Thursday, 26 February
"In the 1960s Clement ‘Sir Coxsone’ Dodd’s legendary Studio One Records laid down the template for all reggae music, the equivalent of Jamaica’s Motown Records. Artists who launched their careers there comprise an A-Z of the Jamaican music scene - Bob Marley & The Wailers, Burning Spear, Alton Ellis, Ken Boothe, Freddie McGregor, Marcia Griffiths, Horace Andy and many, many more. In the early releases featured here you will find the roots of Studio One’s unique sound - from the first jump-up, boogie-woogie and shuffle recordings made … Read more
"Canadian duo Megan James and Corin Roddick, aka Purity Ring, return with a second album, entitled ‘another eternity’. Their 2012 debut ‘Shrines’ was in many ways a prescient suggestion of indie and popular music to come. While Shrines was composed remotely between Halifax and Montreal, ‘another eternity’ marks the first time Megan and Corin were able to create a record in the same room. The pair ventured home to the frozen industrial landscapes of their birthplace Edmonton, Alberta to document much of what would become the album. Megan and Corin recorded and produced their follow-up them… Read more
*Remastered Reissue* It’s almost without exception that one can say that double albums of this nature very rarely work. What we have here, however, features some of Nick Cave’s most ambitious and astute expression of vitriol for the best part of a decade. While the “Lyre of Orpheus” concentrates on his oozing lovesongs for all manner of strange and unidentified beauties, “Abattoir Blues” unleashes Cave’s wit and tobacco-stained violence at it’s most devastating. It’s an often fabulous work from one of the most disturbingly charismatic songwriters of a generation, uncomfortably itching away at middle age with all the nastiness and bile we’d expect. Excellent stuff.
Debut album 'Wild Peace' was released in June 2012, after the then five piece had surfaced 18 months prior to a flurry of blog attention. The record is a near-perfect encapsulation of their early sound, with critics calling it “dazzling, hypnotic and deliriously seductive” and “truly magnificent”. However loud the acclaim, the release was inevitably overshadowed by the shock death of drummer Peter Hayes a few days before release. The band recovered in private. The songwriting pair of guitarist Thom Hill and vocalist Linda Jarvis would spend two years working on the tracks which would form Era in East Lo… Read more
"Whereas last time around, they were all about "vocal harmonies from NYC to Cape Town" and "massive guitars from Portland to D¸sseldorf, mixed with clattering beats from Berlin to Detroit" Aloa Input - a Munich-based three-piece that seems to be just as addicted to new input as it's quick and productive when it comes to releasing more genre-smashing, ebullient output - are about to leave planet earth altogether with their sophomore release: Dropping only a year after the band's debut album "Anysome" (with additional remix EP "RMX" released in-between), they return with an album that finds them das… Read more
Thursday, 19 February
Outstanding, otherworldly debut album proper by the Hype Williams collaborator known as Henny Moan and John T. Gast. An ambient enigma steeped in post-hypnagogic tristesse, 'Excerpts' is a cryptic hash of mutant dance music, lo-fi pop, and screwed lounge styles every bit as skewed and enigmatic as you might hope from someone who's worked so closely with Dean Blunt and Inga Copeland (he contributed to 'Black Is Beautiful' and 'The Redeemer' a.o.). Written and recorded early 2014 in South West England, it treats nostalgia and electronic romance with equal amounta shadowy ambiguity and screwball abs… Read more
Strong debut album from the multi-faceted Future Brown collective for Warp. Numbering Fatima Al Qadiri, plus Lit City Trax's J-Cush and Nguzunguzu's Daniel Pineda & Asma Maroof, they represent a worldwide perspective (LA, NYC, Kuwait) via myriad dancefloor strains shaken for their sweetest, futurist fruit and voiced by an international roll call including MCs from Chiraq, Jamaica-via-London and Latin NYC. Holding up a mirror to the world's increasingly mixed and itinerant population - and it's disproportionate representation in mainstream media, music - the international cast form a borderle… Read more
