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Weekly Update Motorpsycho, Ariel Pink, Sendai, Sudden Death of Stars, Gallon Drunk, and more...

As another week slithers into the ether we return once again to furnish you with the latest exciting music releases, to distract you all from the futility of existence.

First up, there’s no arguing against the quality on offer on the new Metronomy album. It’s a blast of off-kilter fun to cheer up even the world’s biggest grump. You also must hear Weekend’s ‘The 81 Demos’. Weekend emerged out of the ashes of the much-loved Young Marble Giants and these demos better their sole album, ‘La Variete’. So there.

On the Great Pop Supplement-related imprint Deep Distance we have a new 12” by Hellivete which has been exiting the store like a rat up a drainpipe. The Melodien 12” on the same label has already sold out. Gallon Drunk have a new album full of their particular brand of sweat-drenched, bluesy rock, whilst Tense Men feature members of Cold Pumas and Sauna Youth and deliver a thrilling kraut-ish noisy jam.

Ekoplekz finally unleashes his debut for Planet Mu and a wonderful assortment of almost genre-less electronic wizardry it is too. There’s a new 12” from Clark on Warp Records (which is a nice accompaniment to ‘Iradephic’). Mike is giddy with child-like glee as his beloved Motorpsycho release their brand new opus ‘Behind the Sun’. The confusingly named Axxa/Abraxas offers some bright and breezy poppy psych type gear on Captured Tracks, whilst there’s a super little EP of mangled electro sounds from Datassette and a fantastic album of lush Grandaddy meets Pernice Brothers pop bliss from Lapland. Sendai feature Yves De Mey and Peter Van Hoesen and together they explore the outer limits of the electronic music spectrum. For the inner limits, try Max Cooper’s ‘Human’ which is an extremely palatable collection of electronica from the respected producer.

Want More? Ok then. Ex Galaxie 500 man Dean Wareham has a relatively upbeat collection of new jangly tunes out on Sonic Cathedral. French psych poppers Sudden Death of Stars release a nice album of 60s-referencing guitar pop (and play Halifax tonight!). The Unsemble feature a Jesus Lizard and an Einsturzende Neubauten and another guy and give us moody instrumental soundtracky rock. There’s a beautifully packaged album of gently looping sample-tronica from Isan man Robin Saville, whilst Jack Dice (featuring Xela man John Twells) presents us with a dark swirling EP of atmospheric electronica. There’s a faux-mysterious 12” of blurry electronica from Joane Skyler and the unpronouncable SHXCXCHCXSH throw some pounding grooves in our big fat faces.

On the re-issues front, all of The White Stripes albums have been re-issued on vinyl which can only be a good thing, there is a collection of early Ariel Pink recordings and live stuff for you to pick through, and more excellent value compilations of 80s indie on Cherry Red - this time it’s the turn of The Mighty Lemon Drops and Jasmine Minks to get the treatment. AND....we have just taken delivery of more copies of the Ruth White ‘7 Trumps From the Tarot Cards and Pinions’ re-issue. Needless to say, by the time you read this they may already be gone...

Quiet week on the 7” front. There’s a good one from Aussie lo-fi synth brigade Ausmuteants, a slew of stuff on the Beko label (generally in your indie-pop vein) and a mysterious 7” of synth drone from 36.

For those in the Leeds area, the super looking film OUR VINYL WEIGHS A TON: THIS IS STONES THROW RECORDS is showing at Hyde Park Cinema with a Q&A with the film’s director on Friday 4th April at 11pm, and we have teamed up with the Hyde Park people to offer you a discount rate on entry of £4.60 (saving you a good couple of quid). Just speak or quote the word 'Norman' at the box office. Simples.

Also we now have tickets available to buy online for the Sleaford Mods show at Leeds Wharf Chambers on 29th March.

Finally, it’s payback time! Did you know that you can now review us on our Facebook page? Let us know how we are doing and give us a mark out of 5. Oh, and why not ‘like’ our page at the same time (if, of course you do like us).

