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Wednesday, 09 May 2012

ARVO PART - In Principio, ECM

ARVO PART

In Principio

ECM

Format_dot_cdCD // £14.99

MODERN CLASSICAL / AMBIENT

Cat. Number: 4766990

Review to follow shortly…
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Tuesday, 08 May 2012

GUIDO - Micro X / Vessel Dogs, State of Joy
Featured Vinyl

GUIDO

Micro X / Vessel Dogs

State of Joy

Format_dot_vinyl12" // £5.99

GRIME / FWD

Cat. Number: JOY001-12

Guido boots up his State Of Joy imprint with two meditative, bleeping Bristol rollers. 'Micro X' is curious fusion of metallic sitar motifs, bubbling synth arpeggios and a mellow halfstep flow, nothing that'll stress the dance, but certainly give it somethign to ponder on for five minutes or so. Flipside 'Vessel Dogs' finds its groove between hulking halfstep and sweeter R&B; stripped kick/snare and tingling hi-hats patterns create a skeletal lattice for piquant harp and clipped guitar strings to mingle and grind.
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Tuesday, 01 May 2012

ZAMMUTO (THE BOOKS) - Zammuto, Temporary Residence Ltd.
Featured Vinyl

ZAMMUTO (THE BOOKS)

Zammuto

Temporary Residence Ltd.

Format_dot_vinylLP // £15.99

ELECTRONIC

Cat. Number: TRR209LP

**Includes digital download voucher redeemable from the label** The Books' mastermind Nick Zammuto returns to explore a more progressive, rhythmic style to his now disbanded group. Like those seminal The Books albums 'The Lemon Of Pink' or 'Lost And Safe', his new sound is still dripping with the sort of clever pop hooks you'd almost expect to hear on an advert for posh credit cards or twee dating agencies, but there's also now an emphasis on crisp jazz percussion - not the noodling type, just crafty - and a fresh sense of space allowing for clean electronics and experimental vocal treatme… Read more
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ZAMMUTO (THE BOOKS) - Zammuto, Temporary Residence Ltd.
LHF - Keepers Of The Light, Keysound
+ Free MP3
28
Featured CD

LHF

Keepers Of The Light

Keysound

Format_dot_cd2CD // £14.99

GRIME / FWD

Cat. Number: LDN029CD

Making your debut album a double might seem like an act of hubris, but LHF have got talent to spare - No Fixed Abode, Amen Ra, Double Helix and Low Density Matter could all, we're sure, turn out top-quality solo albums if they wanted, so it's only fair that they should all contribute as fully as they do to this collective effort, new on Martin Clark's Keysound. LHF are often held up as standard-bearers for dubstep, and while it's true that they understand and honour the sound's ageless fundamentals, they also bring much more to the table. Amen Ra favours a synth-heavy, video game-reared sound,… Read more
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LHF - Keepers Of The Light, Keysound
PRINCE - Dirty Mind (Reissue), Warner Brothers
Featured Vinyl

PRINCE

Dirty Mind (Reissue)

Warner Brothers

Format_dot_vinylLP // £14.99

DISCO / BOOGIE / FUNK

Cat. Number: 8122797777

Prince's third studio album, originally released on Warner Bros in 1980 and now re-issued for the first time in years on a new vinyl pressing - cut loud!
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Thursday, 26 April 2012

RANDOMER - Scruff Box / Get Yourself Together, Hemlock Recordings
Featured Vinyl

RANDOMER

Scruff Box / Get Yourself Together

Hemlock Recordings

Format_dot_vinyl12" // £6.49

GRIME / FWD

Cat. Number: HEK015

After well received drops on Numbers and Hessle Audio, Randomer rounds up at Hemlock with two tracks of big boned GarageTechno. A-side 'Scruff Box' brings a dirty dish of grizzled Garage bass distortion and earnestly busy drums nodding to old skool Chicago templates bound to get the nu skool bro's in a tizzy. Flipside 'Get Yourself Together' leans on a lumpy Techno side-step with impressive sound design and stiff limbed syncopation.
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JON PORRAS - Black Mesa, Thrill Jockey
Featured Vinyl