**Includes Roots, Motherless Child and Prison Blues on instant download** Feted new UK artist, Romare, scales his cut-up, Afro-American-centric sound to a family-sized debut album for Ninja Tune. Elaborating on the deftly woven tapestries of his two 12"s for Black Acre, he continues to pay tribute to Romare Bearden - the seminal American cut-up artist and painter whose work recently adorned The Roots' '…And Then You Shoot Your Cousin' LP - with eleven loosely syncopated and blues-wise grooves. Through the dusty disco of 'Rainbow', or gospel soul with the self-explanatory 'Nina's Charm' he perceive… Read more
*CD version in 4 panel mini-LP style gatefold package* *Sam Prekop returns with another album exploring the modular electronics he has been pursuing for the last few years* Regardless of the style he is working in, Sam Prekop’s music is always imbued with a sense of wide-eyed discovery and exploration. As the singer and guitarist of The Sea And Cake, Prekop has incorporated elements of traditional styles from around the world, expanding the public perception of what it means to be the leader of a pop band. In recent years, he has also established himself as a modular synthesist, building his … Read more
NDW legend Holger Hiller sifts out a selection of dusty, wayward wave gems from the obscure early '80s Berlin archive of Wolfgang Seidel aka Populäre Mechanik. Rooted in the Zodiak Arts Club aesthetics of freedom and exploration, and prompted by the punk movement, Populäre Mechanik was coined as a vehicle to combine various strands of musical thought, from Devo-esque art-rock to jazz-wise detours and skinny dubs fracked with traces of slick yacht rock and exotica. RIYL K. Leimer, Felix Kubin, Gruppo D'Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza.
"Eric Chenaux has emerged as one of the most distinctive, innovative and original voices in what might be called avant-garde balladry, juxtaposing his gorgeously pure and open singing against a guitar sound and style that truly stands alone. Skullsplitter is the impressive new album that confirms Chenaux’s singular aesthetic: genuine, natural, unaffected vocals gliding through slow, smoky melodies while electric and nylon-string guitars are deployed with adventurously experimental, dextrous, semi-improvisational technique and texture. Skullsplitter stands as a welcome and natural evolution … Read more
Roland Tings graduates from charming early singles for 100% Silk and Club Mod to this lush debut LP for Internasjonal. An impressionistic take on the golden era of late '80s/early '90s house filtered thru a pastel-toned Aussie heat haze, it swaggers across tempo zones from the buoyant, chirpy jack of 'Coming Up For Air' and the woozy piano house bumper, 'Who U Love', to the slow-building centrepiece 'Floating On A Salt Lake' before taking a downtempo turn with the chugging slow-house of 'Devotion' and the squashed strutter, 'Cultural Canal', and back deckside with the glorious 'Venus'.
"Post punk provocateurs The Pop Group, one of the most wildly innovative and barrier-shattering bands to emerge from the late '70s era, release their first studio recording in 35 years. The album 'Citizen Zombie' has been produced by one of the biggest names in commercial pop music, multi Grammy and Academy Award winner Paul Epworth (Adele, U2, Florence and The Machine) and features original members Mark Stewart (lyrics / vocals), Gareth Sager (guitar), Dan Catsis (bass), and Bruce Smith (drums)."
"Gliss Riffer marks new territory for Deacon who, following up on the release of his large ensemble-based recordings - 2009’s Bromst and 2012’s America - decided to return to a simpler way of writing and recording, similar to that of 2007’s Spiderman of the Rings, which has resulted in this self-produced album. Despite being predominately electronic, Gliss Riffer’s sonic palette is informed by his post-Spiderman of the Rings material. The Disklavier, a MIDI-fed player piano first heard on Bromst, is present here. Cross-rhythms suggestive of America’s orchestral songs and Deacon’s art music wor… Read more
**Includes 20 track bonus CD** Back on Big Dada - Wiley rises to the top again with 'Snakes & Ladders' featuring guest spots from JME, Footsie, Wrigz, Flirta D and more. He's as mad as ever, dropping baffling bars and signature non sequiturs across 17 of his strongest tracks in years, from the bouncing summer 2014 anthem, 'On A Level' to the gulliest new skool grime in 'Reel Off' to the extended, eleven minute chicanery of 'Snakes & Ladders (Part Two)' which surely sets a new precedent for modern grime. Get in.
