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Weekly Update Kandodo, Bill Callahan, Laura Veirs, Tropical Trash, Julianna Barwick, and more...

Yo! Welcome, music freaks, to another weekly expedition through the rambling woods of imagination as written down by the collective man-minds of Norman Towers.

This week many new releases have fallen through our trapdoors of perception. Some biggies as well, all turning up in the same week just as you’re all outdoors playing in the garden. Well, if any of you are actually reading then here are some of the gems to look out for.

Things like the new Ty Segall album which is a total change in style and it will shock you. You’ll either love it or hate it. Read Clinton’s review here. I won’t say anymore than that.

The new White Hills album has landed on 3 formats (the limited edition with the bonus 12” has all sold out now though, soz). Nathon has been listening to it but apparently hasn’t got time for a review. He grumpily says: it’s a bit more varied than their others, some of it reminded him of Gnod, it’s good. I’m sure you wanted to read that.

Also good is the LA Machine album on Castleface which we’ve decided to make album of the week. In fact, it’s absolutely brilliant...think Can meets PiL meets Gang Of Four meets Chrome. And it really is as good as it sounds. Alas they’re not about anymore but if anyone can invent a time machine and take me back to 1996 then lemme know. Marty, are you reading?

Whilst we’re on with ‘things of the week’, Tropical Trash takes the coveted single of the week crown with some arty noisecore rock that got our Mike so excited he had to leave the country.

Oh, and that Simon Price dude from The Heads releases his 2nd album as Kandodo on Thrill Jockey... prepare to have your brain melted!!

The Orla Wren CD/DVD set on Home Normal is as good as it looks (and it looks amazing). It’s not cheap, mind, but for your £20 you get a CD of delicious ambient sounds featuring loadsa folks. As well as a DVD with things to look at. The things people do for you...

Superchunk are back! Who’da thought that? They sound the same as well (albeit a little more polished) so if you’re after that early ‘90s indie rock sound then get on the Superchunk bus. (It stops at the White Rose too so you can pick up some bits from Marks on the way home.)

Laura Veirs has a new album out this week on Bella Union. We like her. Julia Holter has an album out this week too (her 3rd). We like her too. Julianna Barwick has a new album out. We like her too. If you‘re a fan of her Enya/Grouper/Julia Holter style warblings then be prepared to be pleasanted out.

But there’s more! Bill Callahan has a 12” with some dubby versions of a coupla tracks off his new album. It’s surprisingly good: not as shit as you think it’s gonna sound. Mountains have their 2008 ‘Mountains, Mountains, Mountains’ LP reissued by Thrill Jockey with new artwork, pressed on virgin vinyl and there’s a download code. Gotta love those guys!

There’s loads more out this week. It’s a huge week for releases so enjoy ploughing through the update (if that’s possible) and we’ll catch you on the flipside. Whatever that means.

Phil and his lovely staff x


Best records this week

According to our review team at least...

Tropical Trash

Think Back Kick A Beer

10/10 from ReviewBot300

It’s my lucky day! We’ve got the latest box from Sophomore Lounge containing yet more Lantern LPs (you guys can’t seem to get enough of that one) and a coupl...read on »

Yves De Mey

Metrics

9/10 from Ant

It's a crime that this is only the third solo release from Yves De Mey as this guy is an excellent producer. Last heard on the now defunct Sandwell District label with the bri...read on »

Rashad Becker

Traditional Music of Notional Species Vol. I

9/10 from Ant

I've been wildly curious about hearing this album after hearing Rashad Becker perform live at Islington Mill in Salford a few months ago. It was one of the strangest sounding ...read on »

Sarah Neufeld

Hero Brother

9/10 from ReviewBot300

Sarah Neufeld is a Montreal violinist best known for being a member of the Arcade Fire and Bell Orchestre. Here she’s going it alone, travelling to Berlin to record a co...read on »

The Space Agency

Bombay Potatoes

9/10 from ReviewBot300

I’ve not encountered The Space Agency before but the press release for this record describes them as “the UK’s best instrumental group” (a bold claim i...read on »

White Reaper

Conspirator/ The Cut

9/10 from ReviewBot300

Ahh, the problem with these punk rock 7”s is that they’re over before you’ve even had a chance to write anything about them! Well here I am on my second go t...read on »

