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Monday, 07 April 2008

MATIAS AGUAYO - Are You Really Lost, Kompakt
Featured CD

MATIAS AGUAYO

Are You Really Lost

Kompakt

Format_dot_cdCD // £10.99

TECHNO / HOUSE

Cat. Number: KOMPAKTC44

When your press release is waxing hyperbolic with proclamations of the "without exaggeration that we are amongst a true virtuoso of our time"-variety and suggesting your new album will leave people "reeking of great sex" (or Lynx Africa as it's known in some parts), you better have yon skills to pay yon bills. Thankfully Kompakt prove they intuitively know their onions. As one half of the awesome Closer Musik duo (alongside Dirk Leyers) whose brief starburst of creativity reaped some serious rewards, Matias Aguayo has delivered an album creaking under the weight of effectuately realise… Read more
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MATIAS AGUAYO - Are You Really Lost, Kompakt
TOBIAS THOMAS - Please Please Please, Kompakt

TOBIAS THOMAS

Please Please Please

Kompakt

Format_dot_cdCD // £10.99

TECHNO / HOUSE

Cat. Number: KOMPAKTC58

Back in stock. Kompakt have a rich tradition of releasing top quality mix CDs. In addition to Michael Mayer's Immer releases, DJ Koze first grabbed international attention via his "All Peoples Is My Friend" set in 2004. Tobias Thomas has to be one of the most notable entrants into the Kompakt mix hall of fame however, having previously released the Fur Dich and Smallville CDs in 2000 and 2003, respectively. "Please Please Please" is a strange beast, straddling the shifting boundaries between Kompakt's Pop Ambient-style output and straight-up floor killers. Via uncommonly contributions… Read more
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TOBIAS THOMAS - Please Please Please, Kompakt
SUPERMAYER - Save The World, Kompakt

SUPERMAYER

Save The World

Kompakt

Format_dot_cdCD // £10.99

TECHNO / HOUSE

Cat. Number: KOMPAKTC61

Back in stock! The long awaited Michael Mayer/Superpitcher hookup is finally with us, with both producers displaying chameleon-like qualities with a generic emphasis far removed from the pompous Maximalism both producers have been known for. The album sets the pace with the fabulous "The Art Of Letting Go", Supermayer laying their musical credentials bare with a quasi-discoid, ska-fuelled pop ditty stretched out to fill 5 and a half minutes of supremely catchy post modern sloganeering. There are nods to post punk, Scandinavian disco and even British indiepop littered throughout this opening ga… Read more
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SUPERMAYER - Save The World, Kompakt
JUSTUS KÖHNCKE - Safe and Sound, Kompakt

JUSTUS KÖHNCKE

Safe and Sound

Kompakt

Format_dot_cdCD // £10.99

TECHNO / HOUSE

Cat. Number: KOMPAKTC63

Back in stock. After the vocally-led Doppelleben, Justus Kohncke returns to more conventional floor-filling tactics on Safe And Sound, his latest full-length for Kompakt. Presumably it was the invention of his more song-based alter ego as Kinky Justice that led to this separation, something which long-term fans are likely to welcome with open arms. Opener 'Yacht' is restrained, perhaps even a little tentative, drawing out panoramic ambient textures against a mid-tempo groove. The production seems to flesh out in a linear fashion, snowballing its way to a silky conclusion, softened by deep,… Read more
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JUSTUS KÖHNCKE - Safe and Sound, Kompakt

Sunday, 06 April 2008

SCSI 9 - The Line Of Nine, Kompakt

SCSI 9

The Line Of Nine

Kompakt

Format_dot_cdCD // £10.99

TECHNO / HOUSE

Cat. Number: KOMPAKTC51

Kompakt veterans Anton Kubikov and Maxim Milutenko have travelled a long road since embarking as moscow's most endearing minimal techno/house act SCSI-9. From Salo to Force Tracks, Traum, Trapez and beyond, these lads have had an uncanny ability to construct an uplifting, emotive mood, fuelled by the pulse of a tricky, toothy beat. Though they've kept the vinyl purists intoxicated with a steady stream of 12" singles, it's been over 3 years since their debut album "digital russian". Recorded in moscow over the past half year in the same recording studio that Tatu use, "the line of nine" puts forw… Read more
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SCSI 9 - The Line Of Nine, Kompakt
DETTINGER - Oasis, Kompakt

