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Weekly Update German Army, Takeshi Nishimoto, Saroos, Moskitoo, Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, and more...

Now then, Norm pickers! It’s Friday so once again it’s my privilege and obligation to talk you through what we’ve been listening to this week at Norm Central. Autumn seems to have hit this morning as Leeds has been swept with more of its trademark rainstorms, and we’ve spent much of the week scrambling around desperately trying to find all the old stock which we sold off in our 70%-off CD sale (I hope you got what you wanted). That hasn’t stopped us from taking a quick listen to the mountain of new material which has arrived, and we’ve listened to it so we can tell you which bits are good. Here goes.

The two records that have been most pushing my buttons this week are quite wildly different. The first is Factory Floor’s long-awaited debut LP, a colourful and repetitive voyage through their mysterious percussive hypno-house aesthetic which you won’t be able to get off your record player. The other is King Khan & The Shrines’ long-awaited comeback ‘Idle No More’, which sees the the garage-soul firecrackers on fine form.

Also impressing this week is the debut mini-LP by LA’s Katie Gately, a daring and intense mixture of pop and abrasive power electronics that’ll excite your synapses, while on 12k Japan’s Moskitoo goes to the other extreme with a magical album of wispy computer pop which is really beguiling, and label boss Taylor Deupree & Ryuichi Sakamoto team up for a slice of gorgeousness that earned a rare 9/10 review from point-miser Ian, who was also impressed by the Dodos’ surprisingly upbeat new album on Polyvinyl on their return following the sad loss of guitarist Chris Reimer.

The latest book-bound ltd CD on Sonic Pieces is here with some varied solo piano experimentalism from Takeshi Nishimoto which is calming and contemplative, and Tobias Hellkvist is back to show the droners how it’s done with a breathtaking and ambitious CD of shimmering slow times. The new Plankton Wat LP of psychedelic guitar twinkling is dead good too.

Trip Shrubb (aka Schneider TM) remixes the entire Harry Smith anthology into a series of drone loops on an epic triple cassette, synth ladies Mushy and Meddicine take a side each on a 12” showcasing their unique hypnosynth styles, and Saroos return with ‘Return’, a collection of evocative atmospheres and woozy post-dubscapes from the Notwist/Lali Puna alumni, and while we’re keeping things woozy the debut vinyl offering from German Army is a slow-burning treat too.

Resident review grump Clinton has given his approval to Goldfrapp’s new album of understated grown-up pop, Chuck Johnson’s thoughtful Michael Chapman-esque fingerpicked guitar compositions and the return to form of his favourite experimental songwriter Richard Buckner. Ant, meanwhile, has been getting his ears around the “shit yourself darkside” new Helm LP and the beautifully presented silkscreened 10”s on Infinite Grey by Gabriel Saloman and Jefre Cantu-Ledesma.

In terms of singles, Clint is very impressed with the new limited Jeffrey Lewis 7”, Team Ghost Box join forces with John Foxx for this John Foxx and the Advisory Poly EP which has a Pye Corner Audio remix and all, and this 7” of understated slightly electronic indie pop by The Ballet is good too.

Also don’t forget that it’s Cassette Store Day tomorrow and we’ll be open for business if you want to pop down to Holbeck and try to get your hands on some of the tasty limited cassettes from the likes of At The Drive-In, Cowtown, The Pastels and loads more.

It’s blowing up!

Mike and the Mechanorms


Best records this week

According to our review team at least...

Factory Floor

Factory Floor

10/10 from ReviewBot300

Oh! Here’s the record that many of us have been waiting for for literally years. Yes, after what seems like an age of just putting out limited singles and EPs Factory Fl...read on »

Stuart Chalmers / Nick Edwards

Split

9/10 from Ant

Nick Edwards is probably best known for his avant electronic dub work as Ekoplekz but also has some really wicked stuff out as PLKZFX and Ensemble Skalectrik but until now has...read on »

Tobias Hellkvist

Turquoise

9/10 from ReviewBot300

Swedish drone master Tobias Hellkvist is back this week with a new CD on Japanese label Small Fragments. It spreads four tracks over a delicately flowing 35 minutes full of hi...read on »

Moskitoo

Mitosis

9/10 from ReviewBot300

Here’s an album of delicate breathy glitchpop from Moskitoo on 12K, a label which generally deals in the more ambient/minimal/sound arty side of things so as you might i...read on »

Mushy / Meddicine

Split

9/10 from Mike

Here’s a split 12” by a couple of characters who I’m not entirely unfamiliar with. Italian synth siren Mushy’s recent album was very enthusiastically r...read on »

King Khan & The Shrines

Idle No More

9/10 from Mike

I’m pretty excited about this one coming out. We got a promo of it a few weeks ago and it’s been making a great soundtrack to a barbeque-filled summer. It’s ...read on »

Jefre Cantu-Ledesma

Requiem (for Violin & Magnetic Tape)

9/10 from Ant

Fledgeling label Infinite Grey drop the second edition in their fine one-sided/ screen printed 10” series with some top emotionally resonant string drone and  tape/...read on »

Ryuichi Sakamoto + Taylor Deupree

Disappearance

9/10 from Ian

Former Yellow Magic Orchestra and long time David Sylvian collaborator Ryuichi Sakamoto has teamed up with 12k boss Taylor Deupree on this release. After performing live toget...read on »

Helm

Silencer

9/10 from Ant

Luke Younger follows up his excellent PAN debut album ‘Impossible Symmetry’ with his second release for the label. Here we have four trips further into darkened zo...read on »

