12”, a back-on-form Ariel Pink teams up with Violens’ Jorge Elbrecht for a quality 7” of melancholic nostalgia, garage punkers Scraper have a very cool six-song debut 7”, Nottingham’s Cantaloupe dish out some synthy art rock business, Kim Deal brought out a new 7” which would’ve been single of the week if we hadn’t sold our entire allocation in a single day, the latest of Hibernate’s lovely postcard series of 3” CDs has an installation piece by Isnaj Dui full of gently lapping drones.

The xx finally embrace the protective powers of shrinkwrap on their new 7”, Daft Punk’s ‘Get Lucky’ is out on “limited” 12”, hyped Glaswegian synthpoppers Chvrches don’t give much away on new 12”, ‘90s indie nostalgists will love the Trumans Water/Birdbath 7”, The Young Knives return with a self-produced EP of outsider synthpop that’s surprisingly impressive, and there’s other singles by Bobby Martin/Bobby Darin, Busy P, Goth Trad, Gui Boratto, Happy Families, Hidden Orchestra, Hreda, Interplanetary Prophets, J:Kenzo, Kiwi, Kult Country, Local Natives, Lrusse & Bleecker, Midland, Mind Enterprises, Papers, Scraper, Skitz & Engine Earz Ft. Solo Banton, Rodney P, Roots Manuva & Darrison, Springintgut, The Dexters, The Genteels/The Jesters, The Impressions, The Weeks, Tshetsha Boys, Various Production and Zilla Mays/Ray Johnson.

Enjoy the sunshine and protect the things you love. You know, your skin, children, pets, records...

A Mike with No Norm


Best records this week

According to our review team at least...

Kim Deal

Hot Shot / Likkle More

10/10 from Mike

Look what we’ve got here! It’s Kim Deal’s second solo 7”, which was delivered by hand but an hour or two ago. I’m listening to it right now and i...read on »

Ü (Joel Brindefalk)

Great Dose of Monotonous Techno

9/10 from Ant

Ü was an alias of Joel Brindefalk (RIP) who sadly passed away earlier this year. This album was recorded and released back in 1992 and in some ways sounds very much of it...read on »

Data 70

Space Loops The Complete Sessions

9/10 from Phil

Here's what Phil had to say about part 1 in 2006:a dbl pack by Data 70 and that's on clear vinyl. This is more droney, wooshy, spacey and experimental with all kinds...read on »

Heidi Harris

Sketch

9/10 from Mike

Brooklyn’s super prolific Heidi Harris came out with her first vinyl release a few weeks ago, ‘Cut The Line’, in which she introduced some more intricate tap...read on »

High Wolf

Kairos: Chronos

9/10 from Mike

Your favourite French hippie globetrotter High Wolf returns this week (well last week, but this turned up late on Friday so he’s only getting a review now) with another ...read on »

Constant Mongrel

Heavy Breathing

9/10 from ReviewBot300

Oh, this is good. Constant Mongrel are one of the Australian garage rock bands you like so much, and this is their second album. I didn’t hear the first one but I can al...read on »

Julian Lynch

Lines

9/10 from ReviewBot300

Every day lately, there’s a record which tries to send me to sleep while I review it. Yesterday I was getting heavy-lidded whilst investigating the new High Wolf effort ...read on »

Various

A Young Person's Guide To The Avant-Garde

9/10 from ReviewBot300

What a marvellous collection! Here’s a lovingly assembled 2CD set designed as a primer for the heavy intellectual terrain that is modern avant-garde and experimental mus...read on »

Loop

Fade Out

9/10 from Nathon

Not since Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-Five Theses to a church door in Wittenburg had the Western world known such a schism. History has seen some fierce rivalries down the...read on »

Bitchin Bajas

Bitchitronics

9/10 from Mike

A fine new arrival has just landed in our office. It’s the pithily titled ‘Bitchitronics’ from Bitchin’ Bajas, which is the name of what happens when p...read on »

Carlton Melton

Four Eyes

9/10 from Mike

Those fantastic psych explorers Carlton Melton have a new album this week on Blackest Rainbow and we’ve been lucky enough to snag some of the extra-limited coloured copi...read on »

A Grave With No Name

Whirlpool

9/10 from Mike

Phil has mentioned to me a couple of times already that he likes this record so I have high expectations. Phil’s a man who has heard a lot of records, you see. He’...read on »

Free Time

Free Time

9/10 from Mike

Sometimes you put on a record and you can just feel the stress flow out of your body, trickling warmly down your limbs into the ground. This is one of those, combining Alex Bl...read on »

Master Musicians of Bukkake

Far West

9/10 from Mike

It’s been a while, but Master Musicians of Bukkake are back with another LP of shamanistic stoner rituals to trip you out. This time round though they seem to be focusin...read on »