DETTINGER

Oasis

Kompakt

Format_dot_cdCD // £10.99

TECHNO / HOUSE

Cat. Number: KOMPAKTCD7

Difficult to know how to write about an LP that has sat in our player for quite a few weeks now and has simply refused to be removed...Yep, 'Oasis' is one of those albums that will absorb you to such great depths that your other CD's and slabs of vinyl will start to feel neglected. There are many influences at play here - but the overall tone is one of reflective, stripped down contemplation. The sounds of SND are here, as are the wave-washes of Vladislav, as are (dare I say it) the guitar-glides of early Cocteau Twins, Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine. All In All, then, awe-inspiring late-night music that has kept us lost for words. Highly Recommended
DETTINGER - Oasis, Kompakt
REINHARD VOIGT - Im wandel der zeit, Kompakt

REINHARD VOIGT

Im wandel der zeit

Kompakt

Format_dot_cdCD // £10.99

TECHNO / HOUSE

Cat. Number: KOMPAKTC12

Brother of Wolfgang and long-time Cologne affilliate Reinhard Voigt returns with a truly diverse and sharpened-up full-length for the increasingly on-form Kompakt label. 'Im Wandel...' is a deceptively simple record, although the subtle plays on what the 4/4 rhythm can achieve when tampered with are nothing short of groundbreaking. There are moments here that feel like a jump-up within constraints, not quite as meticulous or chopped as, say, Herbert, but equally pioneering with an array of subtle deformations of percussion patterns with which we are all familiar. The excursion goes from… Read more
REINHARD VOIGT - Im wandel der zeit, Kompakt

Saturday, 05 April 2008

PASS INTO SILENCE - Calm like a millpond, Kompakt

PASS INTO SILENCE

Calm like a millpond

Kompakt

Format_dot_cdCD // £10.99

MODERN CLASSICAL / AMBIENT

Cat. Number: KOMPAKTC31

There's something about the cologne fixation with ambient, here finely spun, gossamer delicate sounds fill the mind with disarming smoothness. Opening with voices in some way related to prime Art of Noise catalpults this audience into some kind of regressive spin, extremely vulnerable and yet sensitized to new surroundings. 'Big and silent waves' could sit next to Brian Eno's still awesome Apollo, flip between Brian's churchical 'An ending [ascent]' and Pass into silence's more fleshbound, horizontal pleaures and a blissed up evening by the fire beckons. Multimedia fiends should opt for the compact disc version, as it includes three sympathetic quicktime videos. Nice
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PASS INTO SILENCE - Calm like a millpond, Kompakt

Thursday, 03 April 2008

VARIOUS / RINSE FM - Rinse 03 (Mixed by Supa D), Rinse

VARIOUS / RINSE FM

Rinse 03 (Mixed by Supa D)

Rinse

Format_dot_cdCD // £10.99

GRIME / FWD

Cat. Number: RINSECD004

Ok, for many this will be your first introduction to the sound that's currently ruling London's dancefloors and airwaves, with a hefty amount of airtime on Rinse FM and massive clubnights and events springing up right across the capital, funky has apparently taken over (although I really can't say, I live in Manchester and they could be having us on). For the totally uninitiated, 'Funky' is an abbreviation of 'funky house', which doesn't mean Kerri Chandler or Masters at Work, but more simply just an amalgam of bongo heavy house with garage influenced subbass-lines and a strong… Read more
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VARIOUS / RINSE FM - Rinse 03 (Mixed by Supa D), Rinse

Wednesday, 02 April 2008

THE BREEDERS - Mountain Battles, 4AD
Featured CD

THE BREEDERS

Mountain Battles

4AD

Format_dot_cdCD // £8.49

INDIE / ALTERNATIVE

Cat. Number: CAD2803CD

*LIMITED DIGIPAK EDITION* We love The Breeders. In fact at times it's bordered on obsession. Their first record "Pod" must surely rank as one of the finest debut albums of all time, their "Safari" EP is in our opinion prime desert island disc material, and while "Last Splash" left us a little cold, their last album "Title TK" was exceptional and hugely overlooked - especially the majestic "Off You", a song so utterly devastating we implore you to go seek it out if you've never heard it before. So now, finally, after a six year break, sister act Kim & Kelley Deal finally get around to putti… Read more
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THE BREEDERS - Mountain Battles, 4AD
THURSTON MOORE - Sensitive, NO FUN

