Why shop with us? 0113 245 4399

Weekly Update SQURL, Bruno Spoerri / Massonix, E.L. Heath, Bardo Pond, The New Lines, and more...

Welcome to the weekend, everybody! Here at Norman it’s been yet another week of frantic action as we pack your orders, order new records for you to order, and of course listen to the records in an attempt to tell you what they sound like. As always we’ve stumbled across a few diamonds along the way so I’m going to try to chat you through those now.

One album that we’re all agreed is rather excellent this week is the latest from synth lady Laurel Halo, a complete turnaround from her previous effort full of tripped out alien techno beats and twitchy jazz, while on the other end of the musical spectrum and much closer to home Los Pecadores have impressed with their short but sweet debut LP of thrashy sci-fi garage-surf instrumentals, limited to just 100 copies on vinyl.

Another very good record in an identically short run is this album of damaged but melodic Antipodean noisegaze type stuff from Brisbane’s Loomer (featuring Slug Guts and Lakes people), while our Ian describes the new Ulrich Schnauss & Mark Peters album as “perfect in every way”.

Soundtrack fans can entertain themselves to the mournful strains of Dickon Hinchliffe’s score to the second of the harrowing ‘Red Riding’ trilogy, on vinyl for the first time thanks to Blackest Ever Black, or the rather more lighthearted and psychedelic electronic madness of David Kanaga’s score to the video game ‘DYAD’.

If you’re looking for chills you should check out the haunting new CDs by The Stranger (aka Leyland Kirby/The Caretaker) as well as Matthew Jenkins (PCA) alias The House In The Woods and the album of stumbling broketronica darkness from Basic House. Both houses you should visit this Halloween, but proceed with caution!

In terms of actual house that you can dance to, the debut album by Sydney duo Gardland is very good, as is Legowelt’s new 12” with its frankly haunting sleeve art, and those that like their dance a bit more cerebral will be pleased to see that the evergreen Autechre are back with a new EP of their splintered electronic fun.

If you’re into slow, gritty stoner rock then there are two records you need this week - firstly veterans Bardo Pond are on fine form on their ninth long-player of spluttery epic sludge, and secondly Jim Jarmusch’s Squrl trio return with their second picture 12” EP of slow and saturated meditations. If your tastes are poppier, I’d recommend Epic45 alumni E.L. Heath’s ambitious new CD of widescreen Welsh-language pop, The New Lines’ new album of wibbly, slightly Broadcasty gorgeousness, and White Denim’s shamelessly indulgent new LP of Thin Lizzy-meets-Supertramp pop delivered with great flair and energy.

On a more experimental tip, the new Adrian Utley’s Guitar Orchestra album sees the Portishead lad enlist a team of six-stringers and organists to reinterpret Terry Riley’s pivotal minimalist classic, and Finders Keepers are particularly busy this week with an LP of tape recorder experiments from 1952 by Otto Luening & Vladimir Ussachevsky as well as two past-meets-present double-headers on their Disposable Music series from Bruno Spoerri/Massonix and Emerald Web/S McLoughlin/A Cooper, and while I’m on the reissues cosmic pioneer Laraaji has had a few old titles put back into print courtesy of All Saints, and Soul Jazz have the third instalment of their amazing ‘New Orleans Funk’ compilation series.

Now go and buy some records.

The Mike in the Norms


Best records this week

According to our review team at least...

Ulrich Schnauss & Mark Peters

Tomorrow Is Another Day

10/10 from Ian

Second collaborative album from former Engineers cohorts Ulrich Schnauss and Mark Peters, to be honest I wasn’t that keen on the duo’s first effort ‘Underrat...read on »

Laurel Halo

Chance Of Rain

10/10 from Brian

Quite a stylistic departure from her last celebrated long player is 'Chance of Rain', the new freaky stylus-eater to burst forth from the excitable neurons of Ms. Ha...read on »

Vatican Shadow

Remember Your Black Day

9/10 from Brian

Don't know why I grabbed the latest transmission from uber-dark noise puppy Dominick Fearn Cotton? NO! His general "furious hamster" demeanour and perpetual exploration of the...read on »

Talulah Gosh

Was It Just A Dream?

9/10 from Brian

Well half an hour before Jeff Bus, better listen to this cracking anthology of premier tweedom known as the best of TG. I bet TG loved the bus. A good vehicle for singing song...read on »

Boards of Canada

Music Has The Right To Children

9/10 from Clinton

Here we have a vinyl re-press of one of the most lauded electronic albums of all time and certainly one that could be considered a ‘game changer’. Their particular...read on »

The Devil

The Devil

9/10 from Brian

Right bloody rigmarole getting round to reviewing this today. It's been on the back-burner stewing away in my mind all week like the evil delightful little cretin it...read on »

Loomer

Ceiling

9/10 from ReviewBot300

Rare Aussie indie rock, got yer rare Aussie indie rock! Please form an orderly queue. Brisbane’s Loomer have since gone on to join the likes of Slug Guts, Lakes and Per ...read on »