Cantaloupe

Splish / Wet Dog

9/10 from Ian

My hometown of Nottingham occasionally knocks out a great band and Cantaloupe are definitely one of those, mixing synth-pop, kraut, electro, post-rock with great results, &lsq...read on »

Lone

Airglow Fires

9/10 from Li'l Biz

The new Lone (a.k.a Matt Cutler) single is banging! If you thought last year’s ‘Galaxy Garden’ was killer then you’re totally gonna dig this. It takes ...read on »

Jorge Elbrecht and Ariel Pink

Hang On to Life / No Real Friend

9/10 from Li'l Biz

Can’t say I was over the moon with the last Ariel Pink record or the lacklustre gig I witnessed at the Brudenell last summer plus Mexican Summer ain’t the label it...read on »

Piano Magic

Heart Machinery (A Piano Magic Retrospective, 2001-2008)

8/10 from Ian

Hoorah! finally a decent Piano Magic retrospective to get one’s teeth into. If like me you’ve dipped into PM’s 17 year long career in fits and starts but wan...read on »

Marcel Fengler

Fokus

8/10 from Clinton

Phil, our master, our leader, a man short on leg but long on know-how was most enthusiastic this morning when shoving this album into my sweat drenched palms. It’s a ric...read on »

Rank/Xerox

Rank/Xerox

8/10 from Clinton

Sometimes here at the towers, we try to have an afternoon of enjoyable music, particularly on a Friday. Last week, Ian found an old Wire compilation and a great time was had b...read on »

Phil Tyler

We Sunk The Ship To Get Rid Of The Rats

8/10 from Clinton

The first question is “Where’s Cath, Phil?” Tyler is most widely known for his collaborations with wife Cath and as I found out recently is the same ‘P...read on »

The New Mendicants

Australia 2013 EP

8/10 from Clinton

I know a few people who would get themselves in an excited mess at the thought of Norman Blake and Joe Pernice collaborating, they are indeed two sides of the same ultra tunef...read on »

Aine O'Dwyer

Anything bright or startling?

8/10 from Clinton

My goodness this is gorgeous. Áine O'Dwyer is a multi-instrumentalist and singer, best known for her lyrical harp playing with Mark Fry and The A. Lords, United Bible S...read on »

Fists

Phantasm

8/10 from Mike

I don’t know if it’s just the sunny weather but I’m enjoying everything I hear today. This one that’s on the stereo right now is the new Fists LP on Gr...read on »

Bestial Mouths

Bestial Mouths

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Glasgow’s Clan Destine Records are at it again this week, this time casting their net as far afield as LA with this Egyptixx-produced slab of gothy post-punk by Bestial ...read on »

Trumans Water / Birdbath

Split

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Here’s a split 7” from indie rock legends Trumans Water and Bristol’s Birdbath, rocking some traditional ‘90s indie rock and old school math rock groov...read on »

David A Jaycock

Ten Songs

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Here’s a limited CD from David A Jaycock on Static Caravan which, as the title suggests, contains ten songs. Those songs are in a gentle folky home-recorded (but not exa...read on »

Isnaj Dui

After The Flood

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Here’s another of Hibernate’s highly collectible postcard editions with the three inches of loveliness this time coming from Isnaj Dui, or Katie English to her fri...read on »

Eat Lights Become Lights

Modular Living

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Eat Lights Become Lights have been working away for years at their krautrock/post-rock/electronica hybrid with consistently decent results, and their persistence has been rewa...read on »

Photodementia

Fig 0.4c

8/10 from Clinton

The next installment in the series that has got Brian hot under the collar of late. A 15 year old recording that was strangely left unreleased at the time. Initially a collabo...read on »

The Janitors

Drone Head

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Leeds’ new psych microlabel Cardinal Fuzz seem to be pushing all the right buttons lately with desirable discs by the likes of The Heads and The Cosmic Dead and Hookworm...read on »

d_rradio

Yummy

8/10 from ReviewBot300

What we’ve got here is seven songs of quite upbeat krauty post-rock with synths and liberal use of the delay pedal. I’ve heard this band DeathRowRadio before and d...read on »

Salvia Plath

The Bardo Story

8/10 from Mike

Salvia Plath is Michael Collins, who has previously recorded under the name Run DMT, and on this album he’s making some deeply psychedelic pop with a pastoral folk twist...read on »

Tim Burgess

The Doors Of Then - I Am Yours I Am You

8/10 from Mike

Here’s an interesting record. It’s got BJM’s Anton Newcombe putting a couple of tracks from Tim Burgess’s excellent recent ‘Oh No I Love You&rsqu...read on »

Scraper

Scraper EP

8/10 from Mike

There are six tracks of sloppy neanderthal lo-fi punk on this 7”, that’s three songs per side, or nearly one song per inch! The music contained in those songs is c...read on »