THURSTON MOORE

Sensitive

NO FUN

Format_dot_cdCD // £10.49

EXTREME / NOISE / COMPUTER MUSIC

Cat. Number: NFP26

After last year's amazing 'Trees Outside The Academy' - his second album of solo songwriting - Thurston Moore takes a major look back into the noise arena with Sensitive/Lethal, an incredible three-part study in raw sound matter, utilising electronics and both electric and acoustic guitars. It's Thurston's unplugged activities that probably prompted the otherwise entirely ironic title 'Sensitive' for the first piece: buried under a maelstrom of extravagant feedback and yelping oscillator modulations a mantra-like open dreadnought chord lays down a foundation of clean, crisp steel string sounds,… Read more
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THURSTON MOORE - Sensitive, NO FUN
MILLIMETRIK - Northwest Passage's New Era, Make Mine Music

MILLIMETRIK

Northwest Passage's New Era

Make Mine Music

Format_dot_cdCD // £11.99

ELECTRONIC

Cat. Number: MMM039

Millimetrik is the solo undertaking of French-Canadian Pascal Asselin of bands Below The Sea and Glider. The impetus to go it alone was prompted by Asselin's interest in atmospheric electronic instrumental music, and on Northwest Passage's New Era, he provides his own take on that sound, with assistance from likeminded souls Ulrich Schnauss and Port Royal (who contribute performances) and Sixtoo who mastered the album. You can hear the impact Boards Of Canada - and for that matter his co-conspirator Schnauss - have had on Asselin's music throughout. run down drum breaks match up … Read more
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MILLIMETRIK - Northwest Passage's New Era, Make Mine Music
COMPANY - Old Baby, BRAH

COMPANY

Old Baby

BRAH

Format_dot_cdCD // £10.99

INDIE / ALTERNATIVE

Cat. Number: JAGBR012

Originally issued by the Brah label and co-produced by Oneida's Kid Millions, Company's Old Baby was duly snapped up by Jagjaguwar, granting the band wider exposure. It's an album that combines various elements of classic Americana with a rougher, lo-fi finish, perhaps reminiscent of Songs: Ohia/Magnolia Electric Co. in places albeit with no single voice guiding the album. While some of the album serves up memorable country rockers like 'Ain't That Bad' and 'Old Crow's Complaint' you'll also come uncover lower key triumphs like the Stephanie Rabins-fronted 'Poison Ivy', which employs a folksy agenda, b… Read more
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COMPANY - Old Baby, BRAH
ANCESTORS - Neptune With Fire, NORTH ATLANTIC SOUND

ANCESTORS

Neptune With Fire

NORTH ATLANTIC SOUND

Format_dot_cdCD // £12.99

DARK AMBIENT / DRONE / METAL

Cat. Number: NAS1CD

LA doom metal quintet Ancestors are a lot more prog than most of the sludge vendors who populate the genre. For a start this album is divided into two long pieces, each around the twenty minute mark, with its own discreet sub-sections (movements, if you will), at least one of which involves some operatic female vocals. That sounds like prog to me, anyway. The heaviness quotient remains high though, with plenty of low-end grit on 'Neptune With Fire' and a more vintage, blues rock influenced sound on 'Orcus Avarice', which based on my understanding of the title is about a greedy whale. There's… Read more
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ANCESTORS - Neptune With Fire, NORTH ATLANTIC SOUND
THE TRIFFIDS - The Black Swan, Domino Recording Co

THE TRIFFIDS

The Black Swan

Domino Recording Co

Format_dot_cdCD // £8.99

INDIE / ALTERNATIVE

Cat. Number: REWIGCD27

Domino's love affair with The Triffids continues, and this batch of comprehensive reissues arrives at The Black Swan intended to be the Australian band's equivalent of The White Album, a fragmented epic. As a writer, David McComb is an under-sung talent, and he's on deadly form on this 1988 album, produced by none other than Stephen Street of The Smiths, Blur, Kaiser Chiefs and Babyshambles notoriety. A less polished side of the band's work is documented on the second disc, featuring demos for the entirety of The Black Swan and a further three tracks. Great stuff.
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THE TRIFFIDS - Treeless Plain, Domino Recording Co

