Thursday, 06 February
Aaron Funk aka Venetian Snares exposes his fleshy pink underbelly in collaboration with fellow Canuck, Joanne Pollock as Poemss. The keyword here is dream-pop, but with at least half of the dream imagined by a certifiable mentalist it's not your typical chasing-lambs-in-meadow dream-pop. Not for the first time, Mr Funk proves a fine baritone singing voice, nicely complementing his spar's breathy voice against twinkling hyperprisms of music box melodies, synth-pop hooks and slow, contorted electro-pop rhythms. For the strongest tastes check out the beautifully soured discord of 'Think Of Somewhere Nice' a… Read more
*New edition on Darla - including that incredible bonus disc of reworkings by Akira Rabelais* It's hard to over-estimate the contribution Harold Budd has made to modern music, his seemingly effortless take on minimalism and ambience imbuing this often academic genre with all the warmth and humility so often missing from the work of his contemporaries. Best known for his collaborations with Brian Eno and the Cocteau Twins' Robin Guthrie, Budd here delivers 14 immensely moving pieces, strewn with Piano cascades and panoramic soundscapes, drifting off into sublime, almost unbearable reflection. I… Read more
**Shipping for release date of Feb 11th, Edition of 500** "First presented as a durational audio-visual performance presented at Human Resources in Los Angeles (CA), Snowfall explores the hushed stillness and isolation sometimes experienced during a snowstorm. Presented over 6 hours, the audience was allowed to come and go as they please. This affords the viewer a more personal experience with the piece through the dispersion of the audience. Snowfall was constructed using photographs and field recordings collected at the Jentel Artist Residency outside Banner, WY in February 2010."
"Tomorrow We Sail is a group of seven musicians, based in Leeds, UK. Formed in 2009 they have spent the past four years developing their sound into what is now a vast landscape of billowing, reverb-soaked guitars, orchestral strings, piano, organ and multi-layered vocals. Folk, slowcore, neo-classicism, minimalism, ambience, and post-rock are all apparent in the vast and winding soundscapes Tomorrow We Sail create. The music is slow-burning, creeping quietly into consciousness, the sonic terrain covered ensures the listener is held through a constantly moving orchestrated cavern of sound, with earnest melodies and harmonies drifting and falling all around."
"Factory Benelux presents In Time, a new studio collection by acclaimed Belgian new wave group The Names, best known for their association with Factory Records and producer Martin ‘Zero’ Hannett. Between 1980 and 1982 The Names recorded a string of classic records for Factory, Factory Benelux and Les Disques du Crepuscule. Debut album Swimming combined fluent songwriting from Michel Sordinia and poised, tasteful delivery by guitarist Marc Deprez and keyboards player Christophe Den Tandt. "Swimming retains a gorgeously shrouded, sepulchral mood" wrote Mojo magazine in 2011. "Intelligent and imaginativ… Read more
"In his debut solo record, N.A.P. North-American Poetry, Wauters dreams big; coming into his own as a singer. Building on his songwriting, popularized by The Beets, Juan presents introspective tracks, like Water and Sanity, and reflections on humans' relationship with technology in songs like Breathing—which features Carmelle Safdie. The record is completed, as always, by the artwork of dear friend and longtime collaborator Matthew Volz, who has honed the trademark visual aesthetic of Juan's music. This album is a selection of recordings made between the fall of 2010 and the su… Read more
