Why shop with us? 0113 245 4399

Staff album reviews

Good or bad, here's what we think of the last month's crop of new releases. Prefer to read what actual paying customers think instead? Take a look »

Please note: All views expressed are those of individual staff and not Norman Records as a whole!

Raime - Planted

Album review: Raime - Planted

from Ant

Raime return with their sole release of 2019 and the second EP on their very own RR label, following a 12" for Mumdance & Logos Different Circles imprint. I'm getting a dark and urgent Gqom vibe from opening cut 'Num' or Shackleton getting proper paranoid after one too many zoots. The frantic, e...

  • Published: Thursday 5th December 2019

Regis - Delivered Into The Hands Of Indifference

Album review: Regis - Delivered Into The Hands Of Indifference

from Ant

Some twenty-one years ago, a twenty-year-old me picked this up the week it came out and I played it to DEATH. It got proper hammered and then somehow my OG copy vanished into the mists of time. Most likely it ended up in vinyl exchange to fund the purchase of a coupla tins of beans. So I’m pre...

  • Published: Wednesday 4th December 2019

Clara! Y Maoupa - Luna Nueva

Album review: Clara! Y Maoupa - Luna Nueva

from Ant

Ultimate rump shakers from Clara! Y Maoupa aka Clara Sobrino and Florent Mazzocchetti. You'll know full well that this is premium party tackle if you scored their previous record 'Meneo', or indeed if you're a devotee to the Les Disques De La Bretagne wing of Low Jack's Editions Gravats label. Here ...

  • Published: Thursday 28th November 2019

Function - Existenz

Album review: Function - Existenz

from Ant

Despite the fact that NYC producer David Sumner aka Function has been producing tracks that have been moving bodies across the globe for around a quarter of a century, ‘Slowly Dismantling’ is only the artist's second solo album. Ostgut Ton released his first album back in 2013 which was ...

  • Published: Thursday 28th November 2019

Madteo - Dropped Out Sunshine

Album review: Madteo - Dropped Out Sunshine

from Ant

A strong NYC cut + paste sample heritage permeates Madteo’s (Morphine, Sähkö, Wania, Workshop, Acido, Latency etc.) unusual vision of techno, house and post-club melters on ‘Dropped Out Sunshine’. It’s a lineage that can be traced through Latin Rascals, Africa Bamba...

  • Published: Wednesday 20th November 2019

Mathieu Serruys - Skin/Glove

Album review: Mathieu Serruys - Skin/Glove

from Ant

Absolutely stunning second album from Belgian artist Mathieu Serruys on the dependable B.A.A.D.M. label. I'm simply lost for words in attempting to articulate just how profoundly gorgeous this music is. It carries an existential weight that's remarkably poignant and feels as though the artist's hear...

  • Published: Wednesday 20th November 2019

Jim O'Rourke - To Magnetize Money And Catch A Roving Eye

Album review: Jim O'Rourke - To Magnetize Money And Catch A Roving Eye

from Ant

Just as the Autumn nights draw in, Jim O'Rourke's epic 4CD set of deeply immersive, crepuscular sound for Sonoris has arrived with impeccable timing. This is music to laze around to, music to get lost inside and make the world go away. Here he applies his Midas touch to create soundscapes that seemi...

  • Published: Thursday 14th November 2019

Scorn - Cafe Mor

Album review: Scorn - Cafe Mor

from Ant

There was a point in time where it seemed highly unlikely I’d be typing words about a new Scorn album. Mick Harris had declared that he’d put Scorn to be bed some years ago, but we now know it was only for a (relatively long) snooze. Mr Harris is a true visionary - no other artist on pla...

  • Published: Wednesday 13th November 2019

Star Searchers - Avatar Blue

Album review: Star Searchers - Avatar Blue

from Ant

Always a trip to submerge into the concepts and sonic worlds Spencer Clark constructs. The artist has gone under many handles over the years since he emerged as half of The Skaters alongside James Ferraro... Black Joker, Fourth World Magazine, Monopoly Child, Typhonian Highlife and Vodka Soap to nam...

  • Published: Wednesday 13th November 2019

Skin Crime - Traveller on the Road

Album review: Skin Crime - Traveller on the Road

from Ant

I’ve been thoroughly swept away by the bleak, desolate soundscapes on Skin Crime’s latest for Hospital Productions. Since they returned to releasing records after a hiatus of over a decade, they seem to have traded the brutal, harsh sounds that made them a cult US noise concern for sonic...