JON PORRAS

Black Mesa

Thrill Jockey

Format_dot_vinylLP // £13.99

DARK AMBIENT / DRONE / METAL

Cat. Number: THRILL304LP

As a member of Barn Owl with Evan Caminiti, and in his solo role of Elm, Jon Porras has consistently wowed us with his ambient, droning visions of desolate Americana. Recorded over 10 months at home and in his practice space, 'Black Mesa' is a worthy follow-up to his unforgettable 'Undercurrent' LP for Root Strata in 2011, realising seven beautifully barren soundscapes painted with plangent electric and acoustic guitars and washes of Fender Rhodes, harmonium and tapes. It's a genuinely rare sound, one which so , so many have attempted, but few ever render with this solemn sense of modesty and e… Read more
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JON PORRAS - Black Mesa, Thrill Jockey

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

NEON JUNG - Delirium Tremens (Nathan Fake Mix), Magic Wire Recordings
Featured Vinyl

NEON JUNG

Delirium Tremens (Nathan Fake Mix)

Magic Wire Recordings

Format_dot_vinyl12" // £6.99

TECHNO / HOUSE

Cat. Number: MAGIC04

Another sterling effort on Lone's Magic Wire Recordings, pairing Neon Jung's tropical rave riddim with a cracking Nathan Fake remix. 'Delirium Tremens' is exactly the kind of thing we'd imagine Belgian monks to break out when it all gets a bit messy come friday night, setting a ruffed-up, limboing B-line under bustling Latin drum syncopation and enveloping the whole thing in swirling electro synths for that lip-smacking, rave-tangled sense of bliss. Flipside Nathan Fake also has his ear on the most buttered ends of the night/morning, but with a more teasing sort of delayed… Read more
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NEON JUNG - Delirium Tremens (Nathan Fake Mix), Magic Wire Recordings

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

PHOTEK - Closer (Pinch Mix), TECTONIC
+ Free MP3
28
Featured Vinyl

PHOTEK

Closer (Pinch Mix)

TECTONIC

Format_dot_vinyl12" // £5.99

TECHNO / HOUSE

Cat. Number: TEC050

Eagerly awaited release on Tectonic from the resurgent Photek! When old legends fall off the map for a few years and then return, eager to be down with the kids, it can be a bit of nightmare, but Photek - always an unusually multi-faceted producer - has really handled his own rearrival with aplomb, and that he now finds himself releasing on Tectonic is testament to the poise and power of his present-day work. 'Closer' is a strong brew, a mid-paced stepper with d'n'b accents, but firmly anchored in dubstep 2.0; his ninja-like studio nous is on proud display, in the crisply edited drums, viscou… Read more
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PHOTEK - Closer (Pinch Mix), TECTONIC
JOE MENSAH / OSCAR SULLEY - Africa Is Home (Natural Self Remixes), Soundway Records
**Limited edition. Includes free download code redeemable from the label** Brighton-based Natural Self tucks into two edits of Afro-Funk aces first found on Soundway's 'Ghana Soundz vol.2: Afro-Beat, Funk and Fusion in 70s Ghana' compilation. Frontside is an extended of 'Africa Is Home', teasing out the flurried breaks and grooving horns for pure dancefloor gratification. B-side Oscar Sulley's Afro-beat shuffler 'Olufeme' is remixed with added baritone sax and flute.
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MIRRORRING (GROUPER & TINY VIPERS) - Foreign Body, Kranky
Amazing album of diffuse, DIY drone-pop from two doyennes in the field: Liz 'Grouper' Harris and Jesy 'Tiny Vipers' Fortino. The material featured on Foreign Body is every bit as subdued as its creators' respective solo work, but the collaboration is more than sum of its parts: Harris's searching, poetic command of reverb is as distinctive and quietly overwhelming as ever, and she sculpts gorgeously murky, sylvan atmospheres for Fortino to set her more traditionally folk-influenced vocal performances and finger-picked guitar lines in. The song-based compositions are incredib… Read more
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MIRRORRING (GROUPER & TINY VIPERS) - Foreign Body, Kranky
BOB STANLEY - Bob Stanley Supports Finders Keepers: Make Do & Mend 08, Finders Keepers Records
Esteemed music critic, DJ and member of Saint Etienne Bob Stanley presents his personal selection from the Finders Keepers vaults. His picks are as far flung as any in the series so far - which has counted curations by Jarvis Cocker and Demdike Stare - here starting off with the bloopy electronics of Sam Spence and cycling through Susan Christie's magical 'Rainy Day' to the 'Gol Bi Goldoon' pearl from Googoosh's eponymous compilation and a dreamy number from Zdenek Liska's Czech version of 'The Little Mermaid'. As a bonus for the magpies, there's also an exclusive cut of fuzzy psych-rock lifted from the forthcoming Don & Stevie album, entitled 'Keeping An Eye On You'.
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BOB STANLEY - Bob Stanley Supports Finders Keepers: Make Do & Mend 08, Finders Keepers Records
MINAMO - Documental, ROOM 40
Featured CD

