Sep 092011
 

Hello,

Anyone reading these pages regularly will know that Julia Holter’s wonderful high concept album ‘Tragedy’ has completely floored us. With its mixture of dreamy vocals, canny string arrangements and cloud-like synth ambience it adds up to a beautiful, surreal and quietly stunning listening experience which reminds us of many great artists, but sounds quite unlike anyone out there. Only 300 copies have been pressed-up and by the time you read this we may well have sold out…

Another female talent with a feel for the dreamily surreal, Grouper presents reissues of her much sought-after works ‘Alien Observer’ and ‘Dream Loss’. You’ve been asking us for ages if they’re going to get a re-press and, well, here they are! If you’re not familiar, but love the likes of Cocteau Twins or This Mortal Coil, you should invest without delay.

Staying with grander themes, A Winged Victory For The Sullen’s eponymous entry is a richly emotive album of modern chamber music from Dustin O’Halloran and Stars Of The Lid’s Adam Wiltzie, with a little help from Hildur Gudnadottir and Peter Broderick. It’s as beautiful and restrained as you can imagine – available now on Vinyl, CD and Download formats.

Special request! Change di track! King Spinna, the new Reggae label curated by former Blood & Fire bods Bob Harding and Dom Sotgiu comes to life with a killah reissue of genuinely rare Bunny Lee dubs mixed at King Tubby’s. Weighty with versions of Johnny Clarke, Derrick Morgan, Cornell Campbell, John Holt and more, there’s only 1000 copies pressed up and they’re exclusively available up front, right here! Ya heard?!

Fans of lush, darker Americana and vinyl are treated to a new album from Carla Bozulich’s Evangelist outfit and Scott Tuma this week. The former’s ‘In Animal Tongue’ is a tense and dramatic chamber composition for dustbowls with vocals “like Joanna Nesome at the tail-end of a weeklong barbs-bender with Diamanda Galas”, and the latter is a slow, soothing soulful comedown, finally pressed on vinyl – 600 copies only!

For a more exotic sense of soul, do check Mississippi’s reissue of Mahmoud Ahmed’s intoxicatingly stylish Ethiopian Soul album ‘Jeguol Naw Betwa’. Like a smoother, slicker analog to Mulatau Astatke’s Ethio-jazz classics, Mahmoud’s sublimely ecstatic vocals and the super cool Ibex band create a luxurious, smoky atmosphere that can’t be ignored. Another ace from Mississippi, then!

If you’re seeking something further out we direct your attention straight to Golden Retriever and their first vinyl release, the spellbinding ‘Light Cones’ for Root Strata. They’ve consistently wowed us with tapes for Root Strata and NNA Tapes combining fluidly free Bass Clarinet with genuinely psychedelic modular synth work and this is probably their best yet, and on vinyl to boot. Fans of Emeralds or OPN’s furthest reaches need this one!

One more tip for you – check out the mighty Scuba Death album, an alias of last week’s headliner Ricardo Donoso and an absolutely intense trip through spectral tones and blustery, clangourous noise dynamics.

Big hitters are rolling on the ‘floor this week. Dominating the soundsystem, Pangaea fires off the KILLER HD Hi-Tech Ragga twyst of ‘Hex’ and ‘Fatalist’ for Hemlock, hitting the groove right where it matters, while Modeselektor and Objekt turn in highly anticipated remixes of Radiohead on a limited pressing. Lazer Sword’s Lando Kal makes big moves with his corking ‘Manuver’ session for the Direct Current series, including the wickedly forward ‘Run It’, and another pop-hit sampling ace on a split with London’s Stillcold Mystéres. Also, Tapes is back in style with a fresh-as-owt Digi-dub 7″ starring Vernon Maytone on his Selah Waddada label, and Martyn returns in a BIG way with the deadly, Technoid engineering of ‘Masks/Viper’ on Brainfeeder.

Also out this week: new releases from Aardvarck, Strategy, Barn Owl, Sun Araw, ASC, Terror Danjah, Hoya Hoya, R&S, Brackles, Pritch & Trim, Tempa, Emika vs Kyle Hall, Roll The Dice, Tarwater, Cant, BvDub, Machinefabriek, Rafael Anton Irisarri, Home Normal, Mogwai, PG Six, St Vicent, Mara Carlyle, Joe Seven, dbridge, Toro Y Moi, The Rapture, Braille, Plastikman, Tony Allen and muh much more.