Johnny Ill Band

I Can't See

9/10 from ReviewBot300

I was initially wary about this 7” because of the frankly rubbish cover illustration. Did he get his kid to do it or something? Anyway, I was quickly eating my words whe...read on »

Adrian Utley’s Guitar Orchestra

In C

9/10 from Mike

This is of course Portishead’s Adrian Utley and an assembled orchestra of 18 guitars, 4 organs, bass clarinet and percussion performing Terry Riley’s history-chang...read on »

Dickon Hinchliffe

Red Riding: In The Year Of Our Lord 1980

9/10 from ReviewBot300

Here for the first time ever on vinyl is Tinderstick Dickon Hinchliffe’s score to one of Channel 4’s instaclassic ‘Red Riding’ trilogy. Hinchliffe of c...read on »

Gardland

Syndrome Syndrome

9/10 from Mike

Gardland is the Sydney-based duo of Alex Murray and Mark Smith, who this week drop their debut album on RVNG. It’s going down really well in the office today, and it&rsq...read on »

E.L. Heath

9/10 from Mike

Wow, El Heath has really upped his game on this latest offering. The Epic 45 lad has previously churned out some thoroughly charming pastoral psych-pop under his own name, but...read on »

The House in the Woods

Bucolica

9/10 from Ant

‘Bucolica’ sounds like some brand of infant cough medicine but is infact the superb debut release from The House In The Woods better known to his kin-folk as Marti...read on »

Los Pecadores

Escape From Uranus

9/10 from Ian

Being relatively new to the Leeds music scene it was a great pleasure to come across these fellas, with the young bands of today swamping the market with dubstep, psych-rock o...read on »

DJ Rashad

Double Cup

8/10 from Ant

Chicago footwork master DJ Rashad gets busy on his MPC for his third Hyperdub emission and first full length album proper with ‘Double Cup’. If you’re famili...read on »

Prostitutes

Shatter and Lose

8/10 from Ant

Prostitutes is James Donadio, a man whose super limited edition LP ‘Psychedelic Black’ turned heads last year with his gritty, raw take on techno. He's since had a...read on »

Rezzett

EP

8/10 from Ant

Little is known about this artist other than the stuff he/she/ they have posted on Youtube, collected here on wax and sounding so utterly filthy and distorted that they could ...read on »

Mind Over Mirrors

When The Rest Are Up At Four

8/10 from Ian

With so many ambient composers out there at the moment it must be hard for someone to create something special and unique in the vast sea of endless drone artists, Jaime &ldqu...read on »

Ballet School

Boys Again

8/10 from Ian

Berlin-based three piece Ballet School have released this great little four track EP on Simon Raymonde and Robin Guthrie’s (Cocteau Twins) Bella Union. They make perfect...read on »

Au Revoir Simone

Crazy / Somebody Who

8/10 from Clinton

The '80s fixation continues with this slab of goodness from the New York trio. I’ve done that listen-to-the-B-side-first thing again and have had to completely rewrite t...read on »

Various

Live At Death By Audio 2012

8/10 from Clinton

It’s amazing the kind of things people do. Here, the good people at Famous Class have not only recorded a selection of acts who have taken the stage at the Death By Audi...read on »

King Champion Sounds

Different Drummer

8/10 from Clinton

Never judge a book by its cover, apparently. From appearance only, I would seem a middle-aged bookish fop which completely belies the roaring sex machine that lies beneath. Si...read on »

Snapline

Phenomena

8/10 from Clinton

This is the first of a series of records from China that we have somehow got into stock. I had no idea what to expect, having previously no clue what kind of music people from...read on »

Kiran Leonard

Dear Lincoln

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Here’s some strident indie-folk business from Kiran Leonard, a big-voiced singer-songwriter with a mournful voice but quite energetic arrangements. It's on Hand of Glory...read on »

Widowspeak

The Swamps EP

8/10 from Mike

Ever since I’ve worked here I’ve kept seeing records by this band coming in and out of the shop and I’ve somehow managed to go all these years. Finally I get...read on »

Grails

Black Tar Prophecies Vols. 4,5, & 6

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Hyper-prolific atmospheresmiths Grails are back once again this week with a handy volume compiling the last three installments of their ‘Black Tar Prophecies’ seri...read on »

Way Through

Clapper Is Still

8/10 from ReviewBot300

The cover of this record is very pastoral-looking and all the songs are named after places, so when I first put the CD in the player and heard field recordings of passing traf...read on »

David Kanaga

DYAD (Original Game Soundtrack)

8/10 from ReviewBot300

We don’t often get computer game soundtracks here at Norman, but here’s one which won an Indiecade Best Audio Design award for the ‘Child Of Eden’-esqu...read on »

Audacity

Butter Knife

8/10 from Mike

The Goatse-esque cover illustration to this new Audacity album has kind of put me off my lunch, but no matter! I’m a professional and will review through the retches, be...read on »

Otto Luening & Vladimir Ussachevsky

Tape Recorder Music

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Here’s a truly fascinating curio from all the way back in 1952, which is almost certainly before you were born. If I was born in 1952 then on my actual birthday I’...read on »

