Thursday, 23 August 2012
**Includes free CD copy of the album inside** Sterling sophomore album from Teengirl Fantasy, confidently shaking off the chillwave tag with a lush, proto-techno-pop-inspired suite for the legendary R&S label. While the haze of their much loved '7AM' album still glows softly in the background, their tastes have evidently matured and diverged on 'Tracer', seeking out more kinetic, body-sensitive strains of house and techno with a wide-eyed new age wonder. They've got some help from talented guests this time, too. Laurel Halo floats free in the sino-synth dream sequence of 'Mist Of Time' and P… Read more
Irresistible, anthemic girl-group pop from TEEN - sisters Teen, Katherine and Lizzie Lieberson, and their pal Jane Herships. There are elements of Flying Nun psych-pop, C86 jangle, Paisley Underground types like Rain Parade and Opal, Feelies-affiliated Hoboken groups like The Trypes and Yung Wu to their powerful, pared down sound, and it's hard not to be bowled over by the confidence and easy charm of it all. It has a nice DIY feel without being self-consciously lo-fi - there's real clarity to the production, and the melodies are really strong; it's damned refreshing to hear music like this without to … Read more
*‘Love Is Gonna Lift You Up’ now appears reworked by Bristol bass don Julio Bashmore - limited vinyl pressing* Culled from Bobby Womack’s mixed bag comeback ‘The Bravest Man In The Universe’, ‘Love Is Gonna Lift You Up’ now appears reworked by Bristol bass don Julio Bashmore, who proceeds to transform it into a low-end tickler in the best possible way. Slicing out just the best bits of Womack’s vocal, Bashmore layers it over the kind of stark 4/4 that’s become the club standard, but gives it a rumble that’d make even the most hard faced cynic crack a smile. Exeme… Read more
**Edition limited to 310 one-sided copies** As Philip Corner's calligraphy puts it on the back of the jacket, 'Coldwater Basin' is "...a home recording with microphone of water running from a faucet into a sink. New York City, the Lower East Side, sometime in the 60s". This is the 2nd part of the Fluxus figure's intimate recordings with Bill Fontana, spiriting us away to one of the most vitalised places and times in the world in a way which more prosaic music and recordings cannot. " "Remember? When you made these things at home, on the best equipment you or your other poor f… Read more
Samara Lubelski is one of the survivors of New York's 'weird folk' scene, but don't let that half-arsed tag put you off. Trust us, she's been a favourite in these offices since we first clapped hands around the gorgeous 'In The Valley' so it's a real treat to see her back on blistering form with 'Wavelength'. The disarmingly beautiful 60s-70s melodicism of her breakthrough 'Spectacular of Passages' is still spotlighted here, but everything sounds as if it's been chiseled to a fine, sharp point. It's hardly surprising that Lubelski's day job is recording, mixing and mastering at the legenda… Read more
*4LP Box Set edition limited to 1000 copies* "Sub Pop finally realise their goal of releasing feedtime (the ‘f’ is lowercase), a longtime staff favourite and a heavy influence on the label’s early artistes (notably Mudhoney). A vintage blues swagger via roots rock and the late 70s that didn't come from an established clique. A pure strain of rock and roll with a relentless mechanical propulsion. It was the perfect symbiosis of syncopation - minimalist rock that carried a thunderous atmosphere of reckless intoxication and intense personal pain but with a self-assured ea… Read more
**Thrill Jockey's anniversary reissue of a pop-wise post-rock classic pressed on high quality virgin vinyl and including download code redeemable from the label** "Following 1997's album The Fawn, The Sea And Cake took some time off to pursue their solo interests and returned three years later with 'Oui' in 2000. Recorded at the 24 track SOMA Studios, 'Oui' is a leaner, more pared down recording than 'The Fawn'. The band recorded straight to tape using contemporary technology, such as Pro Tools, for editing rather than manipulation. After laying down the ba… Read more
The Karen O-starring opener to Lynch's latest album is overhauled by danish Tech House goth Trentemøller, and the Visionquest quartet. Both sets of contributors present some of their finest remix work: Tech House goth Trentemøller amps the the original's dark Americana chug with big room, New Order-like Techno-Pop pomp, whereas Visionquest swagger into town with a slower, more sensual version riding slack stringed bass and subtly transforming into a deep and trippy Tech House throbber.
After a long period of inactivity, arch prankster Dan Deacon is back once again with the patriotically monikered 'America'. Fans of his particular brand of chirpy, crunching electronics will probably be pleased to know that nothing's really shifted this time around, and from the first few breaths of opener 'Guilford Avenue Bridge' it's clear his unsurpassed energy and playfulness is still very much the focus. An arsenal of wheezing electronics accompanies Deacon's almost song-like compositions, and it's hard not to get through the record without cracking a smile - if that's not a good thing then I don't know what is. Life affirming stuff, for sure!
