Monday, 23 November 2009
The first shot across the bows for Chan Marshall's excellent 'The Greatest' LP, this sees the eponymous title-track getting a release all on its own; a privilege it more than deserves. With Marshall's honey-rich vocals possessing a languid quality that draws you in deep then refuses to let go, the Stuart Sikes' production could well have been either lost against her stunning delivery or cluttered up the elegant Southern-poignancy - thankfully, through friably dusty guitars and skeletal rhythms, it does neither. The tale of a poverty-stricken boy using his boxing skills to escape the s… Read more
"Shearwater, a real gem on America's underground, release their new album, 'Rook'. A hugely ambitious follow-up to 'Palo Santo' (2006, reissued by Matador in 2007) described by Pitchfork as "a quietly amazing record that took months for many people to realise just how far the band had pushed themselves, plumbing new depths of atmosphere while finding the most haunting and memorable melodies of their career". Produced by Shearwater's Jonathan Meiburg and recorded by Matthew Barnhart at Denton's Echo Lab, themes within meditate on man's intersection with the natural world: the hunter and the prey; … Read more
One of the most influential voices in techno returns with a collection of the essential and long-out-of-print European-only tracks he released under the name The Bionaut from 1993 to 1997. A leading exponent of Cologne minimalism, Burger is also well-known for the groundbreaking work he did under the names Burger/Ink, The Modernist, Trinkwasser, and, most recently, Geometric Farms. In addition, he has run the Popular and Eat Raw labels. This is classic, lush and aheadoftime electronic soul music at its best.
Legendary New York outfit, The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, return with their most accessible material to date, superb songwriting matched with powerful production, courtesy of rock legend Steve Jordan (The Rolling Stones amongst others).
During their brief tenure, Mission Of Burma released one album, one EP and two singles for the Ace Of Hearts label, all of which have been reissued on CD by Rykodisc. Since the band's breakup in 1983, their musical influence has taken on mythic form. The number of bands who have mentioned Mission Of Burma's influence is in obverse proportion to the group's popularity in 1983. This is the band's first release in 20 years. augmented by Shellac's Bob Weston on tape loops and mixing. Check.
Always a musical chameleon, Malkmus has chosen to pepper his new record with chunks of Pavement, a healthy dose of country rock and shards of disco fever. Opening track 'Pencil Rot' bursts into life like a nutjob cartoon theme-tune, with big bold chords and scuzzy falsetto facing off in what feels like a Bobby Conn sideshow. Yet even under this thick and opaque layer of eye shadow, JD's and glitter, 'Pencil Rot' is still very much a Malkmus production - albeit one that appears to have rediscovered the funk. Those who want a Malkmus they recognise don't have to wait long,… Read more
The first song on 'Loose In The Air' has got more faces than a Ye Olde clock shop. Starting with what sounds like a rimy fog of field-recorded confusion, 'Up All Night' then allows a Devendra-esque (by way of Mr. Wilson) lament to puncture the bellicose air, before this is all consumed by a riff-tastic punch of post-rock then... it dies back down only to remerge as a borderline shrug of guitar-ska. Add to this the utterly addictive (Yoko Ono?) melody and you've got yourself an unquestionably arresting introduction. The collective musings of David Greenhill, Donald Beaman, Jacob Morris… Read more
**Available in the US & Canada only - alternate version on Pias available for UK etc...**
MISSION OF BURMA - The Obliterati, Matador Mission of Burma have been recording for almost 25 years now, so why should we still give a damn? Well with the music press going batty for this post-reunion effort there must be something in it right? And it's not just because the music is about kicking Bush out of office and looking forward to a better America, right? Well the lyrical content is less than important when the music kicks this kind of ass; Mission of Burma are here to show the kids how indie can actually rock - they can really do it right. Slashy guitars, thoughtful songw… Read more
‘Mass Romantic’ was released on Mint Records in Vancouver but hasn’t seen a proper release in Europe, until now. Described as “the most wonderful pop-rock album in years, a breath of fresh air that blasts through every window leaving a trail of glorious joy and excitement. . It’s one of those records where every track becomes a favourite. They’re simple pop songs, but with such sophisticated and intriguing song writing that makes them stand out from the crowd.”
Thank goodness for Yo La Tengo. They are at the heart of NYC, the city so hurt and angry after 9/11 that we have to bare this horrible war that is shaking our nerves to pieces. So very timely Yo La Tengo release their gorgeous new album to ease and calm us all into the summer sun. This thirteen track is a treasure trove of avant pop delites. From the Stereolab/Tortoise inflected joy of 'Little Eyes' to the electro waltz balladery blissout of 'Nothing But You and Me', added to in no small part by William Parker's acoustic bass drops. Other tracks feature members of Parker's many jazz groups… Read more
Formed in 1997, The Wisdom Of Harry is the brainchild of Creation Records musical pioneer, Pete Astor. ‘Torch Division’ is the band’s third album for Matador and was recorded at Astor’s north London-based Bigfoot studio. Featuring twelve new songs, it marks a major development from its 2001 predecessor, the critically lauded ‘House Of Binary.’ The band’s trademark electronic flourishes still flutter in the margins here, but it’s Astor’s dark, wry but always-melodic songwriting that takes centre stage. ·‘Torch Division’ finds Astor’s distinctive vocals, agile guitar, keyboards a… Read more
The debut LP from Pavement's Spiral Stairs, aka Scott Kannberg. This is a raw LP, summoning up the aroma of a garage rehearsal room with somebody just happening to have a 4-track and a mic to hand. While Stephen Malkamus has gone down the road of increased accessability, PSOI keep it strictly lo-fi. Check.
In the style of 2004's incredible 2cd re-issue of the Pavement classic 'Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain', Matador have finally seen fit to issue one of Pavement's most disputed albums, 1994's 'Wowee Zowee' with a wealth of bonus material. Again making up 2 jam packed discs, along with the original 18 track album we have 31 bonus tracks... that's a lot of Pavement and did I say it was great stuff too? Well I've always been a vocal supporter of Wowee Zowee, with tracks like 'Rattled by the Rush', 'At&T' and 'Fight this Generation' nestling well in-between short punk… Read more