That’s it from us. Enjoy the happy times!

Clint and the pips

xxx


Best records this week

According to our review team at least...

Ruth White

7 Trumps From the Tarot Cards and Pinions

10/10 from Ant

Back in June 2013 I ended my review for Ruth White’s ‘Flowers of Evil’ reissue LP with this sentence “If her 'Seven Trumps From The Tarot Cards' LP als...read on »

The Unsemble

The Unsemble

10/10 from Mike

A Jesus Lizard and an Einsturzende Neubauten and another guy? Playing instrumental rock? This is relevant to my interests. The album itself is somewhat different than you migh...read on »

Minibus Pimps

Cloud to Ground

9/10 from Mike

Weirdly enough, I was just wondering a couple of days ago what Deathprod was up to after spinning his 'Morals And Dogma' masterpiece for a couple of friends, and as if the cos...read on »

Bobsleigh Baby

Improved

9/10 from Mike

I've had a couple of records this week which, while they were perfectly competent bits of grungey rock, really didn't sound like they were recorded by a room full of people, i...read on »

Carla Bozulich

Boy

9/10 from Mike

Oh, Boy. Here's an album which really needs more than the perfunctory half-hour review I have time to give it, but that's how the release schedule works sometimes. So many rec...read on »

Current 93

I Am The Last Of All The Field That Fell: Å Channel

9/10 from Mike

I've got a challenge on my hands here. About half an hour to write about the new Current 93 album, which is nearly 70 minutes long. Of course you can look to the press release...read on »

Various

Inner City Beat: Detective Themes, Spy Music and Imaginary Thrillers 1967-1975

9/10 from Mike

This is great! The latest comp from Soul Jazz is full of spy themes from the '60s and '70s so as you'd expect there's lots of jazzy brass blasts and moody basslines and a very...read on »

GNOD

A Somnambulists Tale

9/10 from Mike

On this Gnod record there's a spooky atmospheric loop with xylophones and synth xylophones underpinning the first side like a Philip Glass horror soundtrack and there's a samp...read on »

Melodien

Participation Mystique

9/10 from Mike

This LP I'm reviewing now is the latest from Great Pop Supplement offshoot Deep Distance, but I'm challenging myself to write some reviews without looking at the press release...read on »

Metronomy

Love Letters

9/10 from Clinton

There just aren’t enough people with curly hair these days so good on Metronomy main-man Joseph Mount for battling ahead and sticking one in the eye of the straight hair...read on »

The Ministry Of Wolves

Music From Republik Der Wölfe

9/10 from Mike

I've just accidentally written a mammoth essay on Johnny Foreigner and the death of childhood and how it relates to their spiky bubblegum post-punk and now I'm taking a total ...read on »

The Phantom Family Halo

Raven Town Witch

9/10 from ReviewBot300

I always struggle to pin down exactly what The Phantom Family Halo really are. It's kind of a flighty mixture of drone, psychedelia, Americana and post-punk with deceptively d...read on »

36

Sun Riders

9/10 from Mike

This mysterious 7" from 36 houses three songs and very little information. The music itself is way lovely though so I'm just going to chat about that. The order of the day he...read on »

Ekoplekz

Unfidelity

9/10 from Ant

The only box I want to put music in is my record box and yet my role as a writer here at Norman Towers in a sense dictates that I kinda have to, to some extent in order to att...read on »

Faures

Continental Drift

9/10 from Mike

Faures appear to be the trio of Rene Margraff, Samuel Landry and Fuzz Lee. Isn't Fuzz Lee a brilliant name. There's a quote on the inside cover. "It let them float and drift, ...read on »

Motorpsycho

Behind The Sun

9/10 from Mike

Ah, Motorpsycho. We meet again I see. Here the Norwegian psych rock chameleons are again with album number, what, 20? 25? It is of course a double LP, and a second record with...read on »

