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Weekly Update Golden Teacher, Naked Lights, Lantern, Ikonika, WOO, and more...

Hey Normskulls, it’s me again! We’re back to the traditional sticky and unpredictable British summer this week after last week’s non-stop sunshine (I had a BBQ every day. No really!), and as usual we’ve been beavering away listening to records and describing what they sound like to the best of our abilities.

The one I’ve been listening to the most this week is Lantern’s ‘Rock’n’Roll Rorschach’ LP on Sophomore Lounge, a stomping glam-psych party that goes great with this hot weather. We’re giving it our album of the week prize even though we just ran out...restocks are on there way and will take a week or so to arrive from America, but don’t let that put you off - it comes very highly recommended. Another ‘70s-aping bit of rock entertainment has come from Rise Above records in the new Hidden Masters LP, it’s got a total pastoral prog thing going on like Uncle Acid gone Canterbury or something.

Apart from that, there’s quite a lot of krauty stuff coming in. One I’ve really enjoyed is the new Warm Digits LP+DVD which comes in super-fancy screenprinted sleeves and is packed with bouncy, propulsive repeato grooves which are well worth paying a premium for (although if you don’t want to there’s a regular priced CD version on the way). California’s Naked Lights have a brilliant album of hypnotic multi-instrumental krautrock miniatures recorded in their own all-analogue studio too.

If you’re looking for something a bit more danceable, Glasgow’s voodoo-art-punk-house weirdos Golden Teacher have a second 12” in a fancy sleeve with some cuts which seem woozier and more bonged out than the first EP, London synth-and-drums brothers Rocketnumbernine have a sweet second LP of head nodding grooves, Ikonika has an album of bright, lively retro-futurist dancefloor fillers on Hyperdub, and Clark and Luke Abbott offer their interpretations of Nils Frahm’s ‘Juno’ on a 12” for Erased Tapes.

On a woozier synth tip, Ensemble Economique is back this week with an LP of pop songs, or at least as close as he gets to them, with woozy drones smeared over reverbed muttering, and on the reliable Time Released Sound David Wenngren creates some somnolent soundscapes and meditative atmospheres for Swedish singer-songwriter Sara Forslund to croon breathily over as Birch and Meadow, with the usual choice between fancy expensive packaging and basic cheap packaging.

The Birthday Party’s only official live album ‘Live 81-82’, has been reissued on a gloriously violent double LP which even has a monstrous cover of The Stooges’ ‘Fun House’ with JG Thirlwell on sax, and their ‘Mutiny’/‘The Bad Seed’ EPs have been repressed in a pricey but beautiful 2x12” and 7” set. Another interesting reissue is Family Vineyard’s excavated private press gem by college students Hoi’ Polloi, recorded over spring break in 1972, and the inimitable Woo’s debut album from 1978 has also been reissued much to Clinton’s delight. Also all the Spiderbags 7”s have been collated onto a single LP by Churchkey Records which is a lot of obnoxio-garage fun.

That’s about all I have time to rant about now but there’s loads more new arrivals for you to peruse on our website. Take care of each other, you’re all beautiful.


Best records this week

According to our review team at least...

Lantern

Rock 'N' Roll Rorschach

10/10 from Mike

Sophomore Lounge are an interesting label - they’re so dizzyingly diverse that every time we get something new from them I have to re-evaluate them, but more often than ...read on »

Marina Rosenfeld

P.A - Hard Love

9/10 from Ant

Marina Rosenfeld follows up her ‘Plastic Materials’ album for Room 40 with another release for the label. On this occasion for some of the tracks she has enlisted ...read on »

Grumbling Fur

Glynnaestra

9/10 from Clinton

So this is the third installment of the ongoing collaboration between Alexander Tucker and Daniel O’Sullivan (Guapo, Ulver etc) and...hang on ...ok I’m back, now a...read on »

Diamond Version

EP5

9/10 from Li'l Biz

Diamond Version (a.k.a Byetone and Alva Noto a.k.a Carsten Nicolai and Olaf Bender) return with another savage EP on Mute. We’ve reviewed all these EPs so far so I won&r...read on »

Warm Digits

Interchange

9/10 from ReviewBot300

Ooh, the brilliant Warm Digits are back with some super-fancy LP packaging. This one comes with two different silkscreened sleeve variants, with each sleeve containing frameab...read on »

Spider Bags

Singles

9/10 from Mike

This is a welcome relief. I’ve spent the first half of this glorious morning reviewing frankly weather-inappropriate records of mogadon drones, freeform percussion and m...read on »

The Birthday Party

Live 81-82

9/10 from Mike

Historic all-boy group The Birthday Party’s only band-approved live album is back on vinyl this week. Yes, here’s ‘Live 81-82’, an album cobbled togeth...read on »

WOO

Whichever Way You Are Going, You Are Going Wrong

9/10 from Clinton

Woo are one of those bands who, from the sound that they make, and their longevity, I should know about. But I didn’t...until very recently. They came to my attention vi...read on »

Steve Moore

Zen Spiders / Lwaxana

8/10 from Ant

Synthesizer virtuoso Steve Moore pops up all over the place: Static Caravan, L.I.E.S, Cuneiform, Death Waltz, Kompakt, etc. and now here he is with a very slick two track 12&r...read on »

