It’s hard to know what to say at this moment. Mark E Smith was The Fall, and The Fall have been part of all of us here at Norman Records for a long, long time. A band that inspired one week and frustrated the next. A band you had to have an opinion on. A band that provided us all with an endless amount of pleasure and pain. Life without The Fall already seems a bit less full, a bit wrong.
And a band led by a singular, driven, utterly odd talent. Few have sacrificed wealth, comfort and ultimately health in the pursuit of their art in such a single-minded fashion as Mark E Smith did. He didn't compromise. He lived The Fall, he made it happen. And whatever you think of the output he marshalled - both live and on record, the dizzying heights and the despairing lows - will there ever be anyone else quite like him again?
RIP, Mark E Smith.
None of this music is as good as the Fall…
- Scottish pop people Django Django.
- Calexico almost make their greatest album.
- The piano man Nils Frahm veers everywhere.
- This week’s installment of garage rock guy Ty Segall.
- Former fake band Dream Wife now all too real.
- Khruangbin peck away at all cultures.
- Subtle and intelligent electronic pop from Cornelius.
- Another churning racket from No Age.
- Ghost Music make slo-fi like all the greats and goods...Galaxie 500 etc.
- Former Kaiser Chief Nick JD Hodgson unleashes the soft rock.
- We’ve already had the Steve Miller Band - now try the Ben Miller Band.
- Hollie Cook ...a vivid selection of soaring reggae tracks it says.
- But of orchestral composition from Teenage Fanclub’s Francis MacDonald.
- Post hardcore punk pop Tiny Moving Parts.
- Folk band Stick in the Wheel have won all kinds of things.
Re-pressed just before pressing plants collapse under the weight of the Fall re-issues.
- Marvellous folk twiddler Bert Jansch
- Limited vinyl release of Dope Ft Julian Cope.
- Ambient doom metal duo The Angelic Process
- DAF veer between punishing and fun. Just like this job.
- Big Black’s ‘Racer X’ as they learnt the ropes.
- Re-issues from shouty guitar band Big Business.
- Inventive 80s synth poppers Propaganda.
- Front room-fi gallows pop from The Drink.
- Tindersticks are naughty men.
Ant’s Electronic Round-up:
Old father grime….
- Time Released Sound venture into the vinyl domain with an LP of pastoral and nostalgic beauty from Swoop And Cross. Edition of 190 copies.
- Scored upfront copies of Sonikku’s sparkling, arpeggiator-driven ambient jams on Lobster Sleep Sequence.
- The Arcola label is reactivated with an ace zinging EP from the ultra-talented Rian Treanor.
- EP of Bleep ‘n’ bass / electro mutant cuts from FFT (established artist incognito) on new imprint Uncertainty Principle.
- The Future Sound Of London’s 90s comedown classic ‘Lifeforms’ finally back on wax.
- Tape in sexy screen-printed case from Akiko Kiyama, twisting up ambient and breaks as Aalko on her Kebko label.
- Kuniyuki Takahashi dusts off his early tapes from 1986-1993 for an LP compiled by Music From Memory.
- Tzusing banger 東方不敗 on L.I.E.S. now on CD!
- Mumdance, Logos and Shapednoise reconvene as The Sprawl for some Neuromancer inspired cyberpunk electronix. 300 copies on The Death of Rave.
- Eighth album from Warp stalwart Nightmares On Wax, delving further into blunted beats, soul and gospel-tinged hip hop.
- Ian Hawgood + Giulio Aldinucci construct their vision of ambient from submerged beats, freckled frequencies, guitar echoes, vocal studies, and sustained piano chords.
- Palmbomen II's 'Memories of Cindy' EPs collected on a handy 2CD on Beats In Space.
- Jeff Mills soundtracks Tatsushi Omori’s ‘And Then There Was Light’.
- Both 2814 albums on Dream Catalogue came and went, but we still have some copies of Yoshimi’s ‘Atavism’ on the label if that's any consolation.
- French duo Fondation ‘Les Cassettes 1980-1983’ retrospective on Bureau B.
Let us help you with your poverty….
- NOW WITH ADDED NEW THINGS! A bunch of recent overstocks with money off.
That’s yer lot. We’re off to put on ‘Slates…’ on repeat.