Have yourselves a fabulous week…

Peace! nekerrs…xx

Albums of the Week



JULIA HOLTER
Tragedy (Limited Vinyl Edition)
ELECTRONIC
Leaving Records
LP // £14.99

*Strictly limited vinyl pressing (300 copies only) housed in custom Metallic Silver Jackets designed by: Jesselisa Moretti and hand-stamped, hand-stickered centre-labels* Quite honestly one of the best albums of any description you’ll hear in 2011…* Julia Holter is one of the most singular female artists we’ve encountered from the current groundswell of American indies. Leaving Records is possibly an unusual home for her latest, but then again, what’s “usual” about Sun Araw, Matthewdavid or Dem Hunger? Her high concept fifth release, ‘Tragedy’ is based on the Ancient Greek play ‘Hippolytus’, and mixes elements of synth work with droning neo-classical strings, cloud-like ambience and dreamily surreal vocals, almost like an amalgam of Robert Ashley, Maria Minerva and Laurie Anderson. There’s very little else out there right now with this sort of ambition, and most importantly, such a shockingly effective sense of wonder. A stunning, stunning album and an absolute must regardless of the kind of music you usually listen to. *Please note that this is a hand-assembled LP that comes in a custom jacket – even the centre labels have been hand-stamped and stickered. As a result the record has a handmade feel to it and should not be bought by those of you who like your pressings and sleeves flawless. Personally we find the whole thing adds to the charm (our copy has a centre label that kinda peels off, and the pressing certainly isn’t the cleanest we’ve ever heard ) – so if that’s not your bag then please steer clear. To the rest of you – enjoy!*



GROUPER
A I A : Alien Observer
FOLK / AMERICANA
Yellowelectric
LP // £17.99

*Second pressing – strictly limited copies* At this point you shouldn’t need any introduction to Liz Harris, better known to most as Grouper. She’s got a few albums and splits under her belt now, but chances are the first time you came across her music was the stunningy beautiful modern classic ‘Dragging A Dead Deer Up A Hill’, released back in 2008. It was the distinct and singular blend of shimmering dream-pop and tape-mangled noise that had just about anyone worth their salt in awe of her music, so you can imagine the hype surrounding this brand new record. Ah, but then it’s not only one record is it? A I A is two full forty minute full-lengths, and rather than a traditional double, these are two very distinct albums, each one with its own focus and style. ‘Alien Observer’ might be the more outwardly song-based of the two records, and while the songs aren’t necessarily as clearly defined as those on ‘Dragging A Dead Deer Up A Hill’, they slowly and pointedly push up through Liz’s familiar gaseous layers of drone. Her distinct, breathy tones are initially barely audible over the mudded harmonies, starting life as ghostly echoes, but the further you get into each track the more clearly defined shapes start to emerge. It’s music that no doubt changes with each listen and listener – you’re left to fill in the gaps, and while we can hear the heaving breaths of the Cocteau Twins, The Red House Painters and This Mortal Coil wrenching themselves from the subconscious, you would probably come to a different conclusion altogether. ‘Alien Observer’ is a markedly different record from its predecessor, and comes across as a deeply thoughtful blend of the harrowing, sincere experiments of Liz’s early records and the sort of songwriting that lodged ‘Heavy Water’ in our collective memory back in 2008. Needless to say, this album and its duskier ally ‘Dream Loss’ are likely to set high water mark for this kind of thing in 2011 – Unmissable doesn’t even come close.