MINAMO

Documental

ROOM 40

Format_dot_cdCD // £8.99

MODERN CLASSICAL / AMBIENT

Cat. Number: RM443

"Tokyo quartet Minamo occupy a privileged place in the Japanese music scene. They remain one of the few ensembles to consistently produce work that simultaneously refines and expands upon their existing themes and aesthetics. Their largely improvised interactions have produced a collection of recordings that benefit equally from considered listening amongst the group members and a willingness to stray from the path without warning. Documental, their new edition (a follow up to 'A Path Less Travelled' collaboration with Lawrence English published by Room40 in 2010) sees Minamo move into a curious and … Read more
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MINAMO - Documental, ROOM 40
ERIKM - Transfall, ROOM 40
Featured CD

ERIKM

Transfall

ROOM 40

Format_dot_cdCD // £8.99

MODERN CLASSICAL / AMBIENT

Cat. Number: RM449

**Collecting six kinetic musique concréte compositions by the lauded French improviser** "eRikm's Transfall is a document os profound gesture. A colelction of works that resolve his recent explorations into music and sound for performance, dance and theatre. For almost two decades, eRikm has been a major force in contemporary musique concréte. He is a compelling improvisor and forthright composer whose work taps into the central lineage of sound-object oriented composition emanating from France. Developing a highly personal performance and compositional language, eRikm's reputation and position within … Read more
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ERIKM - Transfall, ROOM 40
CANDLESNUFFER - Wakool, ROOM 40

CANDLESNUFFER

Wakool

ROOM 40

Format_dot_cdCD // £8.99

MODERN CLASSICAL / AMBIENT

Cat. Number: EDRM412

This latest work by Melbourne's David Brown sees him taking time out from the manifold group projects he's involved in, such as Bucketrider, Western Grey, Terminal Hz (with KK Null) and Pateras/Baxter/Brown and instead performing a series of instrumental solos. This is a far cry from any conventionally accepted notion of instrumental music however, eschewing the more predictable timbres you'd associate with his various stringed instruments in favour of metallic, more percussive tones that sound like a midway point between the inside-piano-tinkering of Andrea Neumann and the free guitar improv of De… Read more
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CANDLESNUFFER - Wakool, ROOM 40
ZANE TROW - For Those Who Hear Actual Voices, ROOM 40

