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Weekly Update TRAAMS, Mark McGuire, Hills, Mika Vainio & Joachim Nordwall, M. Geddes Gengras, and more...

It’s been a busy week here at Norman Towers, what with Cassette Store Day last week and our Mike’s BBC Breakfast appearance. (I am not lying, here’s the evidence on YouTube and Facebook.) Any remaining stock from this extravaganza of non-legacy media can be purchased from 8AM (UK time) tomorrow morning (that’s Saturday 14th September), so get your bedside alarm set.

But that’s not all, oh no. We have an explosion of new releases this week, so many in fact we have brought Brian out from his underground warren to enthusiastically tell you all about our Album Of The Week by Joanna Gruesome, whilst Norman Records founder Phil mucks in with the lads and lasses on the shop floor to pen a critique of our Single Of The Week by Moin which, perhaps from experience, he describes as ‘pant-wettingly good’.

What else will wet your pants this week? Well, there’s Swedish krauty psychsters Hills with their ‘Master Sleeps’ opus; Phil goes mad for Fibreforms’s ‘Treedrums’ which he claims sounds like Talk Talk meets Tortoise (yes please); The Boats move into techno territory and are given the thumbs up by our techno overlord Ant; there’s a lovely third installment of the ‘Music and Migration’ series on the ever wonderful Second Language; Brian raves about the autumnal melancholic house on the new Lawrence LP, awarding it 10 points out of 10; as does TV’s Mike Randall with Mark McGuire’s new disc of goodness. Can music get any better? We don’t believe it can.

Other new things are in from from Expo 70/Plankton Wat, Why?, Crystal Stilts, Fuzz, Bill Callahan, Astral Social Club, Sky Larkin, Younghusband…[deep breath]...M. Geddes Gengras, Leisure Connection, The Wyrding Model, an ace Dustin Wong record, fabbo new Traams, the Mika Vaino vinyl is in at last, J Dilla, and did I mention Blouse? No? Ok, Blouse...and, gosh, just loads more. Check it all out on our New in page.

Oh, and while we’ve tried to review a healthy segment of the masses of great stuff we’ve had in this week if we’ve missed out your favourite record, dissed something you love, or praised something you hate then please do send us your reviews.

And with that we’re all off for a good lie down. Happy browsing.

Clinton and the New Power Generation
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Best records this week

According to our review team at least...

Mark McGuire

The Instinct

10/10 from Mike

Mark McGuire of Emeralds/Inner Tube/Mark McGuire fame is back this week with this LP on New Images which consists of two side-long meditations, ‘The Instinct’ and ...read on »

Fibreforms

Treedrums

10/10 from Phil

Ooh a new Infraction. It’s been a while. We’ve missed you guys! Anyone remember Kiln? Well before Kiln came Fibreforms and weirdly I was listening to the ‘St...read on »

Lawrence

Films & Windows

10/10 from Brian

Been quite enamoured of this guy for a while, although his albums seem to be a little on the scarce side so I sadly don't own anything by him. However, this one is shaping up...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 »

Hunter Complex

Heat

9/10 from ReviewBot300

All you ‘80s synth fans will be into this one. Hunter Complex is Lars Meijer, and here he’s making some euphoric ‘80s pop with prominent Yamaha DX7 and Rolan...read on »

Crystal Stilts

Nature Noir

9/10 from Mike

I came into the office today to be greeted with the words “I want you to do 15 reviews today.” No pressure then. As I cast my eyes across the barren Wednesday revi...read on »

L. Pierre

Surface Noise

9/10 from Mike

Aidan Moffat’s most recent L Pierre album impressed me a lot, displaying a genuine knack for understated sampledelica in the former Arab Strap mumbler. On this 10”...read on »

Hills

Master Sleeps

9/10 from Mike

Hills are of course the mysterious Swedish hypno-psych band who already put out an LP of live jams on Leeds’ celebrated Cardinal Fuzz label. Apparently this trio are bud...read on »

Fuzz

Sunderberry Dream / 21st Century Schizoid Man

9/10 from Mike

Ty Segall’s other band, Fuzz, drop 7” number three this week on In The Red. On the A side we’ve got ‘Sunderberry Dream’. Not too sure about the t...read on »