GROUPER
A I A : Dream Loss
FOLK / AMERICANA
Yellowelectric
LP // £17.99

*Second pressing – strictly limited copies* Most artists would struggle to put one album of the quality Liz Harris exhibited on ‘Alien Observer’ (the first part of her A I A double-header, also out now) but somehow she’s managed to churn out a full two forty minute albums each as breathtaking as the last. ‘Dream Loss’ is the murkier, more grimy counterpart to ‘Alien Observer’s distant pop and travels still further into Liz’s astral tape haze and noisy, vocal ambience. While the record might begin unassumingly enough with the downplayed ‘Dragging the Streets’, ‘I Saw A Ray’ greets us with a volcanic slither of noise and calloused harmony. This deeply buried melancholy transports us through the album, and while the noise subsides to make way for Liz’s familiar layered vocal loops and subtle, withdrawn songs, the character and texture is still one of distortion and fragmentation as opposed to the occasional overt prettiness exhibited on ‘Alien Observer’. As Liz mentioned in the run-up to this ambitious double release, the albums are two very separate works, yet somehow feed off eachother when heard together. To hear one without the other is to only hear a single element of the whole piece – ‘Dream Loss’ adds the darkness, and in sinking deep into it we get a whole new understanding for ‘Alien Observer’. It’s a harrowing trip, but one laced with beauty, restraint and that unquantifiable magic that seems to grace mostly anything Liz Harris touches. Just buy it; you won’t be disappointed.



A WINGED VICTORY FOR THE SULLEN
A Winged Victory for the Sullen
HOME LISTENING / MODERN CLASSICAL / AMBIENT
ERASED TAPES
LP // £14.99

We were always going to dig a band called ‘A Winged Victory For The Sullen’, but we’re pleased to find that their music’s actually very special too. It’s a collaboration between composer Dustin O’Halloran and Stars Of The Lid’s Adam Wiltzie, bolstered by contributions from Hildur Gudnadottir and Peter Broderick, and if you’re familiar of the past work of all these sizeable talents then you’ll have an idea of what to expect from the album: richly emotive chamber music with a supremely advanced grasp of space and atmosphere. ‘We Played Some Open Chords’ is the arresting opener, piano and string reverberations melting together imperceptibly before your very ears; ‘Requiem For The Static King’ is a fittingly beautiful elegy for the late Mark Linkous of Sparklehorse, and sure enough it seems to tremble with its own terrible sense of loss. We can’t think of many albums of recent times that have so skilfully balanced droning minimalism with open, expressive melody; the results are completely bewitching, swelling to a near-symphonic climax in ‘Steep Hills Of Vicodin Tears’. This is a grief-stricken album, make no mistake, but the sheer artistry at work makes it a resoundingly uplifting listen.



SCUBA DEATH
Demon Seed
DARK AMBIENT / DRONE / METAL
SEMATA PRODUCTIONS
LP // £14.99

*Screen-printed fold over sleeve with 12″x12″ insert* Hot on the heels of his sly synth work for Digitalis, Ricardo Donoso reappears in his concrète/noise guise, Scuba Death. ‘Demon Seed’ appears on vinyl for the time after a cassette release on Massachusetts-based Ydlmier cassette label, and is clearly far removed from the Goan Trance moire of ‘Progress Chance’. It’s more concerned with hi-pitched spectral tones and blustery, clangourous noise dynamics, probably best compared with something like John Duncan’s ‘The Nazca Transmissions’ for Planam or even reminding of early Oramic experiments. Each side plays like the sonic document of an extended seancé, the first ‘Dripsweat’ channelling and capturing what could a tormented/tormenting poltergeist swooping and convulsing in a hollow church hall, spitting out resonant gasps of harsh noise while masonry creaks and peripheral apparitions swirl with an ominous, distant sense of space. The other, ‘Ex-Dream’ is more drone based, with sustained and subdued tones spread thinly like dry ice as acousmatic spectres clank water pipes and rogue radio waves criss cross the stereo field. Creepy sh*t, best heard with the lights off on long, cold lonely nights for full effect. Don’t miss!



BUNNY LEE & THE AGGROVATORS
Dub Will Change Your Mind
DUB / REGGAE
KING SPINNA
LP // £14.99

**Exclusive upfront reissue of rare Bunny Lee Dubs mixed at King Tubby’s. Limited edition of 1000 pressed on 160g vinyl!** King Spinna is a new Reggae label administered by Bob Harding and Dom Sotgiu, two widely respected dub heads who formerly took care of day-to-day business at the world renowned Blood & Fire label for over a decade. Their first release is a collection of genuine rarities produced by Bunny Lee at King Tubby’s studio and never compiled on album before, featuring 14 cuts which even seasoned Dubheads never knew existed. The cornerstone of the album is 4 heavyweight Dub versions of little known Derrick Morgan tracks, ‘Teach My daughter’, ‘Rasta Nah Fear’, ‘Under Heavy Manners’ and ‘Pick Out of Nonsense’, plus a duet with Johnny Clarke entitled ‘Behold’. Add this to a brace of dubs to Ronnie Davis tunes ‘Good News’ and ‘Good Life’, plus versions of Cornell Campbell’s ‘Oh Jah Forgive Me’ and ‘One And Only Lover’, and versions of tracks by Jackie Edwards, Johnny Clarke, John Holt and Joy White, and you’ve got one of the most crucial Dub Reggae reissues of the year. Mastering by Kevin Metcalfe at Soundmasters, London. Highly Recommended!