"Portland, Oregon’s sonic explorers Eternal Tapestry have always had a feeling of interplay between their impressionistic music and the dense forests that surround their hometown, but on their newest album, Wild Strawberries, they take that naturalistic inspiration to a new level. Wild Strawberries is a massive double album, which was recorded in a secluded cabin under the shadow of Mount Hood in Zigzag, OR. The Zigzag River flowed nearby, and the group spent time between takes learning about the area’s floral make up and relaxing under the stars. This idealistic lifestyle, however … Read more
"Petite Noir, the South African producer, multi-instrumentalist, and genre-defying performer, is set to release a brand 5-track EP entitled The King Of Anxiety. Born Yannick Ilunga, to a Congolese father and Angolan mother, the artist known as Petite Noir has been making his unclassifiable, joyous music in various iterations for a number of years now. Previous singles "Til We Ghosts", "Noirse" and "Pressure", and his band Popskarr, in addition to collaborations with his friend Spoek Mathambo, garnered him online attention in 2013 and 2014, leading to his signing with Double Six. He is currently at work on his debut full-length album, due for release in 2015."
Heavyweight hook-up from Ghostface Killah and Canadian jazz trio BadBadNotGood, produced by Frank Dukes (Eminem, 50 Cent, Drake). Imagine a hip hop noir directed by David Lynch and featuring MF Doom and Danny Brown; you can almost inhale the silver chronic fog of 'Sour Soul'. Dripping with expensive-sounding strings and Gainsbourg-via-Badalamenti vibes, the production is authentically classic and cinematic and provides the perfect backdrop to stage Ghostface's vivid, timeless storytelling. On paper, the jazz-trio plus Wu Tang MC formula could be enough to send heads fleeing, b… Read more
"16 previously unreleased early home recordings from Iron And Wine, this is the first in a series gathering covers, live sets and curiosities from his own Black Cricket Recording Co. label. This first release taps into a set of songs created before Sam was Iron And Wine. These 16 songs came to life at the same time as those selected for Iron And Wine’s debut album ‘The Creek Drank The Cradle’ (Sub Pop, 2002). Performed and recorded at home on a 4-track cassette. Digitally transferred from the original cassettes and packaged in gatefold artwork featuring the ‘Bird Of Paradise Quilt Top’ (licensed from the American Folk Art Museum)."
"Scattered Into Light is the Mush debut from the Luxembourg based electronic act, Sun Glitters. The eleven-track album remains true to the glitchy r&b and deep tech-house sound that has blasted Sun Glitters into the consciousness of electronic music fans over the last two years. Stuttering beats and wobbling synths are soft-focused through a sun-bleached lens in a way that will appeal to synth-pop, ambient, and dustup fans in equal measure. Scattered Into Light is the first Sun Glitters release to completely integrate a vocalist, as Italian ingenue Sara Cappai lends her talents to ov… Read more
"Recorded at The Pool Studios and Abbey Road in London and, once again working with exclusive archive footage from the British Film Institute, the new record will tell the story of the American & Soviet space race from 1957 – 1972 via the duo’s eccentric mix of guitar-driven electronica, propulsive drumming and spoken word samples culled from this rich period of modern history. The Race For Space follows Inform – Educate – Entertain, Public Service Broadcasting’s debut album."
"Since 2000, founder Sam Hillmer has remained Z's purveying constant, and with the addition of loose-limbed, meditative percussionist Greg Fox (Liturgy, Guardian Alien, Man Forever), and virtuosic avant-classical guitarist and composer Patrick Higgins, the band has found its epochal lineup. The trio's vision is crystallized on Xe, Zs' first full-length featuring the new trio, and first proper since 2010's critically acclaimed New Slaves. Hillmer, Fox and Higgins-three supremely heavy sages who exchange their pulsating phraseology with a mind-blowingly telepathic bent-in one room, nailing Xe in one miraculous l… Read more
"After collaborations with Robert Wyatt and PJ Harvey amongst others, multi-instrumentalist Pascal Comelade teams up with Jack White faves Les Liminanas. It's been noted that their are traces of Serge Gainsbourg, Beck, Stereolab, Gospel, Yeh-Yeh, guitar fuzz freakouts, and Nugget's-era stompers in the Limiñanas music. All of which may be true, but Limiñanas' sound is irreverent and singular. The band’s fusion of traditional French “ye ye” stylings with the cigarette-smoking cool of the New York underground of the late-Sixties has dazzled listeners since it’s inception making the live unit the toast of concert stages worldwide."
