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Weekly Update Born Blonde, Savages, Heinz Kiessling & Peter Jacques, Big Black Delta, Mount Eerie, and more...

Good grief, Normologists, you wouldn’t know it was summer to look outside, would you? I think we’re all feeling a bit washed out and sorry for ourselves this week but what could give a better relief from those soggy summer blues than some new tunes spinning on your record deck? Always sorts me out a treat anyway. And as a special extra incentive to buy stuff, this weekend we’re having a sale on lots of 7"s, so you can top up on your singles! There’s never been a better time to treat yourself to some fresh audio.

I’m gonna jump in and talk about the records I’ve liked from this week now, the most significant of which could well be the near-perfect R. Stevie Moore retrospective on O Genesis, which shines a much-deserved spotlight on the prolific outsider genius and will hopefully open a few more hearts and minds to his amazing homemade pop. It’d be album of the week if the vinyl had turned up by now! This new Giving Up LP is a heartfelt slacker indie masterclass with boy-girl vocals and non-stop great tunes from Sophomore Lounge, who have also sent us The Christmas Bride’s amazingly-titled and zany debut Planet Earth's Motto: Someone Just Shit Out A Perfect Sphere. Another outsider champ with a collection out is John Maus, who’s put together some rarities and previously unreleased stuff from his past 15 years or so of music-making. The new Astral Social Club CD sees Neil Campbell drop his most accessible chunk of free flowing psych scree and techno euphoria yet, hot on the heels of his Zombie Flesh Eaters OST getting repressed on Death Waltz, Mondo’s limited pressing of Fabio Frizzi’s mindblowing soundtrack to Lucio Fulci’s The Beyond just showed up (but won’t last long!), Jon Mueller & James Plotkin lay down a 2LP of sonorous guitar and drum jams, Mum’s ‘Yesterday Was Dramatic - Today is OK’ has been repressed on double LP, as has Lego Feet(aka that band whose name is an anagram of Teacheur)’s self-titled 2LP so you can finally get a copy of that without remortgaging your house, and there’s a couple of Sea & Cake reissues. Got Mount Eerie’s popular new LP back in stock too.

The good people at Great Pop Supplement have sent us a new EP from Cloudland Canyon (with a little helping hand from a certain Sonic Boom) and this impressively modern-sounding LP of progressive synthpop business from ‘78-’79 by forgotten London weirdos Karen Novotny X. This Morriconez CD from the reliable types at Wil-Ru is full of warm, drifty electro acoustic goodness, ambient master Hakobune’s got a limited new tape which is already sold out at source, hazy indie-poppers Diiv drop their debut, mysterious eastern trio Evade have an intoxicating CD of post-driftstep dark ambient soundscapes that’ll get right under your skin, and NZ songwriter Lawrence Arabia’s new album of Byrne-influenced sophistipop is worth investigating too. Gary War moves to Spectrum Spools for a new LP of bright progressive post-punk synth craziness, and there’s some healing analogue driftiness from Panabrite in the shape of a new CD on Preservation, and there’s also new long-players from Peter Zummo, Burning Love, Kluster, oFF Love, Xiu Xiu/Larsen, The Very Best, Grasscut, Strip Steve, Elis Regina, Heinz Kiessling & Peter Jacques, Unrecognizable Now, Tomoko Sauvage, D’eon, Tamba Trio, Young Moon.

On to the singles, the debut crisp’n’drifty slice from youngster Evian Christ on Tri Angle is pretty tasty, and Three:Four Records have sent us a couple more of their excellent splits, this time between white/light lad Matthew Hale Clark / Ken Camden from Implodes and white/light lad Jeremy Lemos / Matt Jencik from Implodes. LA’s Blood Diamonds teams up with Grimes for an ace pop cut on this 12”, and there’s a bit of girly synth-indie on this 7” from Savages, a band Phil tells me people have been talking about. Richard Hawley returns with a new 10”, and crust punk veterans From Ashes Rise have a seven on Southern Lord, noise weirdos Skitter & p6 have teamed up for a 7” of expressive processed vocal scree which won’t be for everybody, Team Doyobi have a 12” of squelchy electronics, Alt-J continue the charge with a new 7”, and there’s also new singles from Lali Puna, Big Black Delta, Deaf Club, Colonel Red, Kap Bambino, Born Blonde and We Are Losers/Runaround Kids.

Take care, boys and girls, and never trust a man with no record player.