Svelte European techno-pop-soul from the Gus Gus dude, served with Kaspar Bjørke, North Beach and Put My Hand In Your Pocket remixes. The supple bass flesh and narcotic atmosphere of the original is exactly what we'd imagine to be played at some private party on a Berlin rooftop where vests are mandatory. The Kaspar Bjørk remix adds some drier drums and nipped rearrangement, while Erik Ericksson - formerly of Derrick May's Fragile imprint - adopts his North Beach manner for a fresh but dusky shuffler and the mysterious Put My Hands In Your Pocket give it some shiftier energy prompted by nagging keys and swinging drums.
Thursday, 16 August 2012
Ariel Pink's major label debut 'Before Today' was something of a revelation. Operating under the 'Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti' alias and accompanied by a full band, this was the album that transformed the lo-fi pioneer from oddball bedroom tinkerer into a fully realized (and sellable) act. With this in mind, 'Mature Themes' might just be Pink's attempt at self-sabotage of a kind, as it finds the artist regressing to the kind of tape saturated weirdness we fell in love with right around when 'The Doldrums' dropped in 2004. That's not to say 'Mature Themes' isn't packed wi… Read more
The 3rd EP spawned from Vince Clarke (Yazoo/Erasure) and Martin L. Gore's (Depeche Mode) 'Ssss' LP arrives with LFO and Alva Noto remixes. The album's crossover appeal to more "experienced" rock, pop and dance arenas has earned it a wealth of support with the likes of The Quietus, who named it their #2 album of 2012 so far, and also from the likes of The Independent, Uncut and NME. The taut studio workout 'Aftermaths' appears on the A-side, putting a glitchy, modern spin on slightly dated Germanic Techno styles. LFO's remix is cooler, tucking the rhythm with a finer flex and swing un… Read more
**Includes download code redeemable from the label** Diving a similar route to his Barn Owl bandmate, Jon Porras, Evan Caminiti refines and channels the expansive visions of his gorgeous 'Night Dust' LP into the midnight bliss of 'Dreamless Sleep' for his solo Thrill Jockey debut. Perhaps accepting of the times, synths are far more prevalent across 'Dreamless Sleep', used to beautifully accentuate his somnambulant intent. As he states, the emphasis is on memory recollection, or rather how we struggle to recollect and organise our memories after the fact : "The first version of the album… Read more
**Individually numbered, hand-stamped edition of 200 copies only** Belfast's Rudimentary Records turn out two tracks of smooth and woozy post-dubstep pressure from T-Woc, backed with Bass Clef and Hungryghost remixes. 'Destino Cruel' steps out on a deft skank eased off with oily subs and fruity midi melodica, whilst 'The Fez' drops the subs some more on a stoned steppers vibe. Bass Clef's Version Excursion adds his signature trombone and some dusty mixing desk FX, for Hungryghost to redo 'Sendintheclowns' to a moody late '90s instruemntal Hip Hop feel reminding of Depth Charge or Kaman Leung.
**White Vinyl - Includes digital download voucher redeemable from the label** It’s been ages since we last heard from Dave Edwards’ Minotaur Shock, and to see him back with a brand new album is a treat we weren’t expecting. Back on original label Melodic (after a brief stint with 4AD!) Edwards is thankfully still crafting the sort of warming, home spun electro acoustic soundscapes that just don’t seem to exist any more. ‘Orchard’ is a record with bags and bags of heart, and while scene pioneers like Four Tet and Caribou have chopped, changed and ended up on another sound entirely, it’s fantast… Read more
Keeping their winning streak going, Not Not Fun hit us with the lo-lite brilliance of Afterhours, an act that emerged from influential LA radio show 'Field Recordings of the Afterhours'. Citing Mo Wax and Anime as influences you can see how Not Not Fun were wowed by Afterhours' sultry electronics - this is music as indebted to Vangelis and Jean Michelle Jarre as it is 80s pop, industrial and Blech-era Warp bleeps. While title track 'Sleepwalker' is firmly in Blade Runner territory, the highlight comes with 'Salt on the Wound', a low-slung number that manages to sound equal parts 1994 Aphex Twi… Read more
**Warm, melodic acid House grooves with signature 100% Silk charm** "Like the satisfying first sip of soda water spritz, Roland Tings's debut EP Milky Way bubbles, barms and beads through your body. Roland Tings is Rohan Newman, a Melbourne producer who, like recent rubies Holy Balm, Forces and Canyons, proves there's just more and more greatness behind the great and powerful Oz. Melodic acid trips soak in swish-ticky booms, like a rubber ball in space with endless bump and bounce. Sweet off his Japanese jaunt, speeding things down with Sapphire Slows shows, Newman's taste is pure effervescenc… Read more
High quality low-end bangers from the Pictures imprint, following the acclaimed ‘Moonlight’ from earlier in the year. This time Champs goes headfirst into the Berlin 3AM sound, juggling the bass with the kind of deep, resonant stabs that typifies the first city of minimal techno. There’s even an extra bonus for digital buyers, the swinging, dark and grooving ‘Mint 400’, which might just be the best cut on the EP.
Debut session of moody, stripped down Techno poundings, backed with Truncate and Tom Dicicco remixes. 'Klona' delivers the sort of cushioned kicks that leave internal bruising, coupled with droning atmospheres and tinny, resonant hi's in sleek form, while 'Tetroid' is dubbier, stepping off tight dub chords and shivering hi-hat patterns. Remixing, Truncate amps the industrial intent of 'Klona' with monotone, Birmingham-style repetition to hammer the point home, while Tom Dicicco reduces 'Tetroid' according to a darker, submerged agenda.