Ausmuteants

Felix Tried To Kill Himself / 15 Frames Per Second

9/10 from Brian

Guys. This should so be in Mike’s pile. Who the hell are Ausmuteants? Seemingly a lo-fi synth punk garage act from the Southern Hemisphere incorporating elements of Geel...read on »

MGUN

Resin EP

9/10 from Ant

Detroit’s Manuel Gonzales aka MGUN scores a hat trick with his third 12” release for Don’t Be Afraid in the form of the diverse 6 track ‘Resin EP&...read on »

Andrew Bird

I Want To See Pulaski At Night

8/10 from Clinton

Now for something completely different. I had Andrew Bird down as a kind of Sufjan Stevens type character but here he eschews vocals (mostly) and conventional songwriting for ...read on »

Kyle Bobby Dunn

Fragments and Compositions Of

8/10 from Clinton

This is a vinyl re-issue of Dunn’s debut which originally drifted into consiousness back in 2008 and as you might expect, if you’ve heard his other work, it compri...read on »

Talvihorros

Eaten Alive

8/10 from Clinton

Here is a brand new record from the Scottish composer Ben Chatwin aka Talvihorros who has already released a series of well received records over the past half decade. Here h...read on »

Survive

Survive

8/10 from Mike

Austin's synth upstarts Survive are back this week, much to my delight, with this new EP on Monofonus Press featuring three quite lengthy tracks. On the first side they take a...read on »

Susan Justin

Forbidden World

8/10 from Mike

Here's an interesting score on the excellent Death Waltz label, whose classic horror reissues seem to be getting more and more elaborate as their releases progress. This one c...read on »

Laibach

Spectre

8/10 from Mike

Those wacky industrial avant-goths Laibach are, erm, back. When Phil handed me this CD he said "There's a new Laibach album, it's very funny." I wasn't sure what he meant. Now...read on »

Trin Tran

Far Reaches

8/10 from Mike

A sticker on the front of this new CD we've got from Castle Face describes it as "6 bizarre transmissions from the one man synth-tar drum band", and on the inside of the cover...read on »

Babe

Volery Flighty

8/10 from Mike

"A bit Wild Beasts" shouts the post-it note on the front of this promo. I'm listening to said promo right now and I see what the anonymous post-it donor meant, this is a moody...read on »

Pyramid Vritra

Indra

8/10 from Mike

The press release of Pyramid Vritra's 'The Story Of Marsha Lotus' three years ago describes it as his debut LP, so it's a surprise to me to see the press release for 'Indra' d...read on »

Bronze

World Arena

8/10 from Mike

Bronze impressed us a lot when they released 2011's 'Copper' LP but nobody else seemed to be paying much attention so they're back at you with another one, 'World Arena'. I'm ...read on »

Rooie Waas

Nu

8/10 from Mike

I haven't encountered Rooie Waas before and the press release offers precious little clues as to their identity or intentions so I'm going in cold on this one. What I'm disco...read on »

The Resource Centre

Low Fantasy EP

8/10 from Mike

This 12" EP/mini-album comes lavishly packaged with three postcards, an embroidered The Geography Trip patch that looks a bit like a cub scout badge, and a download and tea ca...read on »

Roy Montgomery

Music From the Film 'Hey Badfinger'

8/10 from Mike

Here's an album of solo guitar from Roy Montgomery. It's called 'Music From The Film Hey Badfinger' but I have my doubts as to whether 'Hey Badfinger' is even a real film and ...read on »

South London Ordnance

Dead Cell/ Portal II (Girl Talks About Acid)

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Oh blimey, who put a techno record in my pile? Muggins here doesn't know a lot about techno having snubbed my robot kin to live among the humans so I always feel like I'm maki...read on »

Jonas Reinhardt

Ganymede

8/10 from Mike

Cosmic synth explorer Jonas Reinhardt returns this week with an ambitious collaborative project titled 'Ganymede'. Here you get not only an LP but also a full length experimen...read on »