EVANGELISTA
In Animal Tongue
INDIE / ROCK / ALTERNATIVE
Constellation
CD // £10.99

Carla Bozulich’s mighty Evangelista return with what might well be a career-best album, inspired by “the forces of rocks, evolution, geology, drugs, boxing, everything-ology and dead stuff that makes the dirt and cement and the trees grow.” Refusing to rock out as we all know they can, on In Animal Tongue Evangelista’s brute force is more a threat or an implication than a demonstrable reality, but you feel it crushing you all the same – we can’t remember the last time we heard an album this tense, this fraught, this dramatic. It’s also disarmingly beautiful, Bozulich’s vocals hitting new heights of pained expressionism, like Joanna Newsom at the tail-end of a weeklong barbs-bender with Diamanda Galas, her elegantly reverbed guitar framed by carefully picked-out chamber instrumentation, provided by a number of notable guests including San Mickens, Shahzad Ismaily, John Eichenseer, Francesco Guerri, Sophie Trudeau and Thierry Amar. The almost gothic title track is just incredible, cracked harmonies offering a warning, or perhaps a curse, across a dustbowl backdrop of woodwind, earthy percussion and levitating string drones; other numbers range from the severely minimalist to the quasi-symphonic, variously recalling the Bad Seeds, A Winged Victory For The Sullen and Tindersticks’ extraordinary film scores for Claire Denis. This is simply one of the lushest, most compelling and stunningly well-produced visions of dark Americana we’ve encountered in recent years.



MAHMOUD AHMED
Jeguol Naw Betwa
WORLD
MISSISSIPPI
LP // £13.99

*Reissue of a 1978 self released LP by one of the greatest Ethiopian vocalists of all time* Cocoa butter-slick soul album from Mahmoud Ahmed, reissued for the first time on any format by the venerable Mississippi Records. ‘Jeguol Naw Betwa’ captures the Ethiopian vocal legend in stunning form at the end of the ‘golden age’ of Ethiopian urban music, showcasing a style distinctly more soul-based than the jazzy funk of say, Mulatau Astatke, but obviously not without its similarities to the renowned composer. It was originally self-released in 1978 and features Mahmoud more-than-ably backed by The Ibex Band, a bunch of regular players on the Ethiopiques series who possess some of the deadliest instrumental instincts imaginable, here playing it intoxicatingly cool and and seductively snakey under transcendent, sublimely ecstatic vocals. Like any of the other instalments on the Ethiopiques series it’s nigh on impossible to perfectly sum up the atmosphere these records create until the needle drops and you’re instantly transported to a smoky nightspot on the horn of Africa 40 years ago, but checking the samples will help somewhat. You imagine the condition of the original, so the remastering by Timothy Stollenwork is second-to-none, and the old-school, full colour, tip-on jacket is another bonus.



GOLDEN RETRIEVER
Light Cones
ELECTRONIC
Root Strata
LP // £12.99

*Ships Monday* Root Strata present the first vinyl release of compelling and otherworldly electro-acoustic improvisation from the adventurous Golden retriever duo. Comprising Jonathan Sielaff’s effected Bass Clarinet and Matt Carlson’s analog modular synth and digital delay, the duo have thus far stood far out from the kosmische masses with their previous CDrs and cassettes including a beautiful eponymous debut on Root Strata and a stunner for NNA Tapes, but we’d have to say this is the some of the best stuff we’ve heard from them yet. A-side ‘Light Cones’ is an unpredictable wormholer reaching from lysergic, almost religious chords into a vivid alien soundscape of chaotic dissonance, oceanic waves of subbass and free-soaring lines of abstract melody. The flipside ‘Observer’ starts more reserved, unfurling a widescreen view of Carlson’s stunning synth colours and spine-tingling streams of instinctive playing from Sielaff, leading to an ecstatic closing sequence of pure, exalted cosmic freedom which should leave you floored and asking for more. A righteous, life-affirming pick for anyone looking to travel further than their Emeralds or Oneohtrix records will allow. Highly recommended