Mike Pipefler and the Dire Financial Straits


Best records this week

According to our review team at least...

Various

TV Sound And Image: British TV, Film and Library composers 1955-78

9/10 from Mike

Library synth tones and vintage soundtracks couldn’t be much hotter right now, and lo and behold even Soul Jazz are getting in on the action with this marvellous collect...read on »

Blairmailer

Best Of

9/10 from Clinton

Ah, Blairmailer. Strummy, tuneful Aussie greats who emerged out of the ashes of Crabstick, a band who single-handedly soundtracked my sloppy drunken late teenage years. Cra...read on »

Ariel Pink

Baby

9/10 from Clinton

Here he comes to save the day...after a morning of wet, wet rain and many so-so singles we finally have one that made everyone’s ears in the office prick into action....read on »

Ashlar

Saturday Drones

9/10 from Mike

This is literally a CD of drones that Phil Edwards and Wil Bolton made exclusively on Saturdays during 2011, which is a lovely idea I think. Not just for a record but for a n...read on »

Cloudland Canyon

Aureliua

9/10 from Mike

Well this morning’s working out pretty nicely for me so far. Come to work, sit in a chair and describe some nice relaxing records, all of them good (there’s usu...read on »

Astral Social Club

Magic Smile

9/10 from ReviewBot300

Great to get something new in from Astral Social Club, Leeds’s own Neil Campbell, also of Vibracathedral infamy but also cutting pioneering swathes into the astral noise...read on »

Karen Novotny X

Nothing Here Now But These Recordings: ‘78-’79

9/10 from ReviewBot300

Karen Novotny X were a trio based in Hackney in the late ‘70s, where they took advantage of everyone else being distracted by the neanderthal punk devolution by locki...read on »

Lost Harbours

Hymns and Ghosts

9/10 from Mike

Many of the albums I’ve reviewed today have sent me off into a trance, which makes it very hard to be productive but results in quite a pleasant day in the office non...read on »

Giving Up

(Peace Sign / Frown Face)

9/10 from Mike

This is the second new one from Sophomore Lounge I’ve reviewed today, this time from a band called Giving Up, who I know nothing about. This is a pretty sweet package...read on »

Evade

Destroy & Dream

9/10 from ReviewBot300

This CD has a really lovely fold-out cover which won’t fit in your CD rack and doesn’t make it super easy to figure out which track you’re on, with the ly...read on »

Evian Christ

Kings And Them

9/10 from ReviewBot300

I struggled to compute the last Tri Angle record I heard so I was a bit wary about this offering from 22-year-old Merseyside youngster Evian Christ (sweet name incidentally),...read on »

R Stevie Moore

Lo Fi Hi Fives.. A kind of Best

9/10 from Li'l Biz

R. Stevie Moore is a genius. It’s been well documented - first by R. Stevie Moore himself and then, finally, by the rest of civilised society. He has a long and rather...read on »

John Maus

A Collection of Rarities and Previously Unreleased Material

9/10 from Li'l Biz

It’s pleasing to see that in the same week R. Stevie Moore’s career gets its much needed day in the sunshine (thanks to a compilation on O Genesis) John Maus would...read on »

Gary War

Jared's Lot

9/10 from Li'l Biz

Bit of a change of pace for Spectrum Spools to pick up on the new Gary War album but on listening to the first few tracks it’s not all that difficult to connect the dots...read on »

Old Apparatus

Derren EP

9/10 from Brian

Wonder if this is a dedication to that clippy-heeled and vivacious Brown man who makes things vanish and re-appear like erm...magic? After scoring a couple of relatively un...read on »

Team Doyobi

Digital Music Volume One

9/10 from Brian

Well there was a time when both electronic musicians and people like Phil, who hated the bland monotony of most 4/4 dance music, used to produce (or stock) lots of, quite f...read on »

Savages

Flying To Berlin

9/10 from Brian

If you were to lap up every word splurged by writers for the contemporary London music inkies you’d think that Savages were the most breathtaking and profound thing t...read on »

Fabio Frizzi

The Beyond: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

9/10 from Clinton

Burning the Sunday oil last week getting all your lovely orders ready I was struck by how many reissues of obscure (and not so obscure) soundtracks are about at the moment ...read on »

Jóhann Jóhannsson

Copenhagen Dreams

9/10 from Clinton

Beautiful, haunting, twinkly, rainswept, poised. People at Norman Towers are shouting out adjectives to describe this beautiful LP which will (hopefully) make you want to b...read on »

