Thursday, 20 February
"Band of Holy Joy’s latest album Easy Listening – a set that finds Johny Brown’s ragamuffin street warriors hit yet another artistic peak – a rejuvenated collective on a relentless mission. Away from the complex conceptual conceits of "How to Kill a Butterfly" and the raging Casio trauma of "City of Tales", "Easy Listening" has a defiantly old school manifesto – a collection of sculpted, resonant SONGS…So we move through the destructive magic of George Best (When a Gift is a Curse) to the death of Ian Tomlinson to lonely late night observations on London buses. Always open to the fullne… Read more
*Remastered from the original stereo 1/4" tapes with expanded gatefold tip-on jackets and liner notes* "Light In The Attic and the legendary folk/blues/roots label Vanguard Records are proud to begin a series of collaborations under the umbrella Vanguard Vault. The series will explore the vaults of Vanguard and see the reissuing of obscure nuggets, psychedelic weirdness and just some good old-fashioned seminal music. Originally released in 1972 on Vanguard Records, Bob Frank’s self titled debut album took elements of Dylan, Johnny Cash, and Ian Tyson and filtered it through a pot-smoked haze infuse… Read more
*CD version comes in a 4 panel mini-LP style gatefold package* "D. Charles Speer, aka Dave Shuford, is a founding member of both Rhyton and No Neck Blues Band, and also known for his work with Enos Slaughter, The Suntanama, Egypt Is The Magick #, and Coach Fingers. On ‘Doubled Exposure’ The Helix take their loose and free country rock boogie and enhance it with the blistering psych Speer explores in Rhyton, and the traditional Greek melodies delved into on the Speer solo album, ‘Arghiledes’. ‘Doubled Exposure’ was recorded by Jason Meagher at the increasingly legendary Black … Read more
"4AD release ‘Blue Film’, the debut album by LA based producer Lo-Fang (née Matthew Hemerlein). Classically trained in violin, cello, bass, piano and guitar, Hemerlein’s soulful falsetto floats above a rich blend of classical, R&B and electronic music, telling stories of love, loss and deceit. The album was written and recorded during Hemerlein’s world travels everywhere from a farmhouse in Maryland to a hotel in Cambodia to studios in London and Nashville. He completed the album at Capitol Studios in Los Angeles with Award winning producer Francois Tetaz."
*CD version packaged in 4 panel mini-LP style gatefold sleeve* "2013 was a notable year for Thalia Zedek. She released her first album in five years, ‘Via’, which PopMatters called a “rumbling, sweet, muscled set of tunes, as resilient as they are beautiful,” followed by a tour across North America with Low. She also reunited with Come, the classic band she formed with Chris Brokaw in 1990, reissuing their classic debut ‘Eleven:Eleven’ and playing their first shows in over a decade across the US and Europe. Following this intense flurry of activity, Thalia regrouped with her band in Boston to record a… Read more
*New on Nicolas Jaar's 'Other People' label* "Several years ago, Valentin Stip was sitting alone by a harbour in the small French town where his parents grew up. “I heard all the sailing strings hit the masts, and I realized that every sound you hear is potentially music,” he says. “The only thing that makes sound into music is the mind, arranging it.” Since then, Valentin Stip has been building a bridge between the sounds that live inside and outside his head. On ‘Sigh’, the 21-year-old producer’s full-length debut on Other People, Stip organizes classical piano, lightly sputtering grooves and inti… Read more
The Notwist return with their first album in 6 years, 'Close to The Glass'. "The Notwist have always been pioneering their own sound, walking a trail of songs across genres toward something definitively new and distinctly them. Yet the German born band are never running ‘from’ their previous creations rather ‘toward’ the next, and in doing so have crafted a series of personal yet impeccable records that warmly thread together the far corners of independent music. Simply speaking, the Notwist make this careful and banging, private yet pop, post-everything music, for the movie going on ins… Read more
"Recorded using the Orchestra’s signature analogue techniques at their studio HQ in their home city of Ottawa, the new set continues their musical journey as they effortlessly fuse Eastern influences, Afro beats, Egyptian jazz, Latin styles and spiritual elements into their musical melting pot. The secret to the band’s sound remains an openness to global music of all kinds and the individual experiences of the Orchestra’s band members. “We all have very wide tastes, we’re always digging for new sounds, and we’ve had the chance to work with master musicians from all over, from Nigeria … Read more
A spoil of splintering, lushly awkward rhythms, kaotic harmonix and fractal electronics, it's a proper, future shock of a record. it exists in it's own parallel dimension, holding up a smashed mirror to 30 years of developments in the avant-garde, on the dancefloor, and in virtual reality. It's a sound Patten's been edging towards since orbiting underground echelons with his releases for his own Kaleidoscope label, and the excellent 'Glaqjo Xaacsso' LP for No Pain In Pop, but we reckon few would have predicted quite how glorious this album would turn out, us included. At it's whirring, amorphous … Read more
Thursday, 13 February
**Gatefold double vinyl** Sun Araw yields his most cryptic glyph to date with 'Belomancie' for Drag City. Replete with a recommendation "to give 'Belomancie' your full attention, and to listen at the highest volume that is comfortable on high quality speakers with a pronounced stereo field or on an excellent pair of headphones", it's the most cerebral and focussed effort we've yet heard from Cameron Stallones', acutely contrasting with his looser, noisier psychedelic dub excursions. Its predominantly electronic palette and labyrinthine arrangement veers into Jazz-Fusion, Japanese ambient and modula… Read more
Nicolas Jaar's Other People label picks up new Russian name, Vtgnike (pronounced Vintage Nike dontyaknow) for a diverse debut vinyl album. 'Dubna' collects nine tracks shape-shifting between OPN-like chopped & screwed experiment 'Stimulate' through to Shackleton-esque polyrhythms and aqueous sound design in 'Panarama Bar Shitt', but the majority is given to a ghostly, detached strain of rave and electronica filtered through a mazy prism of Footwork rhythms and smudged, hypnagogia-inducing FX. It's not a sound you might typically associate with Nicolas Jaar and his label, and should come as little surpris… Read more
*Includes Download Code For Bonus Tracks Redeemable From The Label. Pared-down, economical new album from this enigmatic, forward-facing artist, returning to roots in the dance music** "For Jam Rostron, the Bolton-born, Berlin-based artist behind the multimedia recording and performance project Planningtorock, All Love’s Legal is both an extension of her previous work and a refinement and of its ideas and sonics. Planningtorock has always incorporated politics into her music, but this is by far her most explicitly political record yet. It follows W, which was released on DFA in 20… Read more
Brendon Moeller tests his darker techno muscle on his return to Prologue with a full album. 14 tracks mutate between wild modular scree ('The Frequency Of Love'), digitizied dub techno rolige ('Next Exit'), shifier tech-house ('Tricks Of The Shade'), kosmiche trance ('Lost', 'M13 + DPO'), and grinding acid ('Goodbye').
