Thursday, 14 May
Nick Edwards a.k.a. Ekoplekz explicitly pays homage to his formative influences with 'Reflekzionz' - kosmisch electronics and '90s electronica - on his 3rd LP for Planet Mu. Radiophonics references are swapped for a reverie of early AFX, Autechre and Wolfgang Voigt, among others, filtered thru his grubby dub lense to slot grittily with his previous. And, rather than bleached out tones, 'Reflekzionz' is fringed with a faded colour scheme psychedelically reflected in Zeke Clough's dreamlike sleeve artwork, creating a sort of false-memory implant aesthetic that frames his sound like a polaroid recollection of the originals.
From unknown to XL entity in the space of two records, Shamir's success story is being quickly written to catch up with his debut LP, 'Ratchet'. Hailing from Las Vegas and in possession of the sweetest, playful soul voice, Shamir Bailey debuted in 2014 with a unique treat in 'Northtown' produced by Nick Sylvester for the Godmode label. Working again with Sylvester for 'Ratchet', Shamir posits himself as a nu-skool disco-not-disco prince, backed with a selection of largely uptempo and light-footed grooves perfectly suited to his effortless, flighty tone. It's a summer record through-and-through, from th… Read more
The sampledelic don, Luke Vibert revives his disco alias, Kerrier District for Hypercolour a decade on from his much-loved album for Rephlex. Still sounding like a library record from 1979, his '4' album collects 14 cuts of kinky disco breaks and wobbly Moog lines crammed with cheeky samples under naughty names like 'Treacle Tits' and 'Brush The Bush' or any combination of the word "Disco" plus suffix/prefix. Consider your party started.
*Double CD which includes the 10 tracks included in the film and an additional CD of bonus material and cues* "Ben Salisbury & Geoff Barrow join forces for a second time since their creation of Drokk, their unused score for 2012 motion picture Dredd, to create the dark, synth heavy score for Ex Machina. Speaking to Gigwise Geoff Barrow said, "It's been great for Ben and I to be working with Alex again, and hopefully we have written the kind of score an intense sci-fi thriller like this needs" with Salisbury adding "we wanted to slightly get away from the type of soundtrack al… Read more
"The Eccentronic Research Council’s fabulous fourth album, ‘Johnny Rocket, Narcissist & Music Machine… I’m Your Biggest Fan’ is written from the persuasive point of view of an obsessional fan of a (fictional?) local band - The Moonlandingz, who gig around the (fictional?) South Yorkshire district of Valhalla Dale. The album also sees The Eccentronic Research Council team up with Lias Saoudi and Saul Adamczewski of South London’s The Fat White Family, who ably play the role of The Moonlandingz."
**Featuring members of Emeralds and Cloud Nothings** "The bouncy, surf-esque qualities pitch Total Babes a million miles from their Cloud Nothings connections (the bands share the octopus-onamphetamine drumming of Jayson Gerycz), with ‘Heydays’ instantly presenting itself as a beachcombing ode to sweaty summers. Lead by the undulating basslines of Nathan Ward (Smooth Brain / Cruelster) and fleshed out by warped synth work John Elliot (Emeralds / Outer Space), the choruses are a masterclass in the ability to shift perceptions - “I only want to be beautiful,” frontman Christopher Brown cries but it’s in their rough edges that Total Babes really shine."
William Fitzsimmons is equal parts songwriter and psychotherapist, creating captivating music that uniquely melds depravity, honesty and autobiography into a counter-intuitive seamless whole. Since 2005, Fitzsimmons has created six full length albums, each thoroughly themed and embossed with matters of family history, intimate disclosure and bold confession, yielding rich folk music, ranging from the stark and acoustic to the voluminous and electronic. All the while reflecting William’s commitment to addressing what is always pressing, and yet all too often ignored. His new mini-album, … Read more
"Within their 1973 European tour, Sun Ra and his Arkestra had just completed a residency at the legendary Gibus in Paris in October before travelling to Amiens for a Sunday afternoon concert. Those filing into the city’s Maison de la Culture that day would have little idea of the intense, visceral experience that awaited them. “Sun Ra’s use of the Arkestra as his instrument in an onslaught of sound, colour and movement stimulated and even shocked the senses and the shakras of audience participants onto a higher plane of spirit consciousness,“ explains the Arkestra’s Knoel Scott..."
**Edition of 100 housed in fold-over artwork by Michael Holland** Fragile yet playful new composition from Joe Snape, who was last spotted on Slip, and is here teamed up with Manchester's Another Contemporary Music Ensemble for ONO ahead of their upcoming UK/Euro tour.
"DJ VLR, aka Livar Særheim from Norway, returns to mix duties following his highly sought after cassette-only mix for CPU back in 2013. Spanning almost 3 years of output VLR has mixed the binary back catalogue into an audio delight, displaying his skills and dedication to the mix as an artform. A perfect CPU sampler for curious new listeners and fans alike. Includes tracks by MNLTH, DMX Krew, Automatic Tasty, Cygnus and many more."