ZANE TROW

For Those Who Hear Actual Voices

ROOM 40

Format_dot_cdCD // £8.99

ELECTRONIC

Cat. Number: RM405

One of the earlier releases on Australian experimental label Room40, 'For Those Who Hear Actual Voices' by Zane Trow is an exploration into deep textured ambience, rather reminiscent at times of Norwegian pioneer Biosphere. Unlike most of the label's output which features instrumental manipulation and sound art, Trow opts for a purely synthesized technique to create his swathes of warming noise and quite haunting sounds. Also in a move quite unusual given the genre, each track sticks to quite a short running time (some under 3 minutes) which allows the album to ebb and flow li… Read more
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ZANE TROW - For Those Who Hear Actual Voices, ROOM 40
TOOP + SCANNER + I/O3 - A Picturesque View, Ignored, ROOM 40

TOOP + SCANNER + I/O3

A Picturesque View, Ignored

ROOM 40

Format_dot_cdCD // £8.99

ELECTRONIC

Cat. Number: EDRM401

Review to follow shortly…
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LLOYD BARRETT - Mise En Scene, ROOM 40

LLOYD BARRETT

Mise En Scene

ROOM 40

Format_dot_cdCD // £8.99

MODERN CLASSICAL / AMBIENT

Cat. Number: RM418

A brand new release on the great Room40 label! 'Mise en Scene' is the latest work from Australian sound designer Lloyd Barrett. For some time now he has been piecing together works of musique concrete and dense ambience, this album however is a different beast entirely. In composing 'Mise en Scene', Barrett decided he would draw on the world of filmic sound, and specifically the writings of theorist Michel Chion. In his text 'Audio Vision' Chion describes how sound works in film and how people HEAR sound when sat in front of a screen, he writes "There is no auditory container for sounds... m… Read more
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LLOYD BARRETT - Mise En Scene, ROOM 40
M.ROSNER - Alluvial, ROOM 40

M.ROSNER

Alluvial

ROOM 40

Format_dot_cdCD // £8.99

ELECTRONIC

Cat. Number: RM408

Back in stock. Matt Rösner is an Australian sound artist, and 'Alluvial' is his second album and fittingly it has been released on the ever-reliable Room40 label, a refuge for Australian experimentalists. I must say this is one of my very favourite discs on the expansive label, it fuses acoustic sampling (Xylophones, small percussive instruments etc) with processed field recordings and light synthesis to produce a sound which is both unique and engrossing. The opening track 'Lost in the Shift' illustrates this beautifully with a haunting three-note melody drifting over deep bass tones, while something… Read more
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M.ROSNER - Alluvial, ROOM 40
ROBBIE AVENAIM - Rhythmic Movement Disorder, ROOM 40

ROBBIE AVENAIM

Rhythmic Movement Disorder

ROOM 40

Format_dot_cdCD // £8.99

ELECTRONIC

Cat. Number: RM421

Probably best known for his work alongside improv giants Otomo Yoshihide, Keith Rowe and Oren Ambarchi, Robbie Avenaim is an experimental percussionist whose work might bring to mind the solo outings of likeminded artists Jason Khan and Sean Meehan. Apparently, Rhythmic Movement Disorder has been in the pipeline for several years, but the end result is clearly worth all the toil. The four pieces combine to make a relatively short album, clocking in at just under a half-hour, but Avenaim's judged the duration just right, never dwelling within a single line of enquiry for too lo… Read more
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ROBBIE AVENAIM - Rhythmic Movement Disorder, ROOM 40
ERIK GRISWOLD - Altona Sketches, ROOM 40

ERIK GRISWOLD

Altona Sketches

ROOM 40

Format_dot_cdCD // £8.99

ELECTRONIC

Cat. Number: RM407

Erik Griswold is a master of the piano, but rather than simply play the standards he has instead decided that it's far more enjoyable to stuff the piano full of oddities; bolts, screws, paper, rubber strips, and bits of cardboard are placed, wedged or dropped on the strings to create the sort of sounds you might rather expect to hear from a Gamelan orchestra. It's an utterly unbelievable achievement that Griswold manages to prepare his piano in the manner, but it's even more unbelievable just how damn listenable the cd is. Very rarely does it breach the realms of total dissonance, instead … Read more
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ERIK GRISWOLD - Altona Sketches, ROOM 40