Laraaji

Essence / Universe

8/10 from Mike

We’ve got a couple of reissues in from new age pioneer Laraaji this week, and the one which has landed on the review pile is this cosmic synthdrone bliss-out ‘Esse...read on »

Bardo Pond

Peace on Venus

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Veteran out-rockers Bardo Pond return this week with album number nine on Fire Records, collecting five brand new tracks of their sludgy stoner-doom psychedelia for your liste...read on »

Piskie Sits

Creature Feature

8/10 from ReviewBot300

The front cover of this new Piskie Sits record is great, a big crowd of Japanese movie monsters battling it out as a crowd of people flees into the foreground. On the disc, &l...read on »

Legowelt

Teen Romance

8/10 from Mike

Here comes Legowelt with another 12” of his trademark unclassifiable cosmic acid techno jack house whatever it is. Thankfully we have a couple of fans of his here in Bri...read on »

Purling Hiss

Paisley Montage

8/10 from Mike

Purling Hiss’s recent ‘Water On Mars’ LP was a departure from the meandering blown out stoner fuzz of their early material into a more concise (and some cyni...read on »

Table Music Meeting / Rainbow Valley

Autumn Songs

8/10 from Mike

This is a beautifully presented little thing. It’s a 3” CD housed in a handmade letterpressed slipcase and it comes with a badge and all. There are two tracks on h...read on »

SQURL

EP #2

8/10 from Mike

The first EP by this this trio went down so well in our office that we crowned it single of the week, so it’s nice to see something new from Jim Jarmusch, Carter Logan a...read on »

Basic House

Oats

8/10 from ReviewBot300

I’ve been meaning to check out Basic House anyway because he’s playing round these parts in a couple of weeks with Gnod and Bass Clef, so it’s just as well I...read on »

The Men

Campfire Songs

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Last year’s ‘New Moon’ LP saw noise-grungers The Men heading in more of a countryish pop direction, so it comes as no surprise that they’ve recorded al...read on »

White Denim

Corsicana Lemonade

8/10 from Mike

Where did the fun go? In the past few years it seems like everyone who makes music takes themselves so deadly serious that the enjoyment has been all but squeezed out altogeth...read on »

Group Rhoda

12th House

8/10 from Mike

Group Rhoda’s last full-length ‘Out of Time - Out Of Touch’ was a genuinely intriguing bit of minimal synthpop, and now Mara Barenbaum (as she’s known ...read on »

Autechre

L-Event

8/10 from Ian

Rob and Sean are back with this little EP/mini album ‘L-Event’, a direct follow up to their hugely successful album ‘Exai’ with the cover artwork being...read on »

Bruno Spoerri / Massonix

Hommage Au Fromage / Hollingsville

8/10 from Ian

The Finders Keepers label brings you this Disposable Music Library series from two artists, firstly Swedish electronic jazz pioneer Bruno Spoerri with ‘Hommage Au Fromag...read on »

Survival Knife

Divine Mob / Snakebit

8/10 from Ian

Former Unwound bods Justin Trosper and Brandt Sandeno hit us with this second single. Released on the legendary Kill Rock Stars label this is kind of exactly what you’d ...read on »

Minor Alps

Get There

8/10 from Clinton

The music industry’s knack of throwing completely unlikely acts together for a collaboration continues with this partnership of Juliana Hatfield the bloke from Nada Surf...read on »

Various

SMM: Opiate

8/10 from Clinton

Drone-based music has once again become flavour of the month in my house, mainly due to my scattershot inability to sleep. It seems that eating, internetting, drinking, thinki...read on »

The xx / Sampha

Reconsider / Without

8/10 from Clinton

I like this Sampha dude. From time to time, a track of his appears on the wireless and my ear pricks. I’ve already reviewed his debut mini album here, which should be so...read on »

The New Lines

Fall In Line

8/10 from Clinton

Do you like ancient synths, vintage sequencers? Do you like eerie ‘60s proto-electronic pop music? Do you like Broadcast? If the answer is ‘yes’ to at least ...read on »

The Books

Music For A French Elevator and Other Oddities

8/10 from Clinton

Well this is going to be a treasure trove of treats for any fans of The Books. It's a 45 track, double LP, limited vinyl exploration of all their unheard and uncollected B sid...read on »

Cupp Cave

NVMB

8/10 from Clinton

Ah right, now this is more like it. Straight outta Belgium, this producer takes the flitered signature waft of Flying Lotus, producing a delightful slab of electronic loveline...read on »

Featured albums

Los Pecadores
E.L. Heath
Legowelt
SQURL
Bruno Spoerri / Massonix
White Denim
Otto Luening & Vladimir Ussachevsky
David Kanaga
Autechre
Various
The Stranger
Basic House
Bardo Pond
Gardland
Laurel Halo
Adrian Utley’s Guitar Orchestra
Dickon Hinchliffe
The House in the Woods
The New Lines
Loomer
Ulrich Schnauss & Mark Peters