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Weekly Update Blank Realm, Jackson C. Frank, East India Youth, Celer, Gurgles, and more...

Well, it's all started again.

You would think we might get some respite from the bombardment of new releases while everyone recovers from the New Year shenanigans but, nope, the music industry has ground back into action. And you know what? We love it. Yes, it's true - we can’t get enough. We can tell you all about all these new and exciting things, wax lyrical on the good, keep mysteriously quiet on the bad. So.....why wait any longer? Hit it!!

This week's big things. East India Youth have been slathered with praise across the board for their debut opus ‘Total Strife Forever’ which is a nice blend of abstract electronics and synth -worshipping pop which mostly justifies the hype. Locals lads/lasses Menace Beach regale us with their fuzzy, lo-fi, 90s worshipping slanted pop on their brand new 12” - a potential Single of the Week winner if we still have such an accolade. Just 10 miles away, Bradford oddballs Gurgles lavish us with a supremely strange 7” on Saltaire Recordings. Ah Saltaire, second best place on earth (probably).

There’s a big fat Mark Lanegan box set for sale which collects his solo recordings for Sub Pop, Beggars Banquet and others over the course of his idiosyncratic career - including twelve unreleased tracks for you completists. We were pleased to see 60s dreamers Cocoanut Groove sign to Fortuna Pop and celebrate with a vibrant album full of Zombies/Clientele-influenced jangly tunes. And, just as the week has a day with a ‘day’ in its name, there is another album from Celer, this time somewhat influenced by Hitchcock’s 1964 classic ‘Rear Window’.

A couple of good compilations hit the decks with the ‘B9 Belgian Cold Wave 1979-1983’ re-issue from way back in 1981 and from more recent times the ‘Uncharted Places’ compilation of remixes of various artists creating warm ambient soundscape for you to rest easy to. There’s a well-deserved re-issue from lost 60s folkie Jackson C Frank, and a massive 10CD box set of Francisco Lopez’s music concrete meanderings. Our review lord Mike came back to the hot seat this week raving about the latest from Ukrainian pianist Lubomyr Melnyk, Ghedalia Tazartes's unclassifiable ‘Voyage A L’ombre’ and minimalists Pitreleh despite his favourite sound tone coming from an errant piece of record deck wiring.

What the hell else? Glasgow based ex-Shitdisco and Divorce fellers Ubre Blanca hook up for some retro synth and drum shenanigans on debut 12”; Texan synth fiddler Kosmonaut is bang on form on an impressive new album (limited to just 200!). Big Ups hit us with a slab of vigorous Royal Royal Trux/Pissed Jeans rock; Blank Realm hurl their second album into the mix with a scrawl of post-apocalyptic guitar splutter; Hiss Golden Messenger re-issues a wonderfully stark set of back porch folk songs; and Samantha Crain releases a nice set of Laura Veirs-style alt folk on Full Time Hobby. Keel Her released another 7” of sunshiney fuzz-pop and Mutual Benefit out-sufjaned Sufjan Stevens on their Pitchfork-approved debut LP. Finally, there’s a new Madlib in stock and a great 12” from Cape Town chamber pop/afrobeat collective John Wizards.

That's it! A fast and furious first week back is finally at an end so go home, open a can of Tizer, rest easy and have yourselves a great weekend.

Love,

Clint and everyone else
xx


Best records this week

According to our review team at least...

The Kosmik Kommando

Overmind

9/10 from Ant

Original UK Techno Don/ Acid Techno pioneer/ TB-303 Lord Mike Dred (Machine Codes/ Rephlex/ R&S/ Diatomyc/ Analog/ Beta Bodega etc.) follows up 2011’s ultra limited ...read on »

Bee Mask

Pear Growers Series 1 (Surgeon & Abdulla Rashim remixes)

9/10 from Ant

This is the The inaugural release on Chris Madak’s (AKA Beemask) new Pear Growers Series label. He’s commissioned a fine pair of remixes from two artists I’m...read on »

Marine Girls

Beach Party

9/10 from Clinton

Waaaaay way back in time before the chance meeting with Ben Watt in Hull which led to Everything But The Girl, a young Tracey Thorn  was at sixth form in Hadfield, Hertfo...read on »

Ubre Blanca

Polygon Mountain

9/10 from Li'l Biz

Well this is pretty frickin’ exciting! Two of Glasgow’s creative underground heavyweights Joel Stone (ex-Shitdisco) and Andy Brown (ex-Divorce, current Remember Re...read on »

Menace Beach

Lowtalker

9/10 from Li'l Biz

The meteoric rise of local scuzz-rock upstarts Menace Beach is almost beyond comprehension. I should probably fact check this but I’m sure they’d signed to Memphis...read on »

Big Ups

Eighteen Hours of Static

9/10 from Mike

I’m back in the office after a bit of a sabbatical and Team Norm must be happy to see me back because I’ve got some real gems in my review pile this morning by the...read on »

Kosmonaut

Future Machines

9/10 from Mike

Shadowy Texan synth-fiddler Patrick Park dropped my favourite new synth album of 2013 with his orange-sleeved LP on Deep Distance (now sadly long gone), so I’m delighted...read on »

Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks

Wig Out At Jagbags

8/10 from Clinton

When I saw Stephen Malkmus had a new album out I have to admit, I  let out a slight giggle. I just looked at the title and thought  - ah he’ll be dicking about...read on »