SCOTT TUMA
Not For Nobody
DARK AMBIENT / DRONE / METAL
IMMUNE
LP // £13.99

**First ever vinyl pressing of this sumptuous, comforting side from the Americana soul wanderer. Includes free download code redeemable from the label. 600 copies only** Double negatives aside, this album by Boxhead Ensemble and Zelienople associate Scott Tuma is an incredibly beautiful affair, tying together various string-based narratives, often assembled from melodic and uncomplicated acoustic guitar etudes like ‘Tiktaalik’ and ‘Moccasoclea’. These aren’t your Takoma-style open-tuned disclosures however, and Tuma is evidently more concerned with song structure than technical excellence. ‘Fishen’ shows early signs of Tuma looking beyond his principal instrument, bolstering a central guitar line with less easily identifiable instrumentation, resulting in a lovely soundtrack-like piece. Elsewhere, ‘Eloper’ and ‘Cimbal’ make drone-scaping sound fun, dispensing with the indigestible harmonies and overtones that come packaged with that sort of thing in favour of evocative, accessible short-form departures from more conventional instrumentals. ‘Loversrock1’ is about as far away from normality – and Studio One for that matter – as it gets. The song is constituted from formless discord and screeching violin drones, yet somehow comes together in an enticingly beautiful mess. Highly Recommended.

Singles of the Week



PANGAEA
Hex / Fatalist
DUBSTEP / GRIME / FUNKY
Hemlock Recordings
12″ // £6.99

Ultra-crisp, hard-bodied future flexes from Pangaea, dropping one of his deadliest singles to date. The man’s hardly known for his high work rate, releasing only a handful of records since he started in 2008, but he’s evidently born of a rare breed who exert exacting quality control over their music, hence one of the most definitive catalogues in the modern Bass music canon. Disciplined, and distinctively rooted rhythmic control coupled with the keenest production values keep his tracks timelessly futurist, and no more so than ‘Hex’, a tautly syncopated and wickedly weighty ragga-jungle update infused with the nattiest chat and sci-fi dread synths to invigorating standards. The flip to this is ‘Fatalist’, an equally robust and dutty swinger, keeping the pressure locked deeper in the pocket with shredding drum shuffles and an LFO tweaked bassline begging for badman/gyal behaviour on the ‘floor. Killer.



RADIOHEAD
Good Evening Mrs Magpie (Modeselektor RMX) / Bloom (Objekt RMX)
TECHNO / HOUSE
XL
12″ // £7.99

Radiohead’s favourite party unit, Modeselektor and Berlin’s rising star Objekt, remix tracks from ‘The King Of Limbs’. This is the one many of you have been waiting for. A-side, MDLKTR run ‘Good Evening Mr Magpie’ with a Funky-infected Technoid tilt full of deftly stuttered vocals and crowd-igniting peaks. Flipside the versatile Objekt jams on a ruder acidic swing, working off centre bass bumps and squirmy 303 with efficient motor control. Aces.



LANDO KAL
Maneuver
DUBSTEP / GRIME / FUNKY
Rush Hour
12″ // £7.99

**Transparent Vinyl – Limited Copies** Unmissable, advanced electronic funk from one half of Bay Area Hip Hop duo Lazer Sword, Lando Kal. He was last spotted rocking a stush cybersoul look on the ‘Further/Time Out’ 12″ for Hotflush, and this one is equally nexx level. Frontside is the Robin S-referencing, Garage-swinging killer ‘Maneuver’, built from slydin’, scissoring drum syncopations cut with ‘ardcore edits and bold synth work for guaranteed dancefloor impact. Flipside is the stunning ‘Run It’, a sure-shot Electro/R&B-special for the future B-Boys. Recommended!



LANDO KAL / STILLCOLD MYSTERES
Rhythm (Version) / Opinwide
DUBSTEP / GRIME / FUNKY
STILLCOLD RECORDS
12″ // £6.99

*Hand-stamped white label* Fresh from wrecking us with that Electroid monster for Rush Hour, Lando Kal slices up ‘Rhythm Of The Night’ on a wicked 808 tip for Stillcold. The first in their white label series features the Lazer Sword dude ripping the main motif over cracked woodblocks and busy bass hits somewhere between Girl Unit-style Hip Hop rave and juke muzik, strictly for the dance. Flipside Stillcold’s Mystéres project debuts with an iced fusion of hypercolour boogie swing and throbbing Techno, and most importantly, it works. Mastered at Berlin’s D&M for optimal impact.