"Bill Fay is one of English music's best kept secrets. At the dawn of the 1970s he was a one-man song factory, with a piano that spilled liquid gold and a voice every bit the equal of Ray Davies, John Lennon, early Bowie, or Procol Harum's Gary Brooker. He made two solo albums and his LPs and reputation have grown to cult status. However, he never stopped writing; the music kept on coming. Now, in his late sixties, he has produced 'Life Is People', a brand new studio album that shows that his profoundly humanist vision is as strong as it ever was. There is universal acclaim that this could be… Read more
"The musical journeys of Carol Kleyn continue with the reissue of ‘Takin’ The Time’, her eclectic second album, originally released in 1980. Eight years after writing her first songs and dropping out of college to pursue her passion as a street musician, Carol was still following the love, making music and magic as she roamed free up and down the California coastline. The harp that Bobby Brown gave her back in 1971 was still her main axe whenever she played, and the primary instrument she used on her debut album ‘Love Has Made Me Stronger’. That record had been self-produced, and Carol sol… Read more
"The Glorious Dead is the band’s third full-length LP, and the follow-up to their acclaimed sophomore record The House That Dirt Built (2009). Self-produced and with their unique, raw eclecticism fully intact, it’s their most fully-realized record yet, mixing together soul, hip hop, rock, blues and funk into glorious, raucous party music that is equally full of heart. The first single from The Glorious Dead, “What Makes A Good Man,” follows in the footsteps of the band’s sleeper hit “How You Like Me Now” with its monumental chorus and crunching beats. But there’s more to the album than j… Read more
*Vinyl Edition includes a CD of the album and a 12"x12" printed lyric sheet inside* "The Unwinding Hours follow up their 2010 self-titled debut with the much anticipated album 'Afterlives'. Craig B and Iain Cook were formerly one half of Aereogramme, who split up in 2007. 'Afterlives' was written, performed and produced by The Unwinding Hours at Alucard Studios in Glasgow. 'Afterlives' features The Unwinding Hours' emotive brand of uplifting rock, influenced by the likes of Flaming Lips, Max Richter, The Cocteau Twins and even Laurie Anderson. Craig B's lyrics and heart-rending vocals … Read more
**Beach Fossils' John Peña returns to Captured Tracks with a keenly awaited debut album of breezy, sub-tropical Pop as Heavenly Beat - INCLUDES DIGITAL DOWNLOAD VOUCHER REDEEMABLE FROM THE LABEL**"Texas native John Pena began writing and performing under the Heavenly Beat guise in the latter part of 2009. John emerged from his bedroom after months of leisurely paced recording with a couple of tracks that would become his first release on Captured Tracks in the form of the 7 inch single "Suday". Being influenced by nothing in particular has payed off as many have had trouble pinning the soun… Read more
One for the retro-sounding-Nu-Disco cats; Bonar Bradberry and Damir Rogna share a split side backed with remixes by Ajello and Dead Rose Music Company. A-side Bonar heads up the elastic boogie of 'Stop And Look' featuring Steven Collazo - already a fave with Greg Wilson and Ashley Beedle - next to DRMC's spaced-out and string-heavy Balearic remix. Damir Rogna drops a Prince-like, 100% analogue instrumental boogie joint called 'Funk Devine' on the flip, duly frickled by "crazy" Italians Ajello to a camper, peacock agenda.
**Lead single from Jack Tatum aka Wild Nothing's follow-up to the cult pop classic 'Gemini', making the switch to Bella Union for his upcoming 'Nocturne' LP** "When asked about it in regards to 'Nocturne', Jack states: "I don't think it's going to be a secret to anyone that I care about pop music, but it's definitely more my sense of what pop music used to be or even what pop music would be in my ideal world." The new album 'Nocturne' is a window into Tatum's "ideal world" of pop music. 'Gemini' was written before there were Wild Nothing fans or even a live band; 'Nocturne' is different. With an … Read more
Wednesday, 15 August 2012
Two dotty dancefloor numbers from Stockport's most renowned tea-fancier. 'Be The Music' plays nice and simple with warm bum-end, crisp cowbells and watery chords. B-side 'Nervous Energy' is slightly edgier (roughly a smidgen), working out some swinging jazz-funk syncopation and a synthline that sounds like Drexciya having a laugh.
Thursday, 09 August 2012
Another curveball from the Not Not Fun camp, 'Human Fly' pits Wolf Eyes noisenik Nate Young against veteran garage punk drummer Dave Shettler and while their collaborative moniker might be a little zany, their brand of dancefloor-ready industrial/techno variations is tough to ignore. Veering from hazy EBM-flecked speed garage (we're not kidding, take a listen) on the title track to Chicago bleep on the zonked 'Cyber Rebels' there's a sense that Young and Shettler are not only well studied but also seem to be having fun in the process. 'Human Fly' never sounds like an exercise in genre t… Read more