"Every artist has a piece of work that niggles them—something that they wish they could redo, given the chance. It’s why Paul McCartney once reproduced Let It Be and why Kate Bush re-recorded Wuthering Heights for her best-of album. For the prolific Michael Chapman, that album is Window, the missing link in the series of Chapman’s early albums being reissued by Light In The Attic Records. Window sits just after the previously released Fully Qualified Survivor and Rainmaker, right before Wrecked Again. In 1970, signed to the hip Harvest label (home to Kevin Ayers and Syd Barrett, among others),… Read more
Thursday, 12 February
Toronto's Egyptrixx heavily impresses with the expansive industrial sound designs of 3rd LP, 'Transfer of Energy [Feelings Of Power]'. Launched on his newly minted Halocline Trance label, it's a sleek mixture of tensile club constructions and sci-fi atmospheres shot thru with blazing pop signatures and hyperreal textures. Industrial is the keyword here - connoting imagery of classic, dystopian cinema and computer games in the pensive, pranging dynamics of the title track and lush, intra-dimensional refractions in 'Mirror Etched on Shards of Amethyst', while making sonic … Read more
Carter Tutti refresh their Chris & Cosey alter-egos in something of a dream project for their acolytes. Compiling last year's 'Remix Chris & Cosey' session with eight new studio reworks of Chris & Cosey live tracks, it underlines their output to date with a showcase of the original song's durability and, simultaneously, a display of current studio prowess. On the first disc, they apply a slippery mnodern chassis to the ghosts of eight songs, at best in the wormholing autobahn techno of 'Driving Blind' and an acidic re-rub of 'Dancing On Your Grave'. The remix suite is oilie… Read more
Joker continues to burn up that purple Bristol sound on his 2nd album, 'The Mainframe'. Wildly colourful but controlled with deadly steady hand, it presents a far more plush and intricate sound than the rest of peers still pushing a sound rooted in post-'06 dubstep/grime styles. In fact, he's pretty much a lone soldier in this case - fusing boogie, adult contemporary jazz motifs and cod ethno flutes to a bulky yet agile halfstep. Man clearly loves this sound and relishes it from the explosive dynamics and Casualty theme tune nods of 'Boss Mode' to the dichotomous clash of boogie niceness 'n nasty rave elements in 'Fuzz Bop'.
So, wow. This is the first ever compendium of Martin Hannett's work with Steve Hopkins as The Invisible Girls. Comprising 22 rare and largely unheard gems from 1976 - 1987, including Nico's 'Procession' amidst stacks of haunting and jaw-dropping studio experiments and even their 1976 soundtrack for a short animation. Pinch yourself now. Doesn't it hurt?! As history tells us, the pair met at a Soft Machine gig in Manchester's science and technology university, UMIST, in 1976. Realising they had common interests - Hopkins, a hippie veteran of Manc psych band Gemini Zent … Read more
*3CD + DVD Box Set including a bonus CD /DVD in a rigid box* "Second release in the ‘History Of The Future’ duology, inc rare tracks and previously unseen footage. It’s a comprehensive, second closing compendium on the Orb’s illustrious history, before focus moves to their new album, planned for release on Kompakt during summer 2015. ‘History Of The Future Part 2’ starts after Alex Paterson left his major label experience with Island Records behind him and struck into the new millennium with different record labels, new and old collaborators and a volley of sonic experiments which… Read more
"Ibeyi deliver their self titled debut album. Produced by Richard Russell at his west London Residence La Revolution studio and released on XL Recordings. Ibeyi are 19 year old French Cuban twins Naomi and Lisa-Kainde Diaz. They are daughters of the late Cuban percussionist Anga Diaz. Naomi plays percussive instruments, the Cajon and the Batas, while Lisa plays piano. Together the twins combine modern pop, hip hop and electronic influences with the traditional sounds of their father’s Yorùbán culture."