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Weekly Update Arve Henriksen, Parquet Courts, Sontag Shogun, Ela Orleans & Skitter, Fresh Snow, and more...

Good afternoon Normstimulants, it’s time for another of our weekly updates as what remained of the summer vanishes into the distance and we hurtle into the depths of another crispy autumn while the nation collectively turns its heating back on. If you don’t have heating, of course, you could always dance to keep warm I suppose. What to? I thought you’d never ask.

Battling it out for our album of the week as I write this are a handful of superb LPs. Ant’s pick of Roly Porter is the front-runner with his gobsmacking LP of widescreen dark ambient neoclassical sound design business which will have you replacing your pants in awe, although it’s been run close by Phil’s top choice which is Tim Hecker’s latest symphony of piano-stained dronefuzz. Ian, meanwhile, really enjoyed the Tindersticks’ new album of re-recorded classics.

Brian was rather taken by Leyland “The Caretaker” Kirby’s new outing as The Stranger with some of his gorgeously decaying spookscapes, while our ReviewBot is arguing the corner for both Ela Orleans & Skitter’s intensely evocative slab of artful dark ambience on Clan Destine and Norwegian trumpeter Arve Henriksen’s utterly magical mixture of spiritual brass and subtly pervasive samples which sounds like a future classic to me too, although my personal pick of the week has to go to the new Satan’s Satyrs LP of gut-punching testosterock like Uncle Acid and Fuzz playing chicken on lowriders in the desert. Super gnarly.

Also not quite an album but worthy of prominent mention is the first vinyl outing for London production duo Necro Deathmort with a lengthy 12” EP ‘EP1’ on Distraction which confidently snatched the Single of the Week title away from the likes of Sontag Shogun, The See See, Parquet Courts and Dark Acid III with its bleaktronic techno-noir styles.

Back to the albums, Cave are back in business with another LP of head-nodding krauty goodness to follow their universally loved ‘Neverendless’ opus, and sticking on a krauty theme there’s a new band from Toronto called Fresh Snow who are doing that repeato business very well on their debut LP.

The newly reunited Dismemberment Plan drop their first album in 12 years (oh and Polvo are back too), there’s an LP of dreamy experimental synthpop from The Mistys (featuring a Boat), there’s a couple of LPs on gorgeous swirly vinyl on Blackest Rainbow from Pelt dude Mike Gangloff and some fresh meditations from stoner ritualists Bong, Rene Hell has an LP out on the always-intriguing PAN, and a mysterious man calling himself Johnny Hawaii has done a superb LP of surf-tinted tropical ambience which is very satisfying.

What would Peter Lorre do?

Mikeszlo Lowenstein and the Normtese Falcons


Best records this week

According to our review team at least...

Frankie Rose

Herein Wild

9/10 from Ian

When the promo for the latest Frankie Rose album fell through our letterbox here at Norman HQ I instantly fell in love with it. So to get to tell you peeps in internet land al...read on »

These Hidden Hands

These Hidden Hands

9/10 from Ant

Tommy Four Seven and Alain drop their self-titled debut album as These Hidden Hands following an excellent taster 12” which featured remixes from Lakker and Vatican Shad...read on »

Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement

Folklore Venom

9/10 from Ant

I’ve been enjoying the digitals of both ‘The Plant With Many Faces’ and ‘Folklore Venom’ for some time. I simply need that kidney I’d have ...read on »

Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement

The Plant With Many Faces

9/10 from Ant

I’ve been enjoying the digitals of both ‘The Plant With Many Faces’ and ‘Folklore Venom’ for some time. I simply need that kidney I’d have ...read on »

Various

Halh

9/10 from Ant

Two decades of the Downwards label is cause for celebration and certainly deserves a commemorative release. Downwards has forged its own path with zero compromise, from it&rsq...read on »

Temples

Keep In The Dark

9/10 from Clinton

T-Rex. If Temples' previous single sounded rather wonderfully like Teardrop Explodes then this goes way back to the early '70s for inspiration. The opening few bars couldn&rsq...read on »

Prefab Sprout

Crimson/Red

9/10 from Clinton

Over the past decade or so, Paddy McAloon of Prefab Sprout has gained a reputation more for the music he hasn’t released rather than that he has. Several titles of unrel...read on »

Jay Daniel

Scorpio Rising

9/10 from Ant

Super strong debut release from this Detroit youngster for Theo Parrish’s esteemed Sound Signature label. Opening with ‘No Love Lost’ which has an affinity w...read on »

The Mistys

Redemption Forest

9/10 from Mike

The cold is starting to set in up here in Leeds as autumn has well and truly arrived this week, and I’ve nothing but a big review pile for consolation, starting with thi...read on »

Various

Dark Acid III

9/10 from Mike

The first two Dark Acid 12”s ate my face off, and here’s the latest masterclass in anarchic electronics from four more of the coolest names. This one even spins at...read on »

Johnny Hawaii

Southern Lights

9/10 from Mike

One of our team here at Norman says that they actually played on the same bill as this guy at his first ever gig while they were on tour in Europe and that he was good and the...read on »