Jeffrey Lewis & The Rain

WWPRD

9/10 from Clinton

Standing for “What Would Pussy Riot Do?” This is a call to arms from Jeffrey Lewis and pals for bands to think first before involving themselves in the likes of co...read on »

Expo '70

Filer a l’Anglaise

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Sadly it’s one of those weeks where we only have four days to do five days’ work, and everything is turning up towards the end just to make things even more inconv...read on »

The Julie Ruin

Run Fast

8/10 from Clinton

The new band from Bikini Kill/Le Tigre lady Kathleen Hanna (hopefully that’s shifted a few copies already) is a raucous age-defying affair and also features Bikini Kill ...read on »

Various

Psychedelica 5

8/10 from Clinton

Coming across something like a modern day Nuggets series, Psychedelica collects all kind of psychedelia, jam-packs two CDs full of the stuff and walks away, leaving fans of th...read on »

Afflicted Man

I'm Off Me 'ead

8/10 from Clinton

Certainly way more than what it appears at first glance. Its sleeve would give the impression of a half baked would-be punk, its initial sound suggests the same but delve a li...read on »

Takeshi Nishimoto

Lavandula

8/10 from Mike

Sonic Pieces can be relied on to provide tasteful and accomplished offerings from all manner of modern minimal composition types, and this time it’s the turn of Japanese...read on »

Celebration

Old Green Village

8/10 from Mike

Here’s a repress of a mythical French private press offering which first appeared in 1976 - an album which according to its press release “resulted from the one &a...read on »

Katie Gately

Katie Gately

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Public Information are this week presenting the first collection from Katie Gately (no relation to Stephen, Phil tells me), a Los Angeles native who has been making music for ...read on »

South London Ordnance

He Do the Police in Different Voices

8/10 from ReviewBot300

South London Ordnance has gone under my radar until now for whatever reason but I’ve got a nice succinct introduction to him here in the form of this double 10” of...read on »

John Foxx & The Belbury Circle

Empty Avenues

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Influential electronic pop veteran John Foxx teams up with Ghost Box’s finest on this latest EP, which sees Jim “Belbury Poly” Jupp and Jon “Advisory C...read on »

The Garden

The Life and Times of a Paperclip

8/10 from ReviewBot300

I’ve developed something of a reputation as the John Peel of Norman Records. No, it’s not my bald head, nor the expansiveness of my musical knowledge which has ear...read on »

Saroos

Return

8/10 from Mike

I’ve not crossed paths with this trio Saroos before, but this is in fact their third album and their members have played in bands like The Notwist and Lali Puna so I gue...read on »

Street Gnar

Shrine EP

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Street Gnar, aka Lexington, Kentucky’s Case Mahan, has already got tapes out on Burger Records and Night People and now there’s this seven-song 12” on Atelie...read on »

Obits

Bed & Bugs

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Hot Snakes/Drive Like Jehu legend Rick Froberg’s latest outfit Obits have their third album out this week on Sub Pop. The quartet are ripping out some more of their loos...read on »

Robert Coyne with Jaki Liebezeit

The Obscure Department

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Robert Coyne (son of Kevin!) has a very special friend helping him out on this, his second album - none other than Can’s Jaki Liebezeit, whose genius understated grooves...read on »

German Army

German Army

8/10 from ReviewBot300

I remember I really liked a tape that German Army did for Clan Destine a few months ago, and they’ve also had releases on Night People and Monofonuspress among others so...read on »

The Ballet

Is Anybody Out There

8/10 from Clinton

Right, this is really good. The obvious comparison is Magnetic Fields, but there is something else brought to the party...and that something else is...Frazier Chorus. It&rsquo...read on »

Trip Shrubb

Leuder van Frohr

8/10 from Clinton

As you may have read, saturday is Cassette Store Day (Minidisc Store Day is pencilled in for some time next year). There are plenty of exciting releases but one of the most bi...read on »

Gabriel Saloman

Riots Don't Just Happen

8/10 from Ant

This I believe is the first physical release from Gabriel Mindel Saloman since 2012’s Adgere LP on Miasmah. Gabriel was of course once a Yellow Swan. This, one might say...read on »

The Dodos

Carrier

8/10 from Ian

After the unfortunate passing of their (and Women's) guitarist Chris Reimer last year, San Francisco lads Dodos had to go back to the drawing board as far as songwriting was c...read on »

Richard Buckner

Surrounded

8/10 from Clinton

One of the perks of this job is seeing a release come in by a favourite artist and being given (or to be honest asking for) the opportunity to write about it. Richard Buckner ...read on »

Chuck Johnson

Crows In The Basilica

8/10 from Clinton

This is finger-pickin’ good (you can have that one for free). This is an album of beautiful guitar evocations that most closely recall the very talented Michael Chapman....read on »

Goldfrapp

Tales of Us

8/10 from Clinton

It gives me hope as a man over 40 that Alison Goldfrapp is 47 and her musical partner Will Gregory is 53. There again he did play in Tears for Fears so he’s no spring ch...read on »

Plankton Wat

Drifter's Temple

8/10 from ReviewBot300

As always seems to happen here at Norman, we’re running out of time before we send the weekly update out and a good release just turned up to review. This one’s by...read on »

Featured albums

Gabriel Saloman
Takeshi Nishimoto
Jefre Cantu-Ledesma
German Army
Saroos
John Foxx & The Belbury Circle
Trip Shrubb
Factory Floor
Plankton Wat
Goldfrapp
Katie Gately
Mushy / Meddicine
Helm
Richard Buckner
King Khan & The Shrines
The Dodos
Tobias Hellkvist
Ryuichi Sakamoto + Taylor Deupree
Moskitoo
Chuck Johnson