THE TRIFFIDS

Treeless Plain

Domino Recording Co

Format_dot_cdCD // £7.49

INDIE / ALTERNATIVE

Cat. Number: REWIGCD23

Treeless Plain was The Triffids' first album, recorded in a gruelling stint of midnight-to-dawn sessions, eventually seeing a release toward the end of 1983. This remastered edition comes from the original recording engineer's newly mixed 24 track recordings and includes an interview with songwriter David McComb and live recordings of six songs from the same period. It's another great reissue from a band that warrants your attention and wider re-discovery. Even in these early days, The Triffids (with their then newly recruited bass player Martyn Casey, now of The Bad Seeds and Grinderman) so… Read more
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THE TRIFFIDS - Treeless Plain, Domino Recording Co
THE DEATH SET - Worldwide, Counter Records

THE DEATH SET

Worldwide

Counter Records

Format_dot_cdCD // £9.99

INDIE / ALTERNATIVE

Cat. Number: COUNTCD012

The latest act out of the Counter Records blocks is Baltimore duo The Deathset, following on the heels of Pop Levi and The Heavy. This duo's debut manages to circumnavigate some eighteen tracks over the course of an extremely snappy twenty-five minutes. It's not so much that Worldwide is low on content, it's just that they tend to get through their songs a bit faster than most people. The first track proper, 'Listen To This Collision' is like a combination of Crystal Castles, Digital Hardcore also-rans Lolita Storm and The Go! Team, and it's all over within 90 seconds. Next comes 'Negative Think… Read more
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THE DEATH SET - Worldwide, Counter Records
VARIOUS / TRUNK - Now We Are Ten, Trunk Records
Featured CD

VARIOUS / TRUNK

Now We Are Ten

Trunk Records

Format_dot_cdCD // £4.99

EARLY ELECTRONIC / SOUNDTRACKS

Cat. Number: JBH024CD

Back in stock! We're all very fond of Jonny Trunk's very special little Trunk imprint, and it's hard to believe it's grown up so quickly. Ten years old, that's almost old enough to see a 12 certificate movie without your mum and dad and only six years off being able to buy a pint - pretty old in other words, and it's all downhill from here. To celebrate (or lament) the occasion Mister Trunk has pieced together this epic and modestly priced compilation with us, the loving public in mind. With many a Trunk release it's been beautifully packaged and contains enough liner notes to read yourself… Read more
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VARIOUS / TRUNK - Now We Are Ten, Trunk Records

Tuesday, 01 April 2008

JAMES BLACKSHAW - Lost Prayers, TOMPKINS SQUARE

JAMES BLACKSHAW

Lost Prayers

TOMPKINS SQUARE

Format_dot_cdCD // £12.49

FOLK / ROOTS

Cat. Number: TSQ1851

Originally released in a tiny pressing of just 200 CD-Rs by Digitalis Industries, this early James Blackshaw release is brought back in print by the Tompkins Square label, who on the back of last year's 'Cloud Of Unknowing' are intent upon reintroducing the guitarist' back-catalogue to his growing legion of fans (of whom there is almost certainly more than 200). 'Lost Prayers And Motionless Dances' is a single thirty-five minute composition, opening with droning harmonium passages and only revealing the guitar part - inevitably the ace up Blackshaw's sleeve - after a good eight minutes of t… Read more
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JAMES BLACKSHAW - Lost Prayers, TOMPKINS SQUARE
ERIC COPELAND - Hermaphrodite, Paw Tracks Records

ERIC COPELAND

Hermaphrodite

Paw Tracks Records

Format_dot_cdCD // £13.99

ELECTRONIC

Cat. Number: PAW017CD

Back in stock. I can't say I was really expecting much when I crammed 'Hermaphrodite', the debut album from Black Dice's Eric Copeland into my laptop, but within minutes I was reconsidering my expectations. Coming from the Paw Tracks label which gave us the stunning Panda Bear album earlier this year, I knew I'd be in for something slightly left of centre to say the least, but to find an album so coherent and so enjoyable was totally unexpected. 'Hermaphrodite' is an abstract album for sure, but it's also detailed, complex and alive with imagination. A collection of surreal soundscapes, Krau… Read more
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ERIC COPELAND - Hermaphrodite, Paw Tracks Records