VERNON MAYTONE
Old Pan Sound
DUB / REGGAE
Selah Wadada
7″ // £5.99

Woiii!!! 8-Bit digital murderation from Tapes on his ace label, Selah Waddada! Legendary JA vocalist Vernon Maytone of the Maytones voices ‘Old Pan Sound’ on the A-side in a perfect balance of classic, dulcet tone and biting, computerised riddimism, importantly not just a straight recreation of old sound, but a really fresh feeling update. The riddim itself is the most developed, dynamic and sharpest in Tapes arsenal, rockin’ a driving dancehall drum pattern and nuttiest, zig-zagging arcade sounds. Cut loud and crisp, it’s one you need!



MARTYN
Masks / Viper
TECHNO / HOUSE
Brainfeeder
12″ // £4.99

Eagerly anticipated return for Martyn, heralding his upcoming sophomore album on Brainfeeder. ‘Masks’ is suave, dynamic but rude-as-f*ck steppers’ house, precision engineered to rough up dancefloors without breaking a sweat – istening to the pinched chords and pistoning, minimal drum-funk on this badboy makes pretty much all club gear we’ve heard this year sound a wee bit sluggish and toothless. ‘Viper’ appears in two versions: a kickless but still plenty ‘floor-wrecking version that sound like Carl Craig with some post-junglist attitude, and then the trackier London Arches Edit. On the latter Martyn pays tribute to the ravers of SE1 with a radged-up 4/4 banger: the riffage is rudimentary, but the arrangement is complex and perfectly weight-distributed, excruciating tension and exquisite release wrought out of canny percussion edits, hectoring bleeps, low-flying strings and a groove as grimy as a club’s toilet floor come 6am. Potent stuff.

 

This week’s releases in full!
sorted by genre | See all

 

BASIC CHANNEL / DUB TECHNO
See all
STRATEGY
Super Awareness Is Fruit
Under The Spire
LP // £10.99

*Limited edition of 200 copies on clear vinyl. One 20-minute, deeply layered and psyched-out dub track from Paul Dickow’s Strategy project split over two sides* Super Awareness Is Fruit comes as a welcome expansion of the multilayered ambiences that made up Dickow’s Music For Lamping long-player, tackling the contemporary drone-scape with an agenda that eschews minimalist convention in favour of a sparkling, densely populated narrative full of dissolved acoustic timbres,…

 

BEATS / DOWNTEMPO / BOOGIE
See all
AARDVARCK
Anti Concept EP
EAT CONCRETE
12″ // £7.99

**LIMITED WHITE VINYL** Killer EP sampler for what looks to be a very impressive new album from Aardvarck for Eat Concrete. The ‘Anti Concept’ EP is a free flowing mesh of ideas borrowed from Detroit Techno, ambient electronics and Hip Hop, with a refreshingly unique approach from the ever-intriguing Aardvarck. As to be expected, the production values are seriously heavyweight, but it’s the sense of restraint and ultra-spacious atmospheres that…
O1O (AKA AYBEE)
Futurespective
FURTHER RECORDS
LP // £9.99

*Screen-printed jacket* Deepblak’s Aybee sets out seven tracks in downbeat Hip Hop mode as O1O, following some ace Deep House sessions. There’s some warm and fluid Drexciyan vibes flowing in these tracks, layering live and instinctive keys and synths over loping, loungey Californian head-nod beats with an emphasis on low-lit soul feelings.
BEN BUTLER & MOUSEPAD
Gif N Run EP
MUSIQUE LARGE
12″ // £6.99

Choppy, electroid funk from Ben Butler & Mousepad, backed with remixes from Mesak, Shigeto and Brokenchord. The duo of Joe Howe and Bastien Hagedorn have previous dabbled with Skweee for Dødpop and starnger electronic pop for Loaf, but these tracks find them shredding beats somewhere between Mr Oizo and Debruit. The remixes touch on jerky HipHop from Shigeto, intricate rhythm re-programming from Brokenchord and a charming Finnish funk from Mesak….
THE SOURCE (SOOM T & DISRUPT)
What Have I Done?
RENEGADE MASTERS
12″ // £6.99