"The fourth studio album by acclaimed Belgian cold wave group The Names, known for their early association with Factory Records and producer Martin ‘Zero’ Hannett. Recorded in 2014, Stranger Than You marks a conscious return to the sounds and styles explored on their debut album Swimming in 1982. “There’s a strong element of reconnection,” explains singer/songwriter (and bassist) Michel Sordinia. “Yet at the same time it’s also about developing your own legitimate strangeness, just as the great Surrealist poet Rene Char invited his readers to do. A new mystery singing in your bones.” Mich… Read more
"Breakup albums mark a turning point for a band: the moment when their sound completely changes and reaches a new level of emotional clarity. All that heartbreak and malaise condensed into any single record often makes for a defining piece of work, no matter the genre. The best records explore the nooks and crannies of sadness, learning it inside and out - celebrating it. Ceremony's fifth studio album, ‘The L-Shaped Man’, uses singer Ross Farrar's recent breakup as a platform to explore loneliness and emotional weariness but it is by no means a purely sad album. Rather than look inward, Farr… Read more
"Two legends, together again. Teenage Fanclub's Norman Blake and Half Japanese's Jad Fair have teamed up to bring you their new magnum opus, "Yes". Encompassing all the songwriting eccentricities that have made these guys famous, this new collaborative album also features some of the most genteel, engagingly catchy, and downright adorable music in recent memory. Norman Blake and Jad Fair originally collaborated over a decade ago on the Teenage Fanclub and Jad Fair album "Words of Wisdom and Hope" (Domino / Alternative Tentacles). Unlike the simple, aggressive style of Half Japanese, the 13 n… Read more
"Novella’s formation was the result of an instant spark—guitarist Hollie Warren, guitarist Sophy Hollington, and bassist Suki Sou met through mutual friends in Brighton in 2010, where they quickly realized that they shared a common love for ‘60s counterculture and bands like Black Sabbath, the Brian Jonestown Massacre, and Pale Saints. The addition of drummer Iain Laws in 2011 and keyboardist Isabel Spurgeon in 2014 solidified the group into a propulsive engine, capable of welding woozy, cosmic psychedelia to sustained squalls of flanged-out, far-out dream pop. Novella’s debut album, Land, is a controll… Read more
*RIYL: Arvo Part, Steve Reich, John Adams, Gavin Bryars, Phill Niblock, Duane Pitre, James Blackshaw* "Issa is the debut release from Bristol based musician and composer Kit Wilmans Fegradoe. The magic in Issa comes from Fegradoe's powerful exploration of emotion and sensitivity, which leads to a deeply personal and revealing listen. The work evokes the scale of Michael Stearns compositions for film, whilst eliciting a minimalist undercurrent throughout. The album is sculpted from guided improvisation sessions in the studio with fellow musicians, traversing around the narrative of Issa, a yo… Read more
"The next chapter in the ongoing story of Juan Wauters. Whereas his debut solo record was recorded casually over the course of one year, his new album was crafted in under two weeks at Future Apple Tree in Rock Island, Illinois. Inspired by both the arrangements of Uruguayan songwriter Jaime Roos and the production of American master Dr. Dre, this collection of songs presents his continued approach to existential questioning through pop music. Tracks like ‘She Might Get Shot’ and ‘I Was Well’, which may seem like wisdom addressed to the listener, are in fact part of Juan’s reciprocal process of s… Read more
Melt-Banana deliver their second compilation of singles and tracks from split releases. Originally released between 2000 and 2009, the collection includes covers of “Tintarella Di Luna,” by Italian singer Mina, Toots & the Maytals’ “Monkey Man,” DEVO’s “Uncontrollable Urge” and The Damned’s “Love Song.”