Three Mile Pilot

Maps

9/10 from ReviewBot300

According to my calculations this is rather pricey for a 20-minute 12” EP, but sometimes you need to pay a premium for quality don’t you? I don’t know, ha...read on »

Cedric Stevens

Stardust

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Warm stretched out astral guitar dronings on this very limited Cedric Stevens 7” here, performed and composed in 2010. It’s different to what I was expecting from...read on »

Der Zyklus

Krypton 84

8/10 from Li'l Biz

So it’s looks like I’m the new Ant. I show a little interest in dance music and suddenly I’m lumbered with the weeks totally obscure 12” cuts by art...read on »

Wrangler

Mind Your Own Sequence

8/10 from Li'l Biz

Okay, I’ve got no supporting info for this release and my brain isn’t really functioning at its best so please forgive me if my factual info is a little off... ...read on »

Hubert Robinson

High Class Woman

8/10 from Li'l Biz

Jukebox Jam hit us with another selection of golden oldies this week. I’ve got a couple of stompin’ blues cuts recorded for Houston label Macy’s from local...read on »

Rudi Zygadlo

Melpomene / Arrows

8/10 from Clinton

Not the best of weeks for singles but I’m liking this. On the A side there’s an instrumental of partial interest with a slight neoclassical sound to it - it&rsq...read on »

David Kilgour

Here Come The Cars

8/10 from Clinton

David Kilgour was one of the people in The Clean who were an excellent band from New Zealand who, in a nice twist, have gained some much deserved props from younger bands inf...read on »

Hauschka

Salon Des Amateurs Remix EP2

8/10 from Clinton

You have to wonder why everything has to be in a series. Phil reckons it goes all the way back to Pokemon. There’s a ‘collect the set’ mentality about a l...read on »

Patterns

Blood

8/10 from Clinton

Despite the affectation many bands are suffering from of having a vocalist who sounds eerily like the Animal Collective guy - those guys really have had an enormous influence ...read on »

Barrett Strong

Misery / Let's Rock

8/10 from Clinton

My brother once had a girlfriend whose name was pronounced ‘misery’ and therefore pretty perfect match for his then mind frame. This is a nice old school R&...read on »

Johnny Foreigner

Johnny Foreigner vs. Everything

8/10 from Mike

We didn’t have time to review this one when it first came in because sometimes there are so many new records that we have to be a bit selective. I felt a bit bad thou...read on »

Johnny Foreigner

Johnny Foreigner vs. Everything

8/10 from ReviewBot300

We didn’t have time to review this one when it first came in because sometimes there are so many new records that we have to be a bit selective. I felt a bit bad thou...read on »

Panabrite

The Baroque Atrium

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Panabrite is back with his second full-length album (I thought it was his third but I guess one of those wasn’t full-length enough) of nostalgic cosmic synthscapes. H...read on »

DIIV

Oshin

8/10 from Mike

Well, the band formerly known as Dive are here with their debut album, which I presume was formerly known as ‘Ocean’. This is that guy Zach from Beach Fossils in h...read on »

Oberman Knocks

Beatcroff Slabs

8/10 from Mike

Oh, this one’s a bit spooky. Oberman Knocks is busting out some sinister electronic business with a bit of a dark ambient/dub techno bent to it. Spacious, creaking lo...read on »

Skitter+p6

joy/sadness/surprise/anger/disgust/fear

8/10 from Mike

Well this is a weird little 7”. I’m quite interested in it right away because I really liked the split 3” CD Skitter did a while back with the brilliant Ela ...read on »

The Christmas Bride

Planet Earth's Motto: Someone Just Shit Out A Perfect Sphere

8/10 from Mike

Trash-pop doyens Sophomore Lounge’s last outing, the debut 7” from Tropical Trash, totally popped my skull so it’s nice to see we’ve got some more stu...read on »

Lawrence Arabia

The Sparrow

8/10 from ReviewBot300

I can’t help but feel that this Lawrence Arabia (surely not his real name!) is rather in thrall to David Byrne, both with and without his Talking Heads. And I don&rsquo...read on »

Lord Nelson

Shango

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Okay, time to be honest. One of the things about this job is that we have to review everything no matter how little we know about it. Here we’ve got a 12” by Lo...read on »