Craig Leon

Nommos

9/10 from Phil

I checked a bit of this online a few weeks ago and it sounded so awesome that I decided to get a few in to see if you, the general public agree. One thing I didn’t reali...read on »

The Mallard

Finding Meaning In Deference

9/10 from Li'l Biz

The press release for ‘Finding Meaning In Deference’ is a bit of a downer as it announces the split of The Mallard, a band that, in my opinion had a lot of potenti...read on »

LA Machine

Phases & Repetition

9/10 from Li'l Biz

I don’t hear phaser on drums as often as I’d like. I don’t know why it’s not common practice ‘cause it sounds sick. ‘Phases & Repetitio...read on »

The Stargazers Assistant

Mirrors & Tides, Shivers & Voids

8/10 from Mike

“Eyes closed, ears wide open, we are given freedom to dream the void.” So begins the press release to this new Stargazer’s Assistant offering on the ever ble...read on »

The Dentists

Some People Are On The Pitch

8/10 from Clinton

Another day, another re-issue of a long forgotten ‘80s could-have-been classic seemingly out of nowhere. The Dentists were a super little band who emerged from the same ...read on »

McCarthy

Banking, Violence & The Inner Life Today

8/10 from Clinton

There is a track on an upcoming album by A New Line (related) entitled ‘Vote Malcolm Eden’. The protagonist is obviously a McCarthy fan as you were often unsure wh...read on »

Scott & Charlene’s Wedding / Fawn Spots

Split

8/10 from Clinton

So much has been made of Scott & Charlene’s Wedding and the fact that I have yet to hear them is a weight that has been bearing down on my neck for quite a while now...read on »

T.R.A.S.E

Electronic Rock

8/10 from Clinton

The teenage pet project of Andy Popplewell (who has since gone on become on of the UK’s leading independent tape engineers/editors/archivists) is a quite unique record b...read on »

These Hidden Hands

Ivy (Vatican Shadow / Lakker Mixes)

8/10 from Ant

These Hidden Hands are Berlin’s Tommy Four Seven and One Million Mangos Studio engineer and producer Alain. This is their debut release and the first for new label Hidde...read on »

The Bug

Filthy

8/10 from Ant

'Freakshow' is an apt title for the opening cut on this double 10" set. When I first heard this tune I wasn't so sure about it, it sounded kinda chaotic and messy but Danny Br...read on »

Marcel Dettmann / Lucy

Ride / Slaves' March

8/10 from Ant

The fourth instalment in Bleep's Green Series comes from a pair of Berlin dwelling producers. Marcel Dettmann of course being resident at the infamous Berghain club and also r...read on »

Merzbow

Grand Owl Habitat

8/10 from Ant

Masami Akita's output has been created digitally for many years now but I've not read of it as being “techno compatible” until now. The techno and noise scenes hav...read on »

Desert Heat

Cat Mask at Huggie Temple

8/10 from Clinton

This is a collaboration between Steve Gunn, Cian Nugent and John Truscinski. The trio jammed together for the first time after a festival in Newcastle Upon Tyne and it all wor...read on »

Julianna Barwick

Nepenthe

8/10 from Mike

The wonderful Julianna Barwick has a new album out this week, allowing me to start my day of reviews in uncontroversial territory as the sun streams through the windows and sh...read on »

Zola Jesus (W/ Jg Thirlwell & Mivos Quartet)

Versions

8/10 from Mike

Here’s something a bit different from the inimitable (not that it stops people trying) Zola Jesus which is very much dividing the office. Li’l Biz just said s...read on »

Orla Wren

Book Of The Folded Forest

8/10 from Mike

I’ve just reviewed Julianna Barwick, then Zola Jesus with a string quartet, and now it’s the turn of Orla Wren to massage my ears with some soft and delicate croon...read on »

Flowers

Until You're Dead

8/10 from Mike

Here’s a 7” by Flowers, a trio playing some thoroughly charming shoegazey fuzzpop whose singing lady operates in such a high register that I just spent about five ...read on »

Adrian Corker

Raise

8/10 from Mike

I’ve had some very pretty music to review today, and this CD is no exception. It’s a lovely bit of restrained neoclassicism from Adrian Corker, who Phil is already...read on »