Necro Deathmort

EP1

9/10 from ReviewBot300

London bleaktronica duo Necro Deathmort have been turning heads with a succession of CD releases in recent years but now they’ve finally taken the step to vinyl wit...read on »

Ela Orleans & Skitter

De Flechettes

9/10 from ReviewBot300

Here’s a team I’ve seen before. Experimental dreampop bon vivant Ela Orleans and experimental noise tinkerer Liam “Skitter” Stefani did a very limited ...read on »

Arve Henriksen

Places Of Worship

9/10 from ReviewBot300

Rune Grammofon’s versatile trumpet dude Arve Henriksen is getting all spiritual on your ass this week with the release of ‘Places of Worship’, a graceful con...read on »

Satan's Satyrs

Wild Beyond Belief

9/10 from Mike

This lot Satan’s Satyrs haven’t been going for long but they’ve been raising eyebrows with their brand of unhinged and pounding biker sludge on a series of l...read on »

Sontag Shogun

LTFI EP

9/10 from ReviewBot300

I’ve not encountered Sontag Shogun before, but a quick search of our site reveals that our Brian was very taken by the trio’s previous EP when that came in, and I ...read on »

Tindersticks

Across Six Leap Years

9/10 from Ian

I have a lot of reasons to be proud of my home town of Nottingham and Tindersticks are definitely one of them, especially as we’ve never really had much in the way of mu...read on »

Roly Porter

Life Cycle Of A Massive Star

9/10 from Ant

The space concept album is as old as time, from Holst, Louis & Bebe Barron, Jeff Mills, Jack Dangers, Lustmord, Nurse With Wound and so on. There’s been no shortage ...read on »

400ppm

AVN011

9/10 from Ant

The consistently on-point Avian label further establish their fine contribution to modern techno, reaching across the pond for their eleventh release. This plastic weapon come...read on »

Perc & Einstürzende Neubauten

Interpretations

9/10 from Ant

Ginger scouser Cilla black sung “Life is full of surprises”. Well there are no surprise surprises here - when you read the names Perc and Einstürzende Neubaut...read on »

94 East

If You See Me

9/10 from Ian

Here we have one of a collection of singles taken from the forthcoming Numero Group album ‘Purple Snow’ which features tracks associated with and including the ama...read on »

Parquet Courts

Tally All the Things That You Broke

9/10 from Brian

Our Mike was one of countless indie yank-rock aficionados who couldn't get enough of their smash hit second album 'Light Up Gold', the first to ignite hefty interest beyond th...read on »

The Stranger

Watching Dead Empires In Decay

9/10 from Brian

I've something to admit. I don't really dig a massive amount of the Leyland Kirby/Caretaker material as it appears there is now such vast swathes of it in existence that it qu...read on »

Rene Hell

Vanilla Call Option

9/10 from Ant

‘Vanilla Call Option’ is another glimpse into the restless creative mind of Jeff Witscher. His third full album as Rene Hell, not taking into account split albums ...read on »

Mrs Jynx

Diving Loop

8/10 from Ian

Central Processing Unit bring us another great 12 inch. Limited to 250, this is a four-track EP from Manchester’s own Mrs Jynx aka Hannah Davidson. First track is a plin...read on »

Savvas Ysatis

Archiv #08

8/10 from Ian

Tresor’s Archiv series returns with this double 12” by Greek producer Savvas Ysatis. After releasing two albums for Tresor since 1999 these four classics and two ...read on »

Glasser

Interiors

8/10 from Phil

I remember when the last Glasser album came out folks were going crazy mad for it. I can’t remember a thing about the last one but that’s mainly because I have no ...read on »

Daniel Avery

Drone Logic

8/10 from Phil

Despite pretty much just listening to electronic music these days I rarely write about it. I don’t really know why that is but looking at the records I’ve listened...read on »

Four Tet (Fourtet)

Beautiful Rewind

8/10 from Clinton

The new way to release records seems to be with as little fanfare as possible. Just ‘drop’ it when no-ones looking and let the fans clamour themselves silly. Fourt...read on »

Jahiliyya Fields

Pleasure Sentence

8/10 from Ant

‘Aeon Aeon’ is pretty sexy demented early Transmat abusing psychedelic ear drugs. A brain mushing fourteen minute sci-fi house/ techno odyssey. ‘2013’...read on »

Mike Gangloff

Poplar Hollow

8/10 from Mike

Pelt/Black Twig Pickers picker Mike Gangloff has a solo album here on beautiful swirly red and green vinyl in an eye-popping Jake Blanchard sleeve. Gangloff plays fiddle and b...read on »

Teeth of The Sea

Master

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Teeth of the Sea are back with album number three, ‘Master’, as they further refine their spaghetti western space rock into new cosmic forms, with lots of krautroc...read on »

Bong

Idle Days On The Yann

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Wow, this vinyl looks pretty amazing. It’s a gold/black swirl and it looks like it’s been made with magic. It is of course those stoner doom merchants Bong, with s...read on »