Leisure Connection

Jungle Dancing / Wave Riding

9/10 from Mike

Leisure Connection is the tag team of Peaking Light Aaron Coyne and his buddy Nate Archer. Apparently they used to record together as Rahdunes but I never heard any of th...read on »

Steve Hauschildt

S/H

9/10 from ReviewBot300

Ex-Emeralds synth guru Steve Hauschildt is, much like his erstwhile bandmates, a creatively restless type, as evidenced by this release here. Editions Mego have put together a...read on »

Residual Echoes

The Middle Path

9/10 from Mike

Here’s a record so ambitious I don’t even know where to start. Residual Echoes have crafted two side-long tracks on this LP which straddle the line between acid-fr...read on »

Moin

EP

9/10 from Phil

Moin AKA Raime have a new EP out following their split single with Pete Swanson. I don’t remember hearing that one so this is new music to my ears. I didn’t get th...read on »

Younghusband

Dromes

9/10 from Ian

The amazing Sonic Cathedral label release the debut album by Younghusband.   Produced by Nicolas Vernhes (Deerhunter, Wild Nothing) ‘Dromes’ is a perfec...read on »

Sky Larkin

Motto

9/10 from Brian

I've been away from doing reviews for a wee while and to be honest it takes a strong, focused mind to tolerate the sheer influx of new music, both good and bad, that we r...read on »

M. Geddes Gengras

Collected Works Vol. 1, The Moog Years

9/10 from Ant

Finally our copies of this absolute heart melting LP have arrived. M. Geddes Gengras has serious underground credentials, playing in LA Vampires, Pocahaunted, and Robedoo...read on »

Astral Social Club

Electric Yep

9/10 from Ant

Taking the quality of the Astral Social Club catalogue into account, to say that this is probably my favourite record by Neil Campbell's alter ego is a bold statement. The man...read on »

The Wyrding Module

Subtemple Session II

9/10 from Ant

Chris Gladwin is best known as being half of Team Doyobi for about the past fifteen years or something as well as producing some superb spannered acid as Dr. Derek F. So I was...read on »

Joanna Gruesome

Weird Sister

9/10 from Brian

"Heard it all before blah blah blah". I'd like to be all "whatevers" about this album but it's so damn lovable and exuberant that I'd feel like some schoolyard shithead that's...read on »

Marginal Consort

INSTAL. Glasgow 2008

9/10 from Ant

If all of the records that arrived this week were prehistoric creatures then this gargantuan 4LP set would be the fucking badass T-Rex. There’s like 3 hours worth of aud...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 »

Black Tempest

Sticks and Bells and Ancient Spells

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Stephen “Black Tempest” Bradbury is back this week with his latest serving of cosmic slop and in fact his first full-length outing since ‘Secret Astronomies&...read on »

Expo '70 / Plankton Wat

Split

8/10 from ReviewBot300

“What’s this cosmicness?”, says Phil. Well, Phil, it’s the new split LP from Expo 70 and Plankton Wat, known to their mums as Justin Wright and Dewey M...read on »

ARP

More

8/10 from Mike

Alexis Georgopoulos, aka Arp, goes off on a bit of a tangent with his latest album on Smalltown Supersound, moving from synthesizer based and largely instrumental work into a ...read on »

The Dirtbombs

Ooey Gooey Chewy Ka Blooey!

8/10 from Mike

Detroit garage rock legends The Dirtbombs have another of their concept records out. Yup, Mick Collins’s lot have mined the fertile fields of classic soul and vintage ho...read on »

Seams

Quarters

8/10 from Mike

Seams is the alias of Berlin-based Briton James Welch, and ‘Quarters’ apparently takes its title from having been recorded in four different areas of the city. Wha...read on »

The Tomb Weavers

Andrew

8/10 from Mike

Here’s a 7” of garagey hippie-psych from California which, as the press release correctly claims, “sounds like a band from the ‘70s who loved garage ba...read on »

Unicorn Hard-On

Weird Universe

8/10 from Mike

I’ll be honest with you, I picked this record out of the review pile for two reasons. Firstly it’s on the ever-consistent Spectrum Spools so it’s bound to be...read on »