Monday, 31 March 2008

BEACH HOUSE - Devotion, Bella Union
Featured CD

BEACH HOUSE

Devotion

Bella Union

Format_dot_cdCD // £4.99

INDIE / ALTERNATIVE

Cat. Number: BELLACD160X

When Beach House's self-titled debut tumbled onto my desk a couple of years ago it was a much needed breath of salty sea-air in a tsunami of oily post-punk and frothy hipster electro. Lo-fi without really meaning to be and lilting without resorting to whimsy, the duo of vocalist Victoria Legrand and axe/synth man Alex Scally came up with a sound which simultaneously brought to mind Antena and Nico, something which endeared them to the blogosphere (and to me) almost instantly. All eyes then are on their sophomore effort, and shockingly for a cult band in the post-millenial era they do what so many e… Read more
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BEACH HOUSE - Devotion, Bella Union
KURT WEISMAN - Spiritual Sci-Fi, Important Records

KURT WEISMAN

Spiritual Sci-Fi

Important Records

Format_dot_cdCD // £12.49

FOLK / ROOTS

Cat. Number: IMPREC150

New Englander Kurt Weisman is probably best known for his work as part of hippy collective Feathers, or perhaps as a constituent of J Mascis' retro-metal side project, Witch. On Spiritual Sci-FI Weisman heads in an entirely different direction - not just different from his other musical pursuits, but from just about anything else you could care to mention. While the Pitchfork-baiting hordes are notching up creative Brownie points for their Afro-pop credentials, Weisman is experimenting with song arrangements exhibiting no such trend-based predispositions. Important Records make the compari… Read more
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KURT WEISMAN - Spiritual Sci-Fi, Important Records
FELIX KUBIN UND DAS MINERAL ORCHESTER - Music For Theatre and Radio Play, DEKORDER
A logical follow-up to Felix Kubin's Filmmusik album released a full decade ago, this compilation of theatrical and radiophonic soundtracks finds one of the most distinctive voices within European electronic music at the peak of his powers. The music compiled here comes from three plays: Branko Simic's Zufall, based on a Vladimir Nabokov short story, Hollywood Elegien, a Brecht/Eisler adaptation by Schorsch Kamerun and The Raft, a radio play written by Xentos Bentos of The Homosexuals. Throughout, Kubin's work artfully obliterates conventional orche… Read more
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FELIX KUBIN UND DAS MINERAL ORCHESTER - Music For Theatre and Radio Play, DEKORDER

Thursday, 27 March 2008

VINCENT OLIVER - EP3 (Isan / Hrdvsion / Rothko Remixes), LOAF
As denoted by the title, EP3 is the third in Vincent Oliver's series of EPs for the Loaf label, and features six remixes from artists like Nathan Fake, Isan, Rothko and Hrdvsion. The confusingly titled 'Cluods In The Haed' starts us off, with the aforementioned Nathan Fake taking the helm and making Oliver sound like some faulty machine, but the surrounding technoid production works very nicely, sounding a bit like the sort of looped approach The Field gravitate towards. 'Buckets of Hen's Feathers' as remixed by Hrdvsion doesn't really do Oliver any favours. When the beat… Read more
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VINCENT OLIVER - EP3 (Isan / Hrdvsion / Rothko Remixes), LOAF
VINCENT OLIVER - EP3 Isan / Hrdvsion / Rothko Remixes (Limited Edition With Ivan Zouravliov Art Print), LOAF
*LIMITED EDITION 12" ART PRINT PACKAGE* As denoted by the title, EP3 is the third in Vincent Oliver's series of EPs for the Loaf label, and features six remixes from artists like Nathan Fake, Isan, Rothko and Hrdvsion. The confusingly titled 'Cluods In The Haed' starts us off, with the aforementioned Nathan Fake taking the helm and making Oliver sound like some faulty machine, but the surrounding technoid production works very nicely, sounding a bit like the sort of looped approach The Field gravitate towards. 'Buckets of Hen… Read more
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VINCENT OLIVER - EP3 Isan / Hrdvsion / Rothko Remixes (Limited Edition With Ivan Zouravliov Art Print), LOAF
THE JULIE MITTENS - The Julie Mittens, Holy Mountain