  • Published: Wednesday 13th November 2019

Andy Stott - It Should Be Us

Album review: Andy Stott - It Should Be Us

from Ant

It’s been a wee while since we last had a record from Andy Stott - 2016 in fact when he released his ‘Too Many Voices’ album.  Eight tracks in this day and age could easily be considered to be an album, but Modern Love has made a distinction that ‘It Should Be Us’...

  • Published: Wednesday 13th November 2019

Deerhoof - Holdypaws

Album review: Deerhoof - Holdypaws

from Daoud

Perhaps the most important trick in Deerhoof’s arsenal is singer Satomi Matsuzaki voice. It’s high-pitched and crystalline and cuts through their noisy instrumentation like a shaft of light. You get so used to hearing a gruff voiced man barking over the sort of music Deerhoof make that, ...

  • Published: Wednesday 27th November 2019

Tune-Yards - Sorry To Bother You (Original Score)

Album review: Tune-Yards - Sorry To Bother You (Original Score)

from Daoud

Did you watch ‘Sorry To Bother You’? Boots Riley’s brilliant pro-union, anti billionaire tech weirdo satire from last year? If you haven’t, please do, it’s well good. And that is in part thanks to a score from Tune-Yards, which managed to match the energy, inventiveness...

  • Published: Wednesday 27th November 2019

Guerilla Toss - What Would The Odd Do?

Album review: Guerilla Toss - What Would The Odd Do?

from Daoud

Ooh Guerilla Toss do know how to get my attention. The title track from ‘What Would The Odd Do?’ starts with one of the most joyful rackets I’ve heard in ages. Synths are throbbing and squelching, and just filling the air with happiness and glee.  It’s an explosion out ...

  • Published: Wednesday 27th November 2019

Sonar with David Torn - Tranceportation (Volume 1)

Album review: Sonar with David Torn - Tranceportation (Volume 1)

from Daoud

There’s one word I really must use to talk about this album, so I’m going to get it out of the way now. ‘Tranceportation (Volume 1)’ is taut. The guitar playing is taut. The bass playing is taut. The drumming? Oh you know it’s taut. The whole record feels stretched to i...

  • Published: Wednesday 27th November 2019

Detox Twins - Dead Horse Ghost

Album review: Detox Twins - Dead Horse Ghost

from Daoud

Sometimes all you need is a drum machine, a synthesiser, and a vocalist who sings in English with a German accent. Sometimes that’s all it takes to make music that will simultaneously get you moving and chill you to the bone. Sometimes that combination comes via Detox Twins, a synth pop two pi...

  • Published: Wednesday 20th November 2019

Erik Satie - Vexations

Album review: Erik Satie - Vexations

from Daoud

Can you imagine listening to the same thing for 19 hours? Could you listen to your favourite album for that long? How about your favourite song? ‘Vexations’ was written by Erik Satie in 1893. The back of the record describes him as eccentric, which given the music here, he must have bee...

  • Published: Wednesday 20th November 2019

Deerhoof - Halfbird

Album review: Deerhoof - Halfbird

from Daoud

In a world where, more often than not, noise rock is confrontational, I’m very thankful for Deerhoof. For 25 years they’ve been charming the world using what is among the least charming genres (look at some of Daughters’ on stage antics if you don’t believe me (actually maybe...

  • Published: Wednesday 20th November 2019

WaqWaq Kingdom - Essaka Hoisa

Album review: WaqWaq Kingdom - Essaka Hoisa

from Daoud

This is one of those, ‘just two people having a lot fun’ records huh? ‘Essaka Hoisa’ comes from WaqWaq Kingdom, a collaboration between producer Shigeru Ishihara, and vocalist Kiki Hitomi. I suppose for Hitomi, the project must have come as something for a release after all t...

  • Published: Wednesday 13th November 2019

Steve Lacy - Apollo XXI

Album review: Steve Lacy - Apollo XXI

from Daoud

Steve Lacy recorded some music using his phone and was subsequently dubbed a ‘tech visionary’ by one Wired Magazine. While I’m usually suspicious of people who get called that, this is a slightly different situation because Lacy was just recording some music. He wasn’t (as fa...