Ashrae Fax

Static Crash

8/10 from Mike

This is the first of several reissues on Mexican Summer of the work of Ashrae Fax. No, me neither, but it turns out they were a pumping synthpop band from the early 2000s when...read on »

Hellvete

Sint - Denijs

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Ommmmmmmm...I’m floating off into a sea of deep organic droneswells, it’s like an orchestra tuning up while someone absent-mindedly pumps away on a harmonium. The ...read on »

The Young Knives

Oh Happiness

8/10 from ReviewBot300

The Young Knives have been on a journey since they first reached the public consciousness as a spiky indie band, experimenting with slicker, synthpoppy styles and now moving i...read on »

Gauntlet Hair

Stills

8/10 from Ian

Denver Duo Craig Nice and Andy Rauworth aka Gauntlet Hair release their second studio album for the Dead Oceans label. It seems the pair have dispelled the myth of the “...read on »

Interplanetary Prophets

Zero Hour

8/10 from Ant

I've been following Jamal Moss's (Hieroglyphic Being, The Sun God, I.B.M , IAMTHATIAM) etc. output for many years. He's probably one of my current favourite producers. Not eve...read on »

Paula

Relaxed Fit

8/10 from Li'l Biz

Picked this one up as the sleeve is fully vibing and I get the impression they’ll be blissful Cyndi Lauper-esque ‘80s pop gems nestled comfortably in the grooves. ...read on »

Girl One And The Grease Guns

Jessica 6 / Bring On The Dancing Horse Meat

8/10 from Li'l Biz

Squirrel Records unleash a second single from the mysterious (yeah right!) entity that is Girl One And The Grease Guns. Good name! Great singles! ‘Jessica 6’ kicks...read on »

The Mantles

Long Enough To Leave

8/10 from Clinton

I was so enamoured by the 12 string guitar jangles on that recent Temples single that I fired up my computer in order to email my dad and tell him all about it. It’s one...read on »

Submersion

Process

8/10 from Clinton

Are you ready for some drifting glacial dub techno?? I said, "Glastonbury - are you ready for some drifting, glacial dub techno??" See, I could headline Glastonbury. I alread...read on »

Featured albums

Vazz
Midland
See-Saw
Bestial Mouths
Rusted Sounds
Hreda
Omasin
Kim Deal
Isnaj Dui
Goth Trad
The Genteels / The Jesters
Skitz & Engine Earz Ft. Solo Banton, Rodney P, Roots Manuva & Darrison
Busy P
Birdhead
Zilla Mays / Ray Johnson
Kiwi
1991
Bobby Martin / Bobby Darin
David A Jaycock
Goodiepal / Flower Farmer
Our Love Will Destroy The World
Heidi Harris
Tshetsha Boys
Nate Wooley, Chris Corsano, Hugo Antunes, Giovanni Di Domenico & Daniele Martini
Morningdeer
Various Production
J:Kenzo
The xx
Rangefinder
Chvrches
Gui Boratto
Pet Shop Boys
Near Paris
Springintgut
The Weeks
The Weeks
Mind Enterprises
Keith Fullerton Whitman / Floris Vanhoof
Trumans Water / Birdbath
Sarah Johns Music Party
Chris Schlarb
Bitchin Bajas
Andy Kaufman
Paula
Salvia Plath
David Lynch
Tig Notaro
Gauntlet Hair
Lone
The Mantles
Scraper
Hidden Orchestra
Jorge Elbrecht and Ariel Pink
Local Natives
A Grave With No Name
Papers
SHXCXCHCXSH
Kult Country
d_rradio
Lrusse & Bleecker
The Impressions
Zoos Of Berlin
Daft Punk
The Janitors
Constant Mongrel
The Monochrome Set
Hellvete
Carlton Melton
Free Time
Sleeping Bag
Tim Burgess
Son House
Else Marie Pade & Jacob Kirkegaard
Filastine
Rainer Ptacek
Salty Dog
Ashley Eriksson
Soft Metals
The Crimea
Earth Dies Burning
Master Musicians of Bukkake
Interplanetary Prophets
Eric Lau
Cantaloupe
Toy Love
Sankt Otten
AUN
Happy Families
John Lemke
Fists
Grandmaster Gareth
Ashrae Fax
The Young Knives
Eat Lights Become Lights
Ramesses
Landshapes
Dexters
High Wolf
Airhead
Maps
Danny And The Nightmares
Pet Shop Boys
Georgia Anne Muldrow & Dudley Perkins
Hidden Masters
Witxes
Greg Haines
Karl Hector & The Malcouns
Julian Lynch
Psyche / BFC
Spacemen 3
Merzbow
White Fence
Loop
Matt Elliott