THE JULIE MITTENS

The Julie Mittens

Holy Mountain

Format_dot_cdCD // £12.99

DARK AMBIENT / DRONE / METAL

Cat. Number: LSOD2005

When a band gets billed as a "power trio" it always makes me think of Rush. This dutch group are an entirely different proposition to the Canadian prog behemoths however, and instead occupy a raw, improv noise rock sound, all recorded with a suitable lack of care and attention. Glancing over the line-up you might recognise drummer Leo Fabriek from his collaboration with Machinefabriek - a real highlight in the Rutger Zuydervelt catalogue it was too - but this material has no detectable common ground with that either, instead the four lengthy pieces conjure up a clamour of drones and … Read more
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THE JULIE MITTENS - The Julie Mittens, Holy Mountain
VARIOUS / NUMERO GROUP - Don't Stop: Recording Tap, Numero Group

VARIOUS / NUMERO GROUP

Don't Stop: Recording Tap

Numero Group

Format_dot_cdCD // £12.99

DISCO / BOOGIE / FUNK

Cat. Number: NUMERO019

The folks at Numero are clearly used to trawling through the archives, but the assemblage of this album sounds like an absolute nightmare. There's quite a story associated with the acquisition of the Tap Records archive, formerly owned by Jeremiah Yisrael, involving all manner of awkward wrangling and sifting through mouldy spools of tape. By the time they got the spore-ridden masters back to Numero HQ, they were apparently in a right state. Fortunately, you'd never really know that from the quality of the tracks as they appear on this collection. As ever, the Numero restor… Read more
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VARIOUS / NUMERO GROUP - Don't Stop: Recording Tap, Numero Group
THE BLACK TWIG PICKERS - Hobo Handshake, VHF

THE BLACK TWIG PICKERS

Hobo Handshake

VHF

Format_dot_cdCD // £12.99

FOLK / ROOTS

Cat. Number: VHF108

An immensely enjoyable Appalachian romp from the Black Twig Pickers, who summon up the same sort of good-time hoedown imagery as The Cherryblossoms, but boast a far greater handle on their instrumental skills. This is an album that manages to set out its stall in its title, with songs like opener 'Crossing The James' or 'Walking In The Parlor' fashioning an unreasonably jaunty campfire sound (is that a washboard I hear?) while other pieces have roots in more melancholy Americana like 'Cherry River Line' and 'Last Kind Word Blues', evoking a sound soaked in railroad gin, and the authenticity of a good old-fashioned bluegrass shambles. Excellent stuff indeed.
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THE BLACK TWIG PICKERS - Hobo Handshake, VHF
SECTION 25 - Dirty Disco (Best of 1978-2008), LTM Recordings

SECTION 25

Dirty Disco (Best of 1978-2008)

LTM Recordings

Format_dot_cdCD // £11.99

INDIE / ALTERNATIVE

Cat. Number: LTMCD2515

After a string of Section 25 releases, the LTM label issues the first ever Best Of compilation attributed to the band, collecting eight album tracks and key singles 'Knew Noise', 'Dirty Disco', 'Haunted', 'Beating Heart', 'Looking From A Hilltop', 'Bad News Week' and 'Crazy Wisdom'. LTM have certainly gone out of their way to help re-establish the Blackpool-based group, and that's only fair given all the interest afforded more widely known Factory Records acts in recent times. Section 25 were every bit the post-punk innovators as their mentors Joy Division. In fact, after Joy Di… Read more
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SECTION 25 - Dirty Disco (Best of 1978-2008), LTM Recordings

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

TALL FIRS - Too Old To Die Young, Ecstatic Peace

TALL FIRS

Too Old To Die Young

Ecstatic Peace

Format_dot_cdCD // £11.99

INDIE / ALTERNATIVE

Cat. Number: E41D

The second Ecstatic Peace! outing for the excellent Tall Firs clearly bears the influence of their Sonic Youth patrons, but far from being a derivative trawl through the SY catalogue to please their boss, Too Old To Die Young manages to sound entirely fresh, whilst also referencing classic sounds of the American underground like Dinosaur Jr, and to a lesser extent Pavement, who possibly contribute to some of the inspiration behind 'Hairdo' ('Cut Your Hair' perhaps?). There's an undercurrent of darkness running through the album too, with tracks like 'Secrets And Lies' wrenching violin out… Read more
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TALL FIRS - Too Old To Die Young, Ecstatic Peace