Nutty chiptune session from Soom-T and Disrupt on some hybrid Dancehall/Synth-Wave tip, backed with remixes from Patric Catani and An-Ten-Nae. ‘The Source’ originals borrow a lead lick from the ‘Target Renegade’ soundtrack written by computer game composer Gari Biasillo in 1988, adding extra bass layers and Soom’s punkishly powerful vocals, while San Fran’s An-Ten-Nae cools it for a slower, sludgy bogle and Catani steers into rugged bashment. A mad start…

 

DARK AMBIENT / DRONE / METAL
See all
SCUBA DEATH
Demon Seed
SEMATA PRODUCTIONS
LP // £14.99

*Screen-printed fold over sleeve with 12″x12″ insert* Hot on the heels of his sly synth work for Digitalis, Ricardo Donoso reappears in his concrète/noise guise, Scuba Death. ‘Demon Seed’ appears on vinyl for the time after a cassette release on Massachusetts-based Ydlmier cassette label, and is clearly far removed from the Goan Trance moire of ‘Progress Chance’. It’s more concerned with hi-pitched spectral tones and blustery, clangourous noise dynamics, probably…
SCOTT TUMA
Not For Nobody
IMMUNE
LP // £13.99

**First ever vinyl pressing of this sumptuous, comforting side from the Americana soul wanderer. Includes free download code redeemable from the label. 600 copies only** Double negatives aside, this album by Boxhead Ensemble and Zelienople associate Scott Tuma is an incredibly beautiful affair, tying together various string-based narratives, often assembled from melodic and uncomplicated acoustic guitar etudes like ‘Tiktaalik’ and ‘Moccasoclea’. These aren’t your Takoma-style open-tuned disclosures however, and Tuma…
BARN OWL
Lost In The Glare
Thrill Jockey
LP // £11.49

**Limited edition of 1500 pressed on 150g vinyl with download code redeemable from the label** ‘Lost In The Glare’ is Barn Owl’s 2nd album for Thrill Jockey, following a superb 12″ earlier this year. Most notably they’ve added drummer Jacob Felix Heule to the line-up to anchor their majestic sound with a solemnly slow, purposeful pacing closer to the like-minded Om or Earth on a handful of tracks. Their compositions…
BARN OWL
Lost In The Glare
Thrill Jockey
CD // £11.99

‘Lost In The Glare’ is Barn Owl’s 2nd album for Thrill Jockey, following a superb 12″ earlier this year. Most notably they’ve added drummer Jacob Felix Heule to the line-up to anchor their majestic sound with a solemnly slow, purposeful pacing closer to the like-minded Om or Earth on a handful of tracks. Their compositions also feel more concise, still evocative of sprawling landscapes and ranging topographies, but with a…
ETERNAL TAPESTRY & SUN ARAW
Night Gallery
Thrill Jockey
LP // £12.99

Raw but focussed, searching psychedelia from two beautifully attuned producers on Thrill Jockey. They first met as participants of NNF’s Neon Commune festival in 2007, a label with whom they both share a great affinity, working deeper into those mutual similarities through four tracks oscillating between head-lolling ambient psych and more motorik krautrock. The Dub influence of Sun Araw is largely left at home in favour of a more linear…
ETERNAL TAPESTRY & SUN ARAW
Night Gallery
Thrill Jockey
CD // £9.99

Raw but focussed, searching psychedelia from two beautifully attuned producers on Thrill Jockey. They first met as participants of NNF’s Neon Commune festival in 2007, a label with whom they both share a great affinity, working deeper into those mutual similarities through four tracks oscillating between head-lolling ambient psych and more motorik krautrock. The Dub influence of Sun Araw is largely left at home in favour of a more linear…
RUINS
1986-1992
Skin Graft
CD // £11.99

“Japan’s drum(s) and bass duo RUINS are renowned around the globe for their mindbendingly fast and complex hyper-progressive rock onslaught. Ruins are masters of quick-change, stop/start tempos, time-signatures and textures. Hardcore, psych, speed metal, art rock, funk- all are elements incorporated into their music, but what comes out is irrefutably original. Unquestionably RUINS. On “1986-1992”, we unearth the band’s earliest material, much of which is long out of print, never…
ANGELA VALID
Angela Valid LP
WORLD IN WINTER RECORDINGS
LP // £12.99