Thursday, 07 May
*Deluxe 2CD edition comes in an 8-panel spot gloss digipack with two separate booklets* By Pitchfork's reckoning Dominick Fernow's discography now stands at over 150 releases long - so it isn't without much consideration that we say that 'Frozen Niagara Falls' is his defining, most exploratory and ultimately rewarding work to date. It's an epic undertaking too - spanning two discs (the vinyl edition which will follow next month is a mammoth 3LP) and includes over an hour and a half of music, veering from the surprisingly contemplative destroyed-folk of 'Greenpoint' and 'Christ Among The … Read more
Heading on from their Daphne Oram reworks, Alessio Natalizia (Not Waving) and Sam Willis' Walls recapture the woozy motorik psych-disco appeal of their much-loved early work in 'Urals'. Whilst Natalizia has been busy forging a darker, stripped sound as Not Waving in recent times, Sam Willis obviously gets him to lighten up a lot here. The result is a radiant suite of seven succinct synth hymns; seducing with the creamy title groove and twisting between the urgent arpeggiations of 'Moon Eye' thru the mystic alien swamps of 'Altai' to ascendent psychedelic pop in 'Voluta' and the spiralling 'Tongue Pad', to… Read more
*Includes a bonus Mix CD with initial orders* The master meets his acolytes as the AOR/yacht-disco cap'n Todd Rundgren teams with Norsk disco king Lindstrøm and Sereena Maneesh's Emil Nikolaisen. The results will likely be a shock to many, and exceed the expectations of many others, presenting a swirling session of lush prog-disco closer in vision to OPN than any of the modern nu-disco travellers. It sounds like they had a top time recording it, stacking synth upon synth and parsing it all with unparalleled experience. We'd say it's roughly split 50/50 between glorious synth-capades a… Read more
"Rivington Não Rio revels in the kind of compassionate complexity that marks Prefuse 73's greatest works, with a profound new element added to the mix: Patience. Herren's ability to marry the manic to the melodic has always been uncanny, but here it feels downright magical as the songs inhale with his trademark sense of urgency…then exhale in longer, more revealing breaths. The prismatic textures that have long been a staple of Prefuse 73 are bound to beats and melodies with the spirit of hip-hop and the subtlety of modern minimalism. The album's guests treat the material with a hushed r… Read more
*Compiling the recordings of folklorist Bruce Jackson, among the last to record work songs. New on Dust to Digital* "Folklorist Bruce Jackson was among the last to record work songs. In 1964 he visited Ramsey State Farm in Rosharon, Texas, where he met Johnnie B. Smith, prisoner #130196. A native of Hearne, Texas, Smitty was 46 years old and on his fourth prison term. In his younger days, Smitty toted lead hoe in a flat-weeding gang and led the work songs. It’s hard to overstate the importance of a good song leader in the penitentiary setting—one needed to be rhythmical… Read more
"Composer and producer Ben Chatwin releases his new album 'The Sleeper Awakes' through Village Green. Written and recorded at Chatwin's home studio in Scotland. Inspired by the writing of H.G. Wells, 'The Sleeper Awakes' is Chatwin's first album to appear under his own name and follows last year's highly-lauded Talvihorros project 'Eaten Alive'. "I wanted 'The Sleeper Awakes' to represent the idea of a future that has been and gone. Before the information and telecommunications revolution there was a beautiful yet weird, naivety about what the future might bring and it was t… Read more
*Brand New (and 31st!) album From The Fall, produced by Mark E Smith* "The Fall are an English post-punk band, formed in Manchester in 1976. The band has existed in some form ever since, and is essentially built around its founder and only constant member Mark E. Smith. Initially associated with the punk movement of the late 1970s, the group's music has gone through several stylistic changes over the years, characterised by an abrasive guitar-driven sound and frequent use of repetition, and is always underpinned by Smith's distinctive vocals and often cryptic lyrics. Featuring all the trad… Read more
*The CD that appeared in the box set of the same name is now available as a standalone CD and digital download* "Laurent Garnier is back on F Communications for ‘La HOME Box’, a brand new album from Laurent Garnier and the first new music on F Communications in 5 years. The album heralds a new direction as yet unseen in Garnier’s discography. It contains a collection of tracks released over the last year on five very different labels, originating in five different countries; Still Music, 50 Weapons, Musique Large, MCDE and Hypercolour. There are also brand new unreleased tracks."
**First new album from the Moloko singer in 8 years!** "It begins with ‘Gone Fishing’ that chimes like the bells of a buoy bullied by tide, everything hanging from a two-note octave. The lyric written after watching Jennie Livingston’s ‘Paris Is Burning’, a study of race, class, gender and sexuality in America. A walk of ‘Realness’ with Pepper LaBeija, Angie Xtravaganza, Willi Ninja, and their Houses. Surviving the slap of love and the weight of what media would have us believe are beauty and success. ‘Evil Eyes’ pits an elastic thunder of ruff punk bass against explosions of mirrorball gl… Read more
"The Summer of Love hadn't reached Missouri, even by 1969. But White Eyes, a true anomaly of the Midwest, channelled the sound of Haight-Ashbury straight to the plains. The band was among the top performing acts in the "Show Me" state, opening for The Flying Burrito Brothers, Black Oak Arkansas, and Brewer and Shipley. Blending acoustic and electric instrumentation, three-part harmonies, and anti-Vietnam lyrics, this previously unissued LP holds true to the acid-drenched sounds of the Woodstock era."
The beguiling man-not-machine band, Elektro Guzzi deliver almost unfeasibly linear, precisely metronomic grooves made entirely on live instrumentation. In case you're not au fait, the trio of Bernhard Breuer, Bernhard Hammer, and Jakob Schneidewind have released three perception-defying albums on Berlin's techno-focussed Macro label before this one, honing a style of motorik groove played entirely in real-time without a computer in sight. For this tape they contribute two lengthy, rolling compositions. 'Circle One' is 28 minutes of strident, swinging dub techno-like flux expertly mixed wi… Read more
Cargo Cult's grungy, rollicking 2012 album, 'Summer of Grieving' sees a physical release on Michael Holland's ONO mini-empire. Comprising a gang of local lads-about-town, Cargo Cult wear their influences proudly on their Manc-y sleeves, grave-robbing bits of Nirvana, The Fall, Suicide and other Mojo faves before resetting it all to a moody crawl and smudging their cadaverous features with added distortion and amp worship.