  • Published: Wednesday 13th November 2019

Steve Hauschildt - Nonlin

Album review: Steve Hauschildt - Nonlin

from Daoud

When Emeralds broke up we were given fresh insight into how that band worked. With its three members combines, their music had this wonderful liquidity to it, their contributions all mixed together. And as I hope everyone reading this is aware, it’s hard to un-mix liquids. All three members h...

  • Published: Wednesday 13th November 2019

Galcher Lustwerk - Information

Album review: Galcher Lustwerk - Information

from Fred MG

Galcher Lustwerk’s genius is to couch introspection and anxiety within deep-house instrumentals - traditionally one of popular music’s less angsty styles. Following a woozy, scene-setting opener ‘Information’, Lustwerk’s third LP and first for Ghostly International, mov...

  • Published: Thursday 21st November 2019

Various - SPACE FUNK - Afro-Futurist Electro Funk in Space 1976-84

Album review: Various - SPACE FUNK - Afro-Futurist Electro Funk in Space 1976-84

from Fred MG

The computer age established the sonics of futuristic music. While some of it seems dated now, the brave new worlds forged by the electronic music of the mid-20th Century still resonate as the sound of the future. The robots were here, and things were never going to be the same. It’s no surpr...

  • Published: Thursday 21st November 2019

Jaakko Eino Kalevi - Dissolution

Album review: Jaakko Eino Kalevi - Dissolution

from Fred MG

Jaakko Eino Kalevi has proven to be a pleasingly slippery character over the course of his career. For the past few years, in which he’s partnered with Domino’s esoteric sub-label Weird World, the Finnish artist has nailed down an enigmatic brand of synth-pop pitched somewhere between Ar...

  • Published: Thursday 21st November 2019

Danny Brown - Uknowhatimsayin¿

Album review: Danny Brown - Uknowhatimsayin¿

from Fred MG

Danny Brown, all grown up. Not like ‘Grown Up’, the revivalist boom-bap tune Brown dropped back in 2012 which remains by far his most-streamed song on Spotify despite being (or perhaps because it's) so out of character for this otherwise challenging artist. No, he’s actually grown ...

  • Published: Thursday 21st November 2019

Vegyn - Only Diamonds Cut Diamonds

Album review: Vegyn - Only Diamonds Cut Diamonds

from Fred MG

With his debut LP 'Only Diamonds Cut Diamonds', young Londoner Vegyn (Joe Thornalley) continues the good work he’s done both in his previous solo output and collaborations with artists like Frank Ocean and Travis Scott. This is a welcoming and quietly inventive modern beat-tape, one that has ...

  • Published: Thursday 7th November 2019

Josienne Clarke - In All Weather

Album review: Josienne Clarke - In All Weather

from Fred MG

For the past few years Josienne Clarke has been recording heartfelt songs as part of a duo with Ben Walker. The records Clarke has made alongside Walker have largely operated in a space between the folk-ballad tradition and the sort of worldly crooner thing that Richard Hawley does. However, in &lsq...

  • Published: Thursday 7th November 2019

Lucy Dacus - 2019

Album review: Lucy Dacus - 2019

from Fred MG

‘2019’, as the title might suggest, sums up these twelve months for Lucy Dacus. The singer-songwriter/boygenius member has dropped a series of tracks on significant dates throughout the year - Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Bruce Springsteen’s birthday, you get the idea...

  • Published: Thursday 7th November 2019

FKA twigs - Magdalene

Album review: FKA twigs - Magdalene

from Fred MG

Breakups knock us all for six. But a breakup combined with an illness that culminates in you needing surgery? And in the immediate aftermath of the end of a long-term relationship? That’s some shit. In the light of these personal traumas, the fact that FKA twigs has made a new LP at all is a t...

  • Published: Thursday 7th November 2019

Lapalux - Amnioverse

Album review: Lapalux - Amnioverse

from Fred MG

Rave revivalism, as you might have heard, is currently all the rage. People have started dressing like they’re on their way to a warehouse party in 1993, and musicians are responding to the trend with tracks that evoke the sound and feel of those earlier eras. Recent releases from the likes of...