Willie Burns

Woo Right EP

8/10 from Ant

Hot on the heels of his ‘Tab of Acid’ offering for The Trilogy Tapes, Big Willie busts out his SP1200 for a solid four tracker for DJ Haus’ Unknown To The Un...read on »

DeepChord

Luxury

8/10 from Clinton

How does he do it? The master of deep dub techno strikes again with this wonderful 2 tracker to compliment the recent ‘20 Electrostatic Soundfields’ album. Despite...read on »

Danny Norbury

Light In August

8/10 from Clinton

This is a much needed re-issue of Norbury’s debut full length record from 2009 and includes bonus tracks from his earlier EP on Static Caravan. Once at the forefront of ...read on »

Greg Ashley

Another Generation Of Slaves

8/10 from Mike

Greg Ashley seems a bit vexed out about something. I'm not sure what, I mean he's got his record deal with Trouble In Mind and he seems to have a lot of friends who want to pl...read on »

Klaus Johann Grobe

Traumhaft / Nicht Zu Stoppen

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Klaus Johann Grobe’s debut 10” quite rightly grabbed our coveted Single of the Week trophy when it came out a few months ago so it’s nice to see to see that ...read on »

Drekka

Ekki Gera Fikniefnum

8/10 from Mike

This new Drekka 12"/LP comprises an interesting mixture of collaborations, live recordings and a couple of tracks originally released on a 3" CDr in an edition of 20. It star...read on »

Weekend (Alison Statton, Spike Williams and Simon Booth)

The '81 Demos

8/10 from Clinton

Weekend emerged from the ashes of the much-loved Young Marble Giants. Singer Alison Statton was here joined by Simon Booth and Spike who took up the baton from the Moxham brot...read on »

Datassette

Cagney XOR Lacey EP

8/10 from Clinton

This is a thrillingly appealing 12” of cut and slice soulful electro from John Davies (aka Datassette). A quick look at his previous releases and it looks like his previ...read on »

Michael Kiwanuka

You've Got Nothing To Lose

8/10 from Clinton

He’s alright Michael Kiwanuka innee? A throwback to the soulful lads of the ‘70’s like Terry Callier and the like. You could never guess that this was made i...read on »

Dean Wareham

Dean Wareham

8/10 from Clinton

Here comes the ex Galaxie 500 frontman with a new album. I wonder if they get offered big money on the table to reform. Probably. Anyway he seems happy to do his own thing th...read on »

Joan As Policewoman

The Classic

8/10 from Mike

I spent a long time getting Joan As Police Woman confused with Emmy The Great and unintentionally snoozed on checking her out. I only realised my error recently upon hearing h...read on »

Johnny Foreigner

You Can Do Better

8/10 from Mike

Johnny Foreigner the band are a strange thing, a kind of sonic recreation of the excitement of being a grunge kid in the '90s. Their first couple of albums were basically a br...read on »

Stone Jack Jones

Ancestor

8/10 from Clinton

Stone Jack Jones is the descendant of four generations of coal miners and here he explores the hardness of the coal mines amongst other mysteries of suicide and dogs. It featu...read on »

Arve Henriksen

Chron + Cosmic Creation

8/10 from Mike

I've got a couple of new releases to review from Rune Grammofon this week and they couldn't be much more different. In the red corner is the latest sprawling prog instalment f...read on »

Joel Vandroogenbroeck

Biomechanoid

8/10 from Ant

Belgian born Joel Vandroogenbroeck was founder of early 70’s Swiss acid-psych explorers Brainticket. A group whose mind altering emissions were given the far-out golden ...read on »

SHXCXCHCXSH

VVVLLLLVVV

8/10 from Ant

This Swedish duo make a most welcome return to Avian with their fourth release for the label. I’m not so sure about the eerie melody on opener ‘VVVLLLLVVV’. ...read on »