Thursday, 19 April 2012

ITAL - Hive Mind, Planet Mu
Featured CD

ITAL

Hive Mind

Planet Mu

Format_dot_cdCD // £13.49

TECHNO / HOUSE

Cat. Number: ZIQ312CD

After coolly knocking out some of the most compelling 12"s of 2011, Daniel Martin-McCormick re-routes the dancefloor with the fractal bump of his 'Hive Mind' LP. In case you're unaware, Ital is far from being Daniel's first project - he's been making records for years on Dischord as member of Black Eyes, and as Sex Worker and Mi Ami for NNF - but for our $$$'s, his freshest, most adventurous material appears in this guise. Armed with a copy of logic and a wide-eyed approach to sampling and stylistic appropriation, he's hatched a wonderfully curious and vividly futurist sound, one which dismantles the of… Read more
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ITAL - Hive Mind, Planet Mu
JON PORRAS - Black Mesa, Thrill Jockey
Featured CD

JON PORRAS

Black Mesa

Thrill Jockey

Format_dot_cdCD // £11.99

DARK AMBIENT / DRONE / METAL

Cat. Number: THRILL304CD

As a member of Barn Owl with Evan Caminiti, and in his solo role of Elm, Jon Porras has consistently wowed us with his ambient, droning visions of desolate Americana. Recorded over 10 months at home and in his practice space, 'Black Mesa' is a worthy follow-up to his unforgettable 'Undercurrent' LP for Root Strata in 2011, realising seven beautifully barren soundscapes painted with plangent electric and acoustic guitars and washes of Fender Rhodes, harmonium and tapes. It's a genuinely rare sound, one which so , so many have attempted, but few ever render with this solemn sense of modesty and ele… Read more
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JON PORRAS - Black Mesa, Thrill Jockey
IMBOGODOM (ALEXANDER TUCKER & DANIEL BEBAN) - And They Turned Not When They Went, Thrill Jockey
Imbogodom is the unholy alliance of Alexander Tucker and Daniel Beban exploring parallel worlds of musique concréte and psyche-folk. Across its twelve tracks they render a fantastical, otherworldly space where each track is seemingly related to the next by an inter-dimensional wormhole, skipping realities between swirling electro-acoustics to pentangle-like folk, on through drone instrumentals, medieval incantations and other, unclassified ephemera. Lush and transporting. Recorded partly in Dungeness onto tapes, reel-to-reel machines, telephone and other objects. Mastered in New York. Classic-looking artwork by Mr. Tucker, himself.
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IMBOGODOM (ALEXANDER TUCKER & DANIEL BEBAN) - And They Turned Not When They Went, Thrill Jockey
XELA - In Bocca Al Lupo, Type Recordings
Featured CD

XELA

In Bocca Al Lupo

Type Recordings

Format_dot_cdCD // £7.99

DARK AMBIENT / DRONE / METAL

Cat. Number: TYPE043

With a title translated as Into The Mouth Of The Wolf, John Xela's new album follows up the horrific soundsc(r)apes of The Dead Sea with an hour-long, four-part journey into the more sinister recesses of Christianity, traveling further and deeper than ever before into the dark heart of electronic sound. 'Ut Nos Vivicaret' embraces the distant, spectral sounds of church bells, submerged in a foggy environs, pumped full of Philip Jeck-style crackle and mustiness. Bowed strings entangle themselves with menacing, corrosive humming noises while nagging, primordial electronics rattle and pulsate in t… Read more
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XELA - In Bocca Al Lupo, Type Recordings
SCOTT TUMA - Dandelion (Expanded CD Edition), DIGITALIS
*Expanded CD Edition - includes over 35 minutes of material not featured on the vinyl edition of this album* Another highly anticipated release from the excellent Digitalis imprint - this time from Boxhead Ensemble's Scott Tuma who manages to weave a sound that incorporates dense and unsettling field recordings with Takoma-esque porchside strums, wiry violin, rhythmic metal scrapes, music-box interludes, Location recordings, Shortwave signals, spectral banjo plucks and distant piano sequences. The first thing we hear is the exaggerated whirr of phased tape treatments opening u… Read more
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SCOTT TUMA - Dandelion (Expanded CD Edition), DIGITALIS
JEFRE CANTU-LEDESMA - Love Is A Stream, Type Recordings
Featured CD