Lasse Buhl

R38 EP

8/10 from Ant

Echocord sub-label Echocord Colour (named due to the fact the releases are on coloured vinyl) have been in fine form recently with a slew of quality 12”s from the likes ...read on »

Bone Squad

Skal & Bones

8/10 from Ant

When I first clocked this I got pretty excited. It’s a new label called Total Fantasy, apparently ran by Deadboy (who I suspect may well have created these tracks). Bein...read on »

Mordant Music / eMMplekz

Nothing In Here Of Any Value / No Show

8/10 from Ant

It’s a bloody good job I can actually play this thing cuz I think I almost fried my amp the other day, when it overheated while listening to Pan Sonic at full fuckin&rsq...read on »

Speedy Ortiz

Major Arcana

8/10 from Clinton

Ok, ok we admit it. We are not perfect. Sometimes we completely miss out on great records just because we are too busy, or too hot, or too stupid.  This record for exampl...read on »

Johnny Marr

New Town Velocity

8/10 from Clinton

Oh Johnny. This penultimate track on his pretty decent debut album of early this year was its standout. A track where he did what everyone had been hoping for all this time, b...read on »

DJ Rashad

I Don’t Give A Fuck EP

8/10 from Li'l Biz

FOOTWORK! DAYUM! DJ Rashad hits us with a new 12” on Hyperdub that kicks out with a bleepy note vs. bassline jam topped with seasoned abusive vocal samples. The lad don&...read on »

Big Star

Live Tribute At The Levitt Shell (w/ John Davis)

8/10 from Li'l Biz

This is kinda sad but still cool. The remaining members of Big Star (with the addition of John Davis) pay tribute to Alex Chilton as well as other founding members Andy Hummel...read on »

Michael Hurley

Wildegeeses / West Virginia

8/10 from Li'l Biz

Beautiful unreleased version of ‘Wildegeeses’ featuring just Hurley’s voice and guitar. Real sparing and tender and recorded in a super basic way. Sounds ama...read on »

Don & Stevie

Don & Stevie

8/10 from Li'l Biz

Finders Keepers keep the dream alive with another collection of rare gems from back in the day. This time they’ve come up trumps with a collection of completely unheard ...read on »

Ensemble Economique

Fever Logic

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Brian Pyle is back this week with the latest installment from his ever-changing Ensemble Economiquealias. The last thing we got from him was a split with Heroin In Tahiti whic...read on »

Rocketnumbernine

Meyouweyou

8/10 from Mike

Hot on the heels of their 12” with Fourtet (and with a mooted collaboration with that mysterious musical chameleon Dame Neneh Cherry on the horizon), London synth-and-dr...read on »

Hoi Polloi

Hoi Polloi

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Here’s a little known private press gem from 1972 by Hoi’ Polloi, a collection performed and recorded by students at Richmond Indiana’s Earlham College. They...read on »

Birch And Meadow

Butterflies And Graves

8/10 from Mike

Here’s the latest from Time Released Sound, with Library Tapes’ David Wenngren this time teaming up with Swedish singer/songwriter Sara Forslund. As usual with TRS...read on »

Naked Lights

Chime Grove

8/10 from Mike

Krautrock. Much like the weather and Owen Wilson in ‘Zoolander’, it’s so hot right now. So hot. Here then are Naked Lights, a quintet from sunny California d...read on »

Tape Waves

Drifting

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Here’s the latest nice object from Box Bedroom Rebels, a label intent on releasing lavishly packaged 7” EPs bundled with loads of bonus goodies, all in tiny runs o...read on »

Nathan Bowles & Scott Verrastro

Polar Satellites

8/10 from ReviewBot300

It’s rare, very rare indeed, that I feel like my reviewing work has already been done by a customer, but that’s exactly what’s happened today with this new L...read on »

Ikonika

Aerotropolis

8/10 from ReviewBot300

We’ve just been listening to a promo of the new Jessy Lanza album on Hyperdub in the office, and to be honest I was really enjoying it and it seemed a shame to turn it o...read on »

Sknail

Glitch Jazz

8/10 from Ian

Never has an album title described the music therein so much, ‘Glitch Jazz’ by Swiss producer Sknail does exactly what it says on the tin and I mean EXACTLY!, when...read on »

Hidden Masters

Of This And Other Worlds

8/10 from Mike

Rise Above Records are back this week with another brand new record that sounds like it’s been dug up from some vault of lost ‘70s hard rock treasures. This time i...read on »

Nils Frahm

Juno Reworked

8/10 from Ian

Erased Tapes brings you this excellent remix EP from the much sought after ‘Juno’ 7”, Nils Frahm has passed his baton firstly over to Norfolk’s Luke Ab...read on »

Luke Wyatt

Teen Hawk

8/10 from Clinton

Luke Wyatt is a rising star of the electronic world with his Torn Hawk alter ego. This is his first full length album under his own name and a nod is given to his other work i...read on »

Edward Artemiev

Solaris - Original Soundtrack

8/10 from Mike

It’s fair to say we love our old film soundtracks here at Norman, so I’m delighted to get my teeth into this new vinyl pressing (for the first time ever) of Edward...read on »

Featured albums

Birch And Meadow
Nils Frahm
Warm Digits
Lantern
The Birthday Party
Golden Teacher
Ensemble Economique
Ikonika
Rocketnumbernine
Naked Lights
Spider Bags
WOO
Hidden Masters
Hoi Polloi
The Birthday Party