Destruction Unit

Deep Trip

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Here from reliable purveyors of gritty darkness Sacred Bones this week is this album from Destruction Unit. I’ve never heard of them before but I trust the label so here...read on »

Superchunk

I Hate Music

8/10 from ReviewBot300

It’s reassuring to see that Superchunk are still at it, especially since I enjoyed their 2010 “comeback” album ‘Majesty Shredding’ so much. For t...read on »

His Electro Blue Voice

Ruthless Sperm

8/10 from ReviewBot300

The increasingly erratic Sub Pop this week give us this bit of churning, snotty kraut-industrial madness by His Electro Blue Voice - their debut LP after a string of EPs on su...read on »

Outfit

Performance

8/10 from ReviewBot300

The hotly-tipped Outfit finally release their debut album this week, having relocated to London from their native Liverpool looking to experience a bigger city (and no doubt t...read on »

Rudi Arapahoe

Double Bind

8/10 from ReviewBot300

I’m not familiar with this Rudi Arapahoe feller but Phil assures me he’s very good and rarely puts anything out, so I’m intrigued. On this little CD here (pa...read on »

Simon Bainton

Visiting Tides

8/10 from ReviewBot300

I’m having a little Hibernate sesh here today. No, I’m not sleeping for several months (although sometimes I feel that would be a welcome change from my obligation...read on »

Bare Mutants

The Affliction

8/10 from ReviewBot300

The ever-brilliant In The Red put out this new Bare Mutants LP this week. I had presumed by the name and label and the fact that it contains songs with titles like “I Su...read on »

Moritz von Oswald Trio

Blue

8/10 from Ant

Moritz Von Oswald (Basic Channel, Maurizio, Rhythm & Sound) Sasu Ripatti (Vladislav Delay, Sistol, Luomo) and Max Loderbauer (NSI, Sun Electric) make a welcome return with...read on »

Bill Callahan

Expanding Dub / Highs In The Mid-40's Dub

8/10 from Clinton

What’s he up to now? What is he up to? Ol’ maudlin Bill, brought up in the lovely split level Yorkshire town of Knaresborough, likes the ladies, you know the fello...read on »

Scorched Earth Policy

Goin' Thru A Hole In The Back Of Your Head

8/10 from Clinton

Was music better in the ‘80’s? I sometimes wonder if the fact that bands could fully concentrate on music and not have spend their days updating their facebook pag...read on »

Philogresz

Emerald's Edge

8/10 from Clinton

Philogresz unleashes this nice 3 tracker on Echocord, the lead track of which contains pummeling drumming, a nice stretched out synth melody and a good pinch of icy European b...read on »

Julia Holter

Loud City Song

8/10 from Clinton

The best experimental record of the year was for me undoubtedly by These New Puritans. I urge anyone with a passing interest in late period Talk Talk, Scott Walker or David Sy...read on »

Braids

Flourish // Perish

8/10 from Ian

Canada’s best kept secret Braids release the follow up to their critically acclaimed debut ‘Native Speaker’, now signed to Full Time Hobby, ‘Flourish/P...read on »

Shinies

Tangle

8/10 from Ian

This latest MJ (Hookworms) produced EP by fuzzy indie types Shinies really reminds me of something and I just can’t remember what it is, It’ll come to me soon, any...read on »

Kandodo

k2o

8/10 from Clinton

This is the second album by Simon Price better known as one of the men in The Heads, a hugely popular group amongst you lot, our beloved consumers. This is nothing like his pa...read on »

No Age

An Object

8/10 from Clinton

I called this lot New Age last week  - its very much like having your grandad writing reviews. Anyway this is their 4th album. They are one of those bands with two people...read on »

White Hills

So You Are… So You'll Be

8/10 from Clinton

They say I’m past it. Clint they say, you just don’t understand what the kids are listening to these days. White Hills seem to have made an alarming amount of reco...read on »

Mountains

Mountains Mountains Mountains

8/10 from Clinton

Wow. This is lovely. “You haven’t heard Mountains???????????” Screamed Ian at me in horror. Nope. Never heard them before (although officially I have because...read on »

Featured albums

Tropical Trash
Ty Segall
Kandodo
Julia Holter
Bill Callahan
Laura Veirs
Julianna Barwick
Mountains
LA Machine
White Hills
Orla Wren
Superchunk