Shrag

Canines

8/10 from Li'l Biz

Aw...poor Shrag. This Brighton girl/boy indie-pop phenomena have been criminally ignored by Norman over the years. I’m sure they sell a fair few records but it’s o...read on »

alt-J

Tessellate EP

8/10 from Li'l Biz

Alt-J return with a second single (or maybe third...) [Or is it their fourth...? - RB] from their highly acclaimed ‘An Awesome Wave’ LP on Infectious. You’ve...read on »

Blood Diamonds

Phone Sex

8/10 from Li'l Biz

Love the hideous artwork for the new Blood Diamonds 12”! It’s pretty out there...like a Ferraro concept gone totally wrong-o. Hyper real!!! Blood Diamonds is the ...read on »

oFF Love

My Love For You...Probably Love

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Yesterday on Twitter, one of you measly flesh-pretzels we at Norman Towers call “customers” questioned ReviewBot’s use of the genre label “post-driftst...read on »

Morriconez

Cloud Of Dust, Cry Of Death

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Given the name and the fact that the DVD case this CD comes in looks like an aged spaghetti western cover, I initially thought that this CD was going to be in thrall to prolif...read on »

Jeremy Lemos/ Matt Jencik

Three:Four Split Series- Volume 5

8/10 from Mike

Three:Four’s esteemed split series hasn’t yet spit out anything I’ve failed to enjoy, so I’m happy to see a new one arrive in the office. This one, num...read on »

Tomoko Sauvage

Ombrophilia

8/10 from Brian

Well that’s my word for the day, meaning “thriving in habitats having an abundance of rain”, the title of this album is now explained to all you who canno...read on »

Unrecognizable Now

Two Rooms

8/10 from Clinton

This should appeal to all the drone fanatics out there, it’s a limited edition handmade CD on Simon Scott’s label, filled to the brim with gorgeous textures, undu...read on »

Richard Hawley

Down In The Woods

8/10 from Clinton

At my other job (yup, the payola from biggin’ up the latest smash releases don’t fund my Greek yoghurt obsession) I work with a guy called Richard Hawley, the p...read on »

Anasazi

I Saw The Witch Cry / Nuclear Paradise

8/10 from Clinton

This is dark, edgy, troubled New Yoik punk with a paranoid atmosphere throughout. It has that deep dark, dank sound as if it’s been recorded in a mouldy cellar. It ha...read on »

Lali Puna

Silver Light

8/10 from Clinton

I missed Lali Puna’s recent album. I had no idea that there was one but there again I’ve never been overly bothered about them. I’ve recently belatedly got...read on »

Girls Names / Weird Dreams

A Troubled See / House of Secrets

8/10 from Clinton

I have apparently reviewed Girls Names before according to our search engine. My comparison to brittle twee pop bands on that release doesn’t hold sway on their track o...read on »

Jon Mueller & James Plotkin

Terminal Velocity

8/10 from Clinton

I’m so tired today after another sleep that barely lasted even into single figures so forgive me if I’m not my usual ebullient self. Certainly the music on this...read on »

Ether Island

Season Of Risk

8/10 from Clinton

I’ve been beggin’ and pleadin’ and wishin’ and hopin’ for a record for a record to call my own and just like last week it turns up at the very ...read on »

Neptune

Msg Rcvd

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Neptune are a band I’ve always got a bit of time for. Sometimes their recordings can be pretty hard work, but I like the way they operate. These guys play crazy instru...read on »

Featured albums

Savages
Hakobune
Tomoko Sauvage
Jeremy Lemos/ Matt Jencik
Morriconez
Matthew Hale Clark / Ken Camden
Evade
The Christmas Bride
Born Blonde
Jon Mueller & James Plotkin
Giving Up
Astral Social Club
Cloudland Canyon
We Are Losers/ Runaround Kids
Skitter+p6
Karen Novotny X
Gary War
Kap Bambino
Panabrite
Heinz Kiessling & Peter Jacques
Tamba Trio
Elis Regina
Colonel Red
Xiu Xiu/ Larsen (XXL)
Big Black Delta
Evian Christ
Grasscut
Team Doyobi
Deaf Club
Lawrence Arabia
John Maus
Fabio Frizzi
Blood Diamonds
oFF Love
The Very Best
Strip Steve
alt-J
Mount Eerie
Kluster
Lali Puna
Unrecognizable Now
Richard Hawley
R Stevie Moore
Young Moon
d'Eon
From Ashes Rise
Burning Love
DIIV
The Sea and Cake
The Sea and Cake
Peter Zummo
Lego Feet
Mum