Cass McCombs

Big Wheel (And Others)

8/10 from Mike

It has come to my attention that I have never reviewed a Cass McCombs record before. This dude must’ve been churning out the discs for about 10 years now so it’s a...read on »

Hybernation

Object Studies - Metal

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Here’s an album with a self-explanatory title. This CD, which comes in a beautiful folded card cover with an actual signed and numbered etching on the front, contains a ...read on »

Meat Market

Too Tired

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Meat Market - a great name for a band, I’m sure we can all agree, but what do they sound like? Well, I just put the needle down on their new 7” and they sound like...read on »

Crystal Antlers

Nothing Is Real

8/10 from ReviewBot300

I’ve got a lot of time for Crystal Antlers. Their first couple of LPs on Touch and Go and Recreation Ltd both went down a treat and now we’ve got this new one in o...read on »

The Growlers

Not. Psych!

8/10 from ReviewBot300

California’s The Growlers have been going since 2006 apparently, so I feel a little sheepish about not having checked them out until now. I thought from the name that th...read on »

POD BLOTZ

Glass Tears

8/10 from ReviewBot300

I’ve just listened to Ela Orleans and Skitter’s latest Clan Destine adventure, a disorienting and bleak voyage into experimental lo-fi sounds. It’s made me f...read on »

Oozing Wound

Retrash

8/10 from ReviewBot300

I made a decision to review something that wasn’t sound art because I just did several sound art records in a row and it was starting to interfere with my chi. The recor...read on »

Ex-Easter Island Head

Mallet Guitars Three

8/10 from Mike

I thoroughly enjoyed Ex-Easter Island Head’s previous ‘Mallet Guitars’ offering so I’m happy to see that part three has arrived this week. Here there a...read on »

Fresh Snow

I

8/10 from Mike

Here’s an LP of synth-driven krautrock from the unlikely locale of Toronto, Ontario, home of Slim Twig, Diamond Rings and Justin Bieber. This record possesses the precis...read on »

Sunray

Full Circle

8/10 from Mike

Is it krautrock day today? I just had to write some words about the newie from Toronto’s Fresh Snow which reminded me of the north’s very own Warm Digits, and no s...read on »

Various

Trevor Jackson Presents - Metal Dance 2: Industrial New Wave EBM Classics & Rarities 79-88

8/10 from Ian

Strut Records bring you the second instalment in the 'Metal Dance' series, a great compilation of classic and rare industrial dance and new wave EBM. Compiled by Trevor Jackso...read on »

The Dismemberment Plan

Uncanney Valley

8/10 from Mike

I always feel a certain sense of ambivalence and trepidation when much loved bands dust off their equipment and reunite several years after their initial success, although the...read on »

Cave

Threace

8/10 from Mike

Cave’s last album ‘Neverendless’ was an instant classic here at Norman Towers, a rare case of a record coming out that pretty much everyone in the office buy...read on »

Desmadrados Soldados De Ventura

Striiide

8/10 from ReviewBot300

This is a bit of a departure for GPS’s cosmic little sister Deep Distance - usually relied upon to provide the deepest and most spaciest neo-kosmische on the scene - as ...read on »

Sons Of The Morning

Speak Soon: Volume One

8/10 from Clinton

It’s been many years since I last enjoyed a record by Scott Heron (AKA Prefuse 73) but this collaboration with Teebs immediately takes me back to the days when I played ...read on »

The See See

Featherman

8/10 from Clinton

Sometimes I think I’d have been better off living in the ‘60s. I’d have been one groovy guy, until of course I grew the moustache but we’ll not talk ab...read on »

Vessel

Misery Is A Communicable Disease

8/10 from Clinton

Phil has handed me a slew of 12” releases, too many to write about and many of them are annexes to recently released records. So in lieu of me telling you about Darkstar...read on »

Cheatahs

Cut The Grass

8/10 from Clinton

I had my finger in the slit for ages but it turns out I was trying to open the side of the record where there is no hole. Now, finally, it's open and spinning on the black rou...read on »

T.R.A.S.E

Tape Recorder And Synthesiser Ensemble

8/10 from Clinton

Remember the recent 7” by TRASE? The lost music electronics wizard Andy Popplewell recorded when he was 16? Well, following on from that ace 7” we have this much a...read on »

Sebastian Palomar

The Physical and Emotional Benefits of Swimming

8/10 from Clinton

Having given swimming a miss since getting fished out of the pool aged 10 after an aborted attempt at gaining my 25 metres badge,  I’m not the best person to sing i...read on »

Featured albums

The Mistys
Sontag Shogun
Rene Hell
Ela Orleans & Skitter
The Stranger
Various
Cave
The Dismemberment Plan
The See See
Mike Gangloff
Bong
Fresh Snow
Tindersticks
Satan's Satyrs
Polvo
Arve Henriksen
Necro Deathmort
Johnny Hawaii
Parquet Courts
Roly Porter
Tim Hecker