  • Published: Thursday 7th November 2019

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Ghosteen

Album review: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Ghosteen

from Fred MG

You know the score by now - in 2015, during the recording of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds’ sixteenth studio LP ‘Skeleton Tree’, Cave’s son died. ‘Skeleton Tree’ was largely completed at the time of Arthur Cave’s death, but the incident still hung heavy on a...

  • Published: Thursday 7th November 2019

Ryuichi Sakamoto - Thousand Knives Of

Album review: Ryuichi Sakamoto - Thousand Knives Of

from Fred MG

In 2019 it’s normal to hear records that are post-genre. Many contemporary artists stew up sounds that draw from a wide range of sonic lineages - if anything, it’s now just as surprising when you hear new music that resolutely sticks to one pre-established style.  This very much wa...

  • Published: Thursday 7th November 2019

Moor Mother - Analog Fluids of Sonic Black Holes

Album review: Moor Mother - Analog Fluids of Sonic Black Holes

from Fred MG

‘Low fi/dark rap/chill step/ blk girl blues/witch rap/coffee shop riot gurl songs/southern girl dittys/black ghost songs’. That’s how Moor Mother’s Bandcamp page describes her work. On her fourth LP ‘Analog Fluids Of Sonic Black Holes’ the Phildelphian artist&rsqu...

  • Published: Thursday 7th November 2019

Ziúr - ATØ

Album review: Ziúr - ATØ

from Jamie

Oh, that’s cool. Planet Mu are bringing us this shiny new compact disc (and vinyl LP) by Berlin banger-merchant Ziúr. ‘ATØ’ is the sophomore follow-up to the very good ‘U Feel Anything?’ Maximal, corruscating and visceral music aimed at the body, gracefull...

  • Published: Wednesday 13th November 2019

Hollie Kenniff - The Gathering Dawn

Album review: Hollie Kenniff - The Gathering Dawn

from Jamie

So Hollie Kenniff, if you didn’t know, was the better half of the Mint Julep duo with her hubbie Keith. Sorry, Keith. As much as I adore alliterative names. That’s a very Olde English Thing, by the waye. Here though, in the midst of this shimmering-yet-icy, sprawlingly expansive work of ...

  • Published: Wednesday 13th November 2019

Various - Silhouette Cameo 3

Album review: Various - Silhouette Cameo 3

from Jamie

Oh, how cute! Understandably, you might think I was saying that about the sparrow which hopped on my windowsill yesterday; but no! It’s this thing. This release, right, on Courier who do CDs in magical, individually-cut recycled card covers, is cute, compact and includes confetti! The theme w...

  • Published: Wednesday 13th November 2019

Astatine - Global Exposure

Album review: Astatine - Global Exposure

from Jamie

It’s Astatine with a brand new release on the ever-reliable Sound In Silence label. Astatine is one Stéphane Recrosio, stalwart of the Paris lo-fi scene who has previously let loose umpteen lathe-cut and very limited singles into the world, often on the tiny, low-key Orgasm label&hellip...

  • Published: Wednesday 13th November 2019

Hammock - Silencia

Album review: Hammock - Silencia

from Jamie

Nashville duo Hammock have finally released their 10th LP and, inevitably, the final third of their trilogy (following on from 'Mysterium' and 'Universalis'). I was on the verge just then of detecting a linguistic theme because, you know, doesn’t everyone dig Latin? Right? But here, here is &l...

  • Published: Wednesday 13th November 2019

Agalloch - The White EP

Album review: Agalloch - The White EP

from Thomas

Ah, ‘The White EP’, when American metal black group Agalloch got all acoustic on us. Following a similar path to Ulver’s ‘Kveldssanger’, the band stripped down their sound to mainly acoustic instrumentation, utilising Jew’s harp and horns alongside washes of barit...

  • Published: Friday 6th December 2019

John Frusciante - Curtains

Album review: John Frusciante - Curtains

from Thomas

It feels a bit odd saying that a record from a former Red Hot Chili Peppers member is one of our highest selling records of all-time (and possibly our biggest reissue ever), but Frusciante fans have been trying to get their hands on this coveted vinyl for almost 15 years now. The huge amount of devo...