JBLA

The Belleville EP

8/10 from Ant

JBLA is the result of a jam session between Julian Jöckel (midnightopera), Stuart Argabright (Ike Yard, Black Rain, o13), Michael Langeder and Bernardo Risquez from Diffe...read on »

Ekman

ACID7

8/10 from Ant

Totally insane, proper rough and nasty ferocious slammer here from Ekman. Taking no prisoners and going straight for the jugular with a filthy relentless heavy 4/4 kick and ra...read on »

Peder Mannerfelt

Lines Describing Circles

8/10 from Ant

It’s time to forget what you know about Peder Mannerfelt’s work as The Subliminal Kid or his Roll The Dice stuff with Malcolm Pardon. The man has been inside a bio...read on »

Scraps

Electric Ocean

8/10 from Mike

I haven't encountered these Scraps before but this album they've done for Fire Records is pretty nice. For some reason I looked at the cover and thought it was going to be som...read on »

Zea / Oscar Jan Hoogland

Exploding Head Syndrome / Solo Electric Clavichord

8/10 from Mike

Got a split 7" of Dutch weirdness here. Confusingly the two sides play at different speeds. I've never understood why people do that. I mean, presumably the 45rpm side will so...read on »

Tom Hickox

War, Peace and Diplomacy

8/10 from Mike

Tom Hickox is here on Fierce Panda with an album. It's called 'War Peace and Diplomacy' and he's wearing a suit and he's not smiling and even before I put it in the CD player ...read on »

Robin Saville

Public Flowers

8/10 from Mike

This CD from the ISAN man is gorgeously packaged in an oversize book-like sleeve that won't fit in your CD rack. It really does look lovely, and having put the disc in my play...read on »

Jack Dice

Sip Paint

8/10 from Clinton

Oh lordy this is better. Due to staff staying in bed issues, I’ve been left with a lot of the stuff that I would usually be kept away from but its nice to hear something...read on »

Tense Men

Where Dull Care Is Forgotten

8/10 from Clinton

This is more like it. In a world where we are supposed to be grateful that fucking Elbow have put a new record out, its increasingly obvious that we are drowning in a pile of ...read on »

Bill Horist / Jakob Riis

The Cessation Elegy

8/10 from Mike

Here's a peculiar CD on which guitarist Bill Horist of America teams up with sound artist Jakob Riis of Denmark on laptop and real time processing on a two-act suite of instru...read on »

Various

Something Cold

8/10 from ReviewBot300

Here's a compilation called 'Something Cold' on a label called 'Something Cold'. It's becoming apparent on listening to the chilly platter in question that that something is a...read on »

Gallon Drunk

Soul Of The Hour

8/10 from Brian

Now I may have mentioned this in a previous review of these beloved sleazy Londoners since their re-awakening years ago, but my favourite t-shirt - one which if I still posses...read on »

The Frowning Clouds

Beetle Bird

8/10 from Brian

Proper wild bit of 60's psych weirdness here. I think I’m not actually playing the correct side. A mid-tempo lollop recorded in an echo-laden cupboard seemingly includin...read on »

Workin' Man Noise Unit

Yellow Mind

8/10 from Brian

The inner sleeve of this 7” carries a small sticker bearing the legend ‘Music by Bastards’ - Julian Cope’. Now as a lifelong Cope fan I cannot confirm ...read on »

Featured albums

36
Sleaford Mods
Joane Skyler
Robin Saville
Metronomy
Max Cooper
Ruth White
Jack Dice
SHXCXCHCXSH
Clark
Gallon Drunk
Dean Wareham
Tense Men
Datassette
Sudden Death of Stars
Ekoplekz
Motorpsycho
Ausmuteants
Axxa/Abraxas
The Unsemble
Lapland
Weekend (Alison Statton, Spike Williams and Simon Booth)
Jasmine Minks
Sendai
Ariel Pink