JEFRE CANTU-LEDESMA

Love Is A Stream

Type Recordings

Format_dot_cdCD // £7.99

DARK AMBIENT / DRONE / METAL

Cat. Number: TYPE075CD

Best known as a founding member of Tarentel and The Alps, Jefre Cantu-Ledesma returns with a brand new album for Type having previously released solo material through Spekk, Arbor and his own label, Root Strata. "Love Is A Stream" marks a radical rethink of the classic dream-pop template, taking an impressionist's brush to the established genre traits. Full of noise and expertly sculpted feedback, tracks such as 'Loving Love' feel like an all-analogue take on Fennesz's noisier moments, complete with hazy exchanges between skyscraping major 7th chords; you might equally suggest tha… Read more
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JEFRE CANTU-LEDESMA - Love Is A Stream, Type Recordings
NORTHERNER - I Am On Your Side, Home Assembly Music

NORTHERNER

I Am On Your Side

Home Assembly Music

Format_dot_cdCD // £9.99

ELECTRONIC

Cat. Number: HAM006CD

Northerner forges an engrossing diversion into dubbed-out and rhythmic electronics with 'I Am On Your Side' for Saltaire's Home Assembly Music. If you know him from the ambient guitar works on 2009s 'The Ridings' 2CD or early releases on Misplaced and Hibernate, this album may come as a shock - but let's be fair, there's only so much soporific ambience a man can take before he's driven to the eternal kip! It's not a wholesale departure, but it is a fairly radical one, from the subtle Arthur Russell-sampling dub lope of 'Hey Come On, It's Love' to the heartwarming deep House melancholy of '… Read more
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NORTHERNER - I Am On Your Side, Home Assembly Music

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

23 SKIDOO - Seven Songs (Limited Vinyl Edition), LTM Recordings
Featured Vinyl

23 SKIDOO

Seven Songs (Limited Vinyl Edition)

LTM Recordings

Format_dot_vinyl2LP // £19.99

DISCO / BOOGIE / FUNK

Cat. Number: LTMLP2528

**Double LP reissue with bonus side recorded at their 1981 John Peel Session. Includes download code redeemable from the label** 'Seven Songs' is a stone cold Post Punk classic from 1982. Miscegenating Afrobeat voodoo and American psychedelic funk with harsh Industrial electronics, traces of Exotica and wrenched tape FX, it stands out a mile from its era and can be rightly called a seminal record. Its creators 23 Skidoo aka Fritz Catlin, Thom Heslop, Sam Mills, Alex Turnbull and Johnny Turnbull were mostly under twenty years of age at the time of recording, and their youth… Read more
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23 SKIDOO - Seven Songs (Limited Vinyl Edition), LTM Recordings

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

MOGWAI - Earth Division EP, Rock Action Records
Featured Vinyl

MOGWAI

Earth Division EP

Rock Action Records

Format_dot_vinylLP // £9.49

INDIE / ALTERNATIVE

Cat. Number: ROCKACT61

A bit of grandstanding romanticism from Scotland's finest, with sweeping chamber instrumentation favoured over guitar shredding. 'Get To France' is an unreconstructed bit of neo-classical music, though it has something of the sinister, occult cabaret vibe of Coil and Kreng about it too. 'Hound Of Winter' pursues a nice vision of country-soul, all downhome acoustic guitars, twinkling pianos and harmonica; when the strings enter from the wings, it's easy to see this as the Mogs' response to the time-honoured American orch-pop tradition, from Jimmy Webb on through to Jim O'Rourke. 'Drunk And Cr… Read more
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MOGWAI - Earth Division EP, Rock Action Records