  • Published: Tuesday 3rd December 2019

Taeha Types - Mechanical Keyboard Sounds: Recordings of Bespoke and Customised Mechanical Keyboards

Album review: Taeha Types - Mechanical Keyboard Sounds: Recordings of Bespoke and Customised Mechanical Keyboards

from Will

Well, gang, it's my first review for what feels like months so where better to ease myself back in than with some thoughts on a collection of vintage keyboard sounds? And alas, fans of Jarre, Wakeman, and Carlos, no, not that type of keyboard, but the type of keyboard you may have just used upo...

  • Published: Friday 6th December 2019

Memory Drawings - Phantom Lights

Album review: Memory Drawings - Phantom Lights

from Will

Sound In Silence continue their ever-reliable run of form with 'Phantom Lights' by Anglo-American group Memory Drawings. This album is short and sweet with six songs clocking in at a total of just under 25 minutes. 'Phantom Lights' is a monochrome exploration of folk's forlorn side, bolstered by ind...

  • Published: Wednesday 13th November 2019

Oliver Spalding - Novemberism

Album review: Oliver Spalding - Novemberism

from Will

It's almost Christmas, guys. I was reminded of this because some of Oliver Spalding's 'Novemberism' reminded me of Frankie Goes To Hollywood's 'The Power of Love' and Chris de Burgh's 'A Spaceman Came Down'. That music has an ability to convey hyper-emotive moods with glossy 80s production and a hea...

  • Published: Wednesday 13th November 2019

Jeffrey Lewis & The Voltage - Bad Wiring

Album review: Jeffrey Lewis & The Voltage - Bad Wiring

from Will

Oh my goodness, great balls of fire! It's only Jerry Lee Lewis' new album- what's that you say? No, it's Jeffrey Lewis & The Voltage's new album 'Bad Wiring'! It's twelve tracks of pretty standard pub rock that trips along at a fair old pace, full of jaunty drum patterns and furiously strummed g...

  • Published: Wednesday 13th November 2019

Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - I Made A Place

Album review: Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - I Made A Place

from Will

Bonnie 'Prince' Billy's 21st studio album, 'I Made A Place', is a rootsy, classic take on country and Americana. There are merry fiddles, no-nonsense arrangements, and Billy's husky meditations on life, love, and loss.  Bob Dylan seems to hover around the margins of this record. Both Dylan and...

  • Published: Tuesday 12th November 2019

Squid - Town Centre

Album review: Squid - Town Centre

from Will

Squid are one of the most original bands plying their trade in a Sarf Landn scene that is awash with piss-poor post-punk pot-pourris. The group skilfully navigate away from this by invoking a sound that's midway between Düsseldorf in the 70s and New York in the 80s (what I'm saying here is that...

  • Published: Tuesday 12th November 2019

TOY - Songs Of Consumption

Album review: TOY - Songs Of Consumption

from Will

'Songs of Consumption' sounds as if Alan Lomax stumbled upon TOY at a Shoreditch burlesque show on a cold October night playing requests for the leather-clad patrons. He appears to have set up his tape recorder and simply let it run.  TOY are one of the doyens of a London psychedelic scene tha...

  • Published: Tuesday 12th November 2019

Tempers - Private Life

Album review: Tempers - Private Life

from Will

I've spent today's review sesh listening to pretty organic records. Freaky folky film soundtracks and jazz compilations are great 'n' all but it was a blessed relief to have something icy and electronic to write about. The icy and electronic thing in question is Tempers' new album 'Private Life'. It...

  • Published: Thursday 7th November 2019

Rose Mcdowall & Shawn Pinchbeck - Far From The Apple Tree : Original Music Soundtrack From The Film By Grant Mcphee

Album review: Rose Mcdowall & Shawn Pinchbeck - Far From The Apple Tree : Original Music Soundtrack From The Film By Grant Mcphee

from Will

There are many connections between Scotland and Canada. Both countries excel at the sport of curling and produce high-grade whiskey. Nova Scotia, a place in Canada, even translates as 'New Scotland'. The latest connection between the two great countries is the collaboration between Scottish musician...

  • Published: Thursday 7th November 2019

Tribe - Hometown: Detroit Sessions 1990-2014

Album review: Tribe - Hometown: Detroit Sessions 1990-2014

from Will

Although the city of Detroit is perhaps most commonly associated with techno, there was and is a notable jazz scene held together by Tribe, a collective that became a cornerstone of the community through their creation of a record label, radio station, and various youth workshops. 'Hometown: Detroit...

  • Published: Thursday 7th November 2019