Winkie

One Day We Pretended To Be Ghosts

8/10 from Clinton

I’m not sure what Winkie means in downtown New York but round here it is another word for a love muscle, a if-you-will pork sword. Unfathomable name aside,  here ar...read on »

Woodworkings

Day Breaks The Morning Shapes We Speak

8/10 from Clinton

Aaaaaaahhhhhh. Everythings ok right? Woodworkings is the alter ego of Kyle Woodworth who produces a gentle take on neoclassical and ambient music using pianos, carefully pluck...read on »

subzar

pico

8/10 from Clinton

Subzar are an English quartet  who travelled to Austria to record this, their second album which appears to be a concept something to do with migrating birds and those pe...read on »

Matti Bye

Bethanien

8/10 from Clinton

The sound of a man twinkling a doom-laden slightly detuned piano in a massive old hall. This album is one of those that appears on the surface to do very little but its atmosp...read on »

Silencio

The Politics of Lonely

8/10 from Clinton

In todays world you have to cling on to what you can get. The train turning up on time for once, a smile from the person doling out the mars bars in the corner shop. Just smal...read on »

Psapp

What Makes Us Glow

8/10 from Clinton

Frequently straddling just the right side of the line between clever and annoying, Psapp have occasionally produced moments of real inspiration over their decade or so existen...read on »

Jonathan Wilson

Fanfare

8/10 from Clinton

I’m starting to get what you might want to call ‘senior moments’,  not least when my dad asked me if I’d heard the new Jonathan Wilson record and ...read on »

DeepChord

De Wallen

8/10 from Clinton

Released just prior to Deepchord’s incredible third album, '20 Electrostatic Soundfields' this is a picture disc containing three tracks. The lead track ‘De Wallen...read on »

East India Youth

Total Strife Forever

8/10 from Clinton

As always at this time of year one record becomes the go-to disc for all the various publications who want to remain artificially upbeat about the new year. Imploring you abou...read on »

Celer

Voyeur

8/10 from Clinton

Hitchcock’s ‘Rear Window’ is one of my favourite films of all time. in fact,  my life at home when I work on my computer is quite similar to the plotlin...read on »

Samantha Crain

Kid Face

8/10 from Clinton

The second time today I’ve played something which I seem to already know. Are these records just so infectious or have I really heard these things before somehow, somewh...read on »

Hiss Golden Messenger

Bad Debt

8/10 from Clinton

Although I’m the biggest fan of MC Taylor’s previous band The Court and Spark, his latest (more successful) outfit Hiss Golden Messenger have never quite hit as ha...read on »

Cocoanut Groove

How To Build A Maze

8/10 from Clinton

We have long been fans of Cocoanut Groove here at the towers so its to our utter delight that they have now signed to Fortuna Pop and dropped the big one so to speak. Its a go...read on »

Keel Her

Don’t Look At Me

8/10 from Clinton

Apparently after recording something like a million songs, Keel Her (aka Rose Keeler-Schaffler) has now started releasing some of them and with a new album in the pipeline, it...read on »

Gurgles

You Send Me Up / You're Madder Than Me

8/10 from Clinton

Its not every band take their primary influence from Van Der Graaf Generator but here’s a possibility. Coming from the international pop hotbed of Bradford (see also: Ki...read on »

Various

Uncharted Places

8/10 from Ian

This smart compilation was born from a blog/community website that brings together new and established artists from the world of electronica and ambient music, astrangelyisola...read on »

Various

B9: Belgian Cold Wave 1979-1983

8/10 from Ian

Those lovely fellows at LTM Records have re-released this 1981 compilation (originally on Sandwich Records) of Belgian new wave, electronic and industrial tracks, a double alb...read on »

John Wizards

Muizenberg

8/10 from Clinton

The chunter. Its the chunter that gets you. Chunter on this chunter on that. Lets remove their tongues and enjoy the music. John Wizards are a band not a man but the singer is...read on »

September Girls

Cursing The Sea

8/10 from Clinton

The process of doling out reviews to our various staff is more fraught than you may think. This record seems to have been knocking about forever and still we wait on the revie...read on »

Lubomyr Melnyk

Windmills

8/10 from Mike

What a delight it is to have a new record in from legendary Ukrainian pianist Lubomyr Melnyk, and so soon after the last one! Actually he seems to have been uncharacteristical...read on »

Ghedalia Tazartes

Voyage à l‘ombre

8/10 from Mike

Hinterzimmer are really spoiling us this week. Not only have they sent us a stunning new hour-long CD by Lubomyr Melnyk, there’s also this new offering from another unde...read on »

Blank Realm

Grassed Inn

8/10 from Mike

Blank Realm’s last album ‘Go Easy’ was excellent, so it’s nice to see another full-length from these Aussies so soon. They really seem to have pulled o...read on »

Pitreleh

Pitreleh

8/10 from Mike

Pure tone fans have a reason to celebrate this week as Important drop the much-anticipated collaborative LP from two leading lights in the genre. Former pro-skater Duane Pitre...read on »

Featured albums

Jackson C. Frank
Gurgles
Various
Ubre Blanca
Celer
Big Ups
East India Youth
Blank Realm
John Wizards
Keel Her
Madlib
Menace Beach
Samantha Crain
Mutual Benefit
Francisco Lopez
Various
Kosmonaut
Mark Lanegan
Pitreleh
Cocoanut Groove
Lubomyr Melnyk
Ghedalia Tazartes
Hiss Golden Messenger