"Halls - the solo project of 23 year old South London musician Sam Howard - released a debut album, ‘Ark’, in November 2012. A long twelve months later - after rapt reviews and a stint modelling for Hedi Slimane in Paris - Howard’s second album is here, and the changes are marked. “This is an album about opening up. Ark is the cold album, closed-off, obscure and confusing. I obscured lyrics and hid behind reverb and mumbling. For this album I wanted to reach out more. In some ways it is darker than Ark. I feel that I struggle to connect with a lot of people and I want to connect somehow. Love to Giv… Read more
**Edition of 500** Picking up where Fax +49-69/450464's series left off, this latest volume collects experimental and ambient studio excursions pulled from Thomas P Heckmann's legendary EBM/Industrial/Techno output between 1991-2013. Apparently taking inspiration from "60s and obscure music", the tracks on 'The Lost Tales Vol.III' document what happens in Heckmann's studio once the kick drums stop and he really starts to feel out his arsenal of modular synthesisers, casio keyboards, sequencers and drum machines. They range from typically Teutonic kosmiche visions such as 'Berli… Read more
Thursday, 30 January
*44 Track / Triple CD collecting all four volumes of the Black Mill Tapes Series, audio re-mastered by Matt Colton, housed in a triple Jewel Case* The Black Mill Tapes volumes 1-4 are now available on one epic triple CD set featuring over 40 tracks of material, now completely remastered by Matt Colton at Alchemy. Lurking in the shadows between deep house, slow techno, Carpenter soundtracks and classic electronica, these sibling albums transcend genres with hallucinatory, shape-shifting effect, trudging from the pastoral whimsy of the first volumes to a darker, less certain… Read more
Along The Way' is Mark McGuire's first solo opus since parting paths with Emeralds. Sounding like something between fantasy RPG soundtrack, new age life aid and conceptual psychedelia, it ties up and builds on all the things McGuire has learnt thus far on his journey from synth wave prodigy to enlightened sonic explorer. It's easily the most developed and richly layered work in his sprawling discography, weaving electric and acoustic guitars with mandolin, drum machine, talkbox and lots more to paint a curdled vision of blooming harmonies and rippling, motorik grooves setting a steady trajectory for vintage futures just behind the horizon.
**Captivating, 34-song anthology of Early Recordings From Iran painstakingly restored from 78s at Abbey Road studio in London** "Ravishingly beautiful, achingly precious songs and instrumentals, ranging from two performances by the Royal Court Orchestra in 1906 — with futuristic, overlapping trumpets and exquisite clarinet improvisation — through to a hauntingly soulful Hafez setting by Moluk Zarrabi of Kashan, from 1933. There are eight selections from more than three hundred recordings made in 1909 above the Gramophone Company offices in City Road, Lo… Read more
Perhaps the best known Finders keepers discovery of the last few years reappears here for this excellent Pharaway Sounds Edition. As the label explain: "There were female Turkish folk singers before Selda Bagcan, but none whose hot-blooded voice carried such righteously angry words & none who also accompanied themselves on guitar. Her 1st album had help from the cream of the crazy Istanbul pop scene, and cuts from the same sessions were also released on this 2nd one. While the direction is folky overall, there's fuzz, zooming synthesizers, and heavy flute to be found..."
*Remastered sound, insert / booklet with liner notes* "This 1979 album (technically her 4th, although 6 of these songs were also released on her 3rd), was recorded when Turkey was at its most politically polarized. Selda was sentenced to a total of over 500 years in prison right about the time it came out. A pile of acoustic guitars & baglamas all going off at once under a blanket of reverb, with lyrics about blood, wood, mountains, families, and desperate troubles, so it's a thick squirt for a folk album."