**Redux version with killer bonus cuts - including three previously unreleased - plus download code and fold out Japanese insert** This has to be one of the strongest and strangest juke full-lengths yet to emerge from Chicago, with an austerely psychedelic undertow to its hi-octane ghetto bounce. The darkest, sparsest jams are the first to grab your attention: 'Burn Dat Boy' and 'Horns' are on a choppy grime tip, the latter packing darkside string stabs that remind us of Cooly G's 'Narst'. 'Torture Rack' is brutal and brilliant, beat-'em-up vocal snippets and stanked-out, dissonant syn… Read more
"‘Dust & Mirrors’ is the second full-length album by the trio of Andrea Belfi (drums, percussion, electronics), David Grubbs (electric guitar, piano, voice), and Stefano Pilia (electric guitar). It follows 2010’s ‘Onrushing Cloud’ LP and finds the trio confidently taking stabs in a number of opposed directions. It dramatically widens the terrain in which the group operates. Between albums, the three musicians worked together on David Grubbs’s 2013 album ‘The Plain Where The Palace Stood’, and took part in Grubbs’ and visual artist Angela Bulloch’s performance piece … Read more
'Angel Olsen sings with full-throated exultation, admonition, and bold, expressive melody. Also, with the help of producer John Congleton, her music now crackles with a churning, rumbling low end and a brighter energy. This is one of the most hotly anticipated releases of 2014 so far - the buzz on Angel Olsen from her previous releases has been growing steadily for the last year or so, coupled with sold out solo London shows and a mesmerizing performance at the End Of The Road festival. Now she unleashes this majestic album - her first with a full band - and it is wowing critics and fans. This is going to be Angel’s breakout year."
**The debut full length of pastoral ambience from Kemper Norton** "From a recent interview by Russell Cuzner at The Quietus: The sound is formed of acoustic folk miniatures swimming through pools of synthetic texture, while found sounds float to the surface, dredging up tiny hints of dance rhythms in their wake. These ingredients - far from being a casually picked, if natty, selection from the twentieth century's smorgasbord of genres - are stirred together with idiosyncratic focus to produce a strange, heady brew that's neither folk nor electronica, neither analogue nor digital, but something else; boasting new flavours with familiar seasoning."
Thursday, 06 February
**Includes two tracks exclusive to the CD and digital formats** Hamburg's Smallville play host to this superb album of signature dub house styles from Stephen Laubner aka STL. Excepting his now-classic 'Silent State' and 'Neurotransmitting Clouds On The Secret Freeway' (issued by Smallville in 2009) which are exclusive to the CD/Digital versions, it's all new material, spanning skanking, Chain Reaction style dub-house on 'Scuba's Motion Dub' and 'Amelie's Dub' or the seriously heavy 'Ghostly Ambit' thru to a mixture of Maurizio and Theo Parrish styles on 'Space Cats' and two beautifully gl… Read more
Hoya:Hoya boss and esteemed DJ/producer Ryan Hunn marks up an engrossing debut LP under his Illum Sphere guise. As the title infers, the grey matter of 'Ghosts Of Now and Then' feels trapped between eras, at once deeply informed, shackled by the vintage roots of hip hop - classic jazz, soul, funk and Brazilian music - whilst acknowledging modern electronica and the beat scenes of LA (Brainfeeder, Low End Theory, Stones Throw), London (Eglo, Deviation, Young Turks) and Manchester (Fat City, Skam, Jon K). He consolidates these influences by successfully creating something timeless yet new… Read more
Marissa Nadler returns with her first new material since "The Sister" with excellent new album 'July', produced by Randall Dunn (Earth, Sunn O))) who brings with him an engrossing, weighty sonic palette that infuses new dimensions into her songs. Recorded at Seattle’s Avast Studio, the album features the maginificent Eyvand Kang on strings, Steve Moore’s synths and Phil Wandscher’s guitar lines, escalating the whole affair to a panoramic level of beautiful, eerie wonder.
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
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