Lantscap

Varying Degrees Of Alive

8/10 from Mike

I have been listening to records all day in order to fill a quota of 15 reviews by the end of business, and here’s numero quinze itself - the Lantscap LP. If you don&rsq...read on »

Body/Head

Coming Apart

8/10 from Mike

Body/Head, in case you’ve not been reading Elle lately, is Kim Gordon’s first post-Sonic Youth musical offering. I’m approaching it with caution because it&r...read on »

Indiana Drones

Indiana Drones

8/10 from ReviewBot300

This Indiana Drones album - a collaboration between Material Object and Phonaut - was originally supposed to come out on Pete Namlook’s +49-69/450464 imprint but sadly i...read on »

Richard Formby

Sine

8/10 from Phil

Pop producer, musician, lothario, and local man about town Richard Formby has a new release out on Preserved Sound. It’s a minimally packaged CD in a brown cardboard thi...read on »

Brainbombs

Singles Collection 2

8/10 from Mike

Dirge-core misanthropes the Brainbombs have divided opinion for years now, churning out a brand of unsavoury lo-fi noise clamour with fucked up lyrics and often similarly fuck...read on »

Plaster

Nemesis EP

8/10 from Phil

Here’s a new Touchin Bass release by Plaster which I tried to search for on the site with the phrase ‘Plaster Cloth’. This is because I’m an idiot and ...read on »

White Poppy

White Poppy

8/10 from Phil

Not Not Fun have slowed down their intensive release schedule to just a handful of records a year now which I think is a good thing on the whole as there’s just too many...read on »

Nightmares On Wax

Feelin' Good

8/10 from Ian

Warp Records veteran Nightmares On Wax is back after a five year hiatus, we’re very proud of our homegrown talent here in Leeds so with George Evelyn now clocking in ove...read on »

J Dilla

Diamonds & Ice

8/10 from Li'l Biz

Big J Dee returns from the grave to deliver a second 12” of ultra reliable cuts on Pay Jay as part of J Dilla’s vocal album ‘The Diary’ campaign. &lsq...read on »

Sun Araw / Ralph White

Split

8/10 from Li'l Biz

Been looking forward to this one. Seems like a while since Sun Araw last put out any solo material but he’s easily forgiven with this bitchin’ cover of ‘Thra...read on »

The Boats

Nomenclature

8/10 from Ant

The cynic in me had my reservations when reading The Boats had made a techno record, with so many artists jumping on the techno bandwagon there are some weak interpretations o...read on »

Marcel Dettmann

Dettmann II

8/10 from Ant

As the title indicates this is the second album from one of the Resident DJ's at Berlin techno mecca Berghain, on their in house label Ostgut Ton. I think in a lot of ways his...read on »

Violetshaped

The Remixes Part 2

8/10 from Ant

Keith Fullerton Whitman, JK Flesh and Grischa Lichtenberger follow in the Footsteps of Roly Porter, Vatican Shadow and Kangding Ray to remix Violetpoison and artist Shapednois...read on »

TRAAMS

Grin

8/10 from Clinton

The latest in an increasingly long line of bands with Google-friendly spellings. ‘Trams’ just wouldn’t do as you will be lumped in with all those vehicles in...read on »

Various

Music & Migration III

8/10 from Clinton

Birds. Bloody brilliant aren’t they? I’m not sure I could live without them. It's nice having a lovely bird twittering away first thing in the morning. There was a...read on »

Dustin Wong

Mediation Of Ecstatic Energy

8/10 from Clinton

Dustin Wong is a lad who has been declared a ‘genius’ on these very pages. I wouldn’t go quite as far as that but what I would say is that he certainly knows...read on »

Featured albums

The Wyrding Module
Various
Mark McGuire
Fuzz
Dustin Wong
Mika Vainio & Joachim Nordwall
Bill Callahan
Sky Larkin
TRAAMS
Younghusband
Joanna Gruesome
Hills
Blouse
Expo '70 / Plankton Wat
Crystal Stilts
Fibreforms
J Dilla
Why?
Moin
M. Geddes Gengras
Astral Social Club
Leisure Connection