Epic 22 track set from Modeselektor's 50 Weapons imprint including a ruck of label highlights plus a bunch of exclusives including Marcel Dettmann's dry, banging Pitch & Stretch mix of Moderat's 'Bad Kingdom'; SCNTST & Chris Liebing's funked-up remix edit of Benjamin Damage's '010X'; Tale Of Us & Fango's kinky, proggy remix of 'Vertigo' by Cosmin TRG; DJ Friction's hi-velocity D&B remix of 'Rzor' by Addison Groove& Sam Binga. You'll also find Bambounou's forward-flexing bass/techno overhaul of Modeselektor & Sound Pellegrino's 'Negativity', Anstam's corkscrewing Bustified Breaks ed… Read more
"The impulse that drove artists such as Suicide, Einstürzende Neubauten and Scott Walker to embark on extraordinary and uncompromising journeys, and who refuse to flinch in the face of humanity’s ugly truths and terrible beauty, also underpins the sound and vision of Xiu Xiu, aka LA-based duo Jamie Stewart and Angela Seo. Angel Guts: Red Classroom is the sound of Xiu Xiu’s descent into deepest blackness. Having spent the previous four years living in North Carolina, primary songwriter Jamie Stewart relocated to Los Angeles, moving blindly into a neighborhood whose notoriously dangerous… Read more
*80 Minute CD version features the complete "Monkey Banana Kitchen" LP, plus the tracks from the 12" EP "Schizophrenia Party" (1981), the 7" singles "Film Music" (1981) and "The Big Dig" (1982), all originally released on Fresh Records* "Staubgold presents the legendary first album from 1980 by UK underground heroes Family Fodder, for the first time reissued on CD and vinyl. Guest musicians include This Heat's Charles Bullen on drums, guitar, vocals, percussion and viola. The Wire magazine listed "Monkey Banana Kitchen" among their "100 Records That Set The World On Fire (While No … Read more
"Thou Shalt Boogie! is Bushman's Revenge sixth album for Rune Grammofon, a relationship that began with 2009’s You Lost Me At Hello. Its velvety, warm sound was captured at Athletic Sound in Halden, Norway, close to the Swedish border – a legendary tape-only studio with a 30-year history. Although there are three rooms separated by glass, they kept all the doors open ‘so essentially what you are hearing is everybody in one big room’, says Even. Superbly paced, and poised in the indefinable zone between composing and improvisation, Thou Shalt Boogie! achieves a fine balance between b… Read more
*CD version comes in a 4 panel mini-LP style gatefold package* "Guardian Alien are a New York experimental collective led by unparalleled drummer Greg Fox, current member of Zs as well as having previously collaborated with Ben Frost, Colin Stetson, Dustin Wong and Kid Millions. The group also features Bernard Gann (Liturgy) and Alexandra Drewchin. ‘Spiritual Emergency’ was recorded by legendary engineer and producer Wharton Tiers (Sonic Youth, Glenn Branca) after a year of touring where the band were fine tuning many of the album tracks. The album’s first side consists of a series … Read more
2nd album of ambient garage sweeteners from Hatti Vatti, including collaboration with Synkro and vocals by Sara Brylewska, Cian Finn, and Katarzyna Bartczak. Perfectly arranged for nocturnal listening, 'Worship Nothing' plays through as two neatly segued sides not really designed for the DJs but rich in soulful vocals, warm melodies and beats on the cusp of IDM/2-step/footwork with a glimmer of Autonomic finesse.
Thursday, 23 January
For some inexplicable reason Tara Jane O'Neil's albums have always somehow slipped off our radar - we've loved every single one of them, from Preservation's wonderful 'Bones' to 'In Circles' on Quarterstick, yet it seems like an age since we actually listened to any of them - but why?? Having just sat through this new album - her first for Kranky - we're none the wiser. Her music is just fantastic, all reverb-drenched lullabies that remind us of Grouper at her most ethereal on the one hand and the classic drift-pop the Kranky label have cornered the market for on the other. The … Read more
**Reissue of a super sought-after near-mythical Muslimgauze album from 1994 including the 20 minute title track. Edition of 500** ""Oftentimes when a reissue has bonus tracks their provenance can be tangential or suspicious; in this case, they’re more like a homecoming. When Bryn Jones turned into the master for what would become 1994’s Drugsherpa mini CD to once and future label Staalplaat, the label selected the twenty-minute title track, truly one of Muslimgauze’s most distinct and awe-inspiring tracks, to fill the release. The sinuous, doom-haunted “Drugsherpa” still sounds fresh today but i… Read more
Captivating suite of ambient electronics and somnambulant vocals from Sweden-based Norwegian singer/songwriter Rebekka Karijord's catalogue of pieces for film and theatre. When operating in this arena there's a fine line between soppy twee and idiosyncratic nuance, and Rebekka's music thankfully falls well within the latter category. We can't help but find certain similarities in the spacious production with Deathprod's work on Jenny Hval's haunting 'Viscera', whilst the sepulchral tone and range of her voice also bears an obvious likeness with Julianna Barwick and the baroq… Read more
**Includes digital download voucher redeemable from the label** Chicago's Supreme Cuts return with the hyper-forward footwork, pop, drill and R&B fusions of 'Divine Ecstasy'. Their canny balance of airborne raps and autotuned vocals from Haleek Maul, Yen Tech, Py, Shy Girls and Mahaut Mondino, paired with deftest studio geometries has to be one of the freshest fusions you'll hear all year. With both producers in their early 20s and only making beats since 2011, there's a palpable immediacy to the 14 tracks of 'Divine Ecstasy', parsing their mutual influences from Basinski to Herbie Hancock… Read more
**Cherry-picked punk/post-punk anthology compiled by Soul Jazz including bullets such as Puncture's 'Mucky Pup' and Eric Random's '23 Skidoo** '"Soul Jazz Records’ new album ‘Punk 45: There Is No Such Thing As Society’ is the second volume in their ‘Punk 45’ series, released to follow on from Soul Jazz Records’ recent massive deluxe 400 page ‘Punk 45s’ cover art book edited and compiled by Jon Savage (author of the seminal book on punk, ‘England’s… Read more
"Delving deep in to their subconscious to bring it to the conscious, the band again dazzle us with their gift for heavy riffs laced with soaring vocals and swathes of sound. The recording process of 'Peace On Venus' used the principle of the Quintessence, which is a principle cited by the 16th Century physician Paracelsus, who noted: "Nothing of true value is located in the body of a substance, but in the virtue thereof, and this is the principle of the Quintessence, which reduces, say 20 lbs. of a given substance into a single Ounce, and that ounce far exceeds the 20 lbs. in potency. Hence t… Read more
"Snowbird are the duo of singer / songwriter Stephanie Dosen and Cocteau Twins’ Simon Raymonde. ‘Moon’ album features a stellar list of guests lending their talents to proceedings: Radiohead drummer Philip Selway and guitarist Ed O’Brien, Midlake guitarist Eric Pulido and drummer McKenzie Smith all contribute, plus guitarists Paul Gregory (Lanterns On The Lake) and Jonathan Wilson. Crafted via the wonder of technology, and yet ‘Moon’ has one unifying and intimate sound and vision, from gently pulsating, pop-centric trails to lingering, luminous ballads. ‘Moon’ will be released on CD and LP in double disc… Read more
*Limited double disc edition of "Hauptsache Ich, includes the rarities collection "Silbernes Ich"* Hauptsache Ich" contains 21 songs from nine albums and spans a period of 32 years, from his first album "Blumen und Narzissen" to his latest work "Aus der Bibliothèque". Not bad for someone who never really intended to be a musician..."
"In 2007, Sacred Bones Records founder Caleb Braaten started unearthing rare and little-heard post-punk, deathrock and dark punk tracks for an eventual compilation. Seven years later, riffing on the tradition of the internationally known punk collector series, Killed by Death, those tracks are finally being released on vinyl, CD, and digital formats as Killed by Deathrock Vol. 1. Bands from all over the world are represented on the comp, from the relatively well-known Scots in Twisted Nerve to the “completely un-Googleable” Move from Italy. Also featured are the French ba… Read more
"Juvenilia is a compilation album by the New Zealand group, The Verlaines, first released in 1987 by Flying Nun Records. It collects the band's early singles and EPs on CD. Juvenalia was the first Verlaines' release on CD. Tracks : CD Version : Death And The Maiden, Doomsday, Joed Out, Baud To Tears, Crisis After Crisis, Burlesque, You Cheat Yourself of Everything That Moves, Pyromaniac, Windsong, Angela, You Say You, New Kind Of Hero, Instrumental, Phil Too?, C.D. Jimmy Jazz and Me….. // LP : Death And The Maiden, Angela, Baud To Tears, Crisis After Crisis, Burlesque, Joed Out, Pyromaniac, You Say You, Windsong, You Cheat Yourself Of Everything That Moves"
Ace garage punk grunge pops picked up by Captured Tracks for reissue. 'The Feeling' was originally unleashed on Couple Skate Records in 2012 and now slots neatly in its new home alongside charming slackers such as Mac Demarco, Beach Fossils and co. Our highlights have to be the super lo-fi joys of 'Gentle Movement Towards Sensual Liberation' and 'Eon Of Love' or the dirgy grunger 'Trashworld'. Sure you'll all have your own favourites, though.