The Angela Valid quartet present their 2nd solo release of abstracted, finely layered and textured improv for World In Winter. Their quietly engaged sound hints at elements of neo-classical music, post-rock and pastoral, folksy electronica, but they’re only traces, dispersed as feelings and shrewd signposts over three extended pieces of instinctive group playing. Formerly a duo of Iain Chambers and Alex Jones for their early releases, which were noticed by…
WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM
Celestial Lineage
Southern Lord Recordings
CD // £10.99

Absolutely spirit-crushing, mournful avant-metal from Wolves In The Throne Room, back on Southern Lord. The band have always been superior operators in the post-black metal universe, creating moody sound-worlds that are rich in detail without shirking from the violence and intensity that’s the rightful bedrock of metal; navigating the earth-bound and the ethereal with real class. Crucially, though, they also have a shamelessly proggy sense of grandeur and grandiosity: witness…
CONCERN
Living Wage
DIGITALIS
Cassette // £6.99

*Edition of 125 copies for the world* Lushly hypnagogic, heavy lidded tape manipulations of piano and guitar by the Concern. He explains it best himself “The ‘Living Wage’ EP was recorded over a few monring following 12 hour graveyard shifts as a taxi driver, in a very weary and warm state of mind while adjusting to a new sleep schedule. Each piece was recorded live and manipulated using spring reverb,…

 

DISCO / EDITS / FUNK
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GLOWING PALMS / RUF DUG
Ruf Kutz 3
RUF KUTZ
12″ // £6.99

*One-off pressing of 250 hand-stamped white labels* Burning Boogie edit heat from Manchester’s Ruf Dug, a resident at monthly drench, Wet Play, plus help from his pal and RBMA’s Social Monster, Glowing Palms. A-side is Glowing Palms’ ‘I Don’t Wanna Come Daaaan’, “Chopped And screwed electro Boogie For double droppers across the galaxy”, and Ruf Dug’s ‘Choppin Tom’, “Acoustic disco cut from Ruffy’s collection with super extra tweak-bonus middle section”….
STONE COAL WHITE
Stone Coal White LP
Cali Tex
LP // £12.99

*Ruggedly heavy card jacket. Built to last as long as the music.* “The first offering from DJ Shadow’s Cali-Tex imprint in over three and a half years features Dayton, Ohio’s Stone Coal White. Perhaps the most underground act in a scene that was already vastly subterranean, bassist Melvin Payne, guitarist Tommy Mundy, and drummer Joey ‘Lobo’ Rodrick released their sound from the deepest chasm of the black experience. channeling Vietnam…
MENAHAN STREET BAND / CHARLES BRADLEY
No Time For Dreaming: The Instrumentals
DUNHAM
LP // £13.99

*12 coolly soulful instrumentals played by the Menahan Street Band.* From Daptone HQ – “Daptone Family, your PRAYERS have been ANSWERED! Charles Bradley “No Time for Dreaing” – The Instrumentals is HERE! Never before has the Daptone H.Q. experienced such a unanimous outcry for instrumental satisfaction. We’re talking interplanetary, people. I believe our first request came in just minutes after Charels Bradley’s international, smash-hit debut left the pressing plant. A…
THE HANKINS MOUNTAINEERS
White White Spider Bite
STD PRODUCTIONS
LP // £18.99

*Edition of 100 in hand screen printed sleeve* STD is the boutique imprint for outré disco edits collected by Rub-N-Tug’s Thomas Bullock. Their first check-up is a crazy hatchet job from The Hankins Mountaineers, who might well be Bullock himself but we couldn’t confirm either way. Frontside is is a brilliantly scuzzy edit of The Fall’s ‘Totally Wired’ which sounds like the needle is skipping, but in the best way…

 

DUB / REGGAE
See all
BUNNY LEE & THE AGGROVATORS
Dub Will Change Your Mind
KING SPINNA
LP // £14.99

**Exclusive upfront reissue of rare Bunny Lee Dubs mixed at King Tubby’s. Limited edition of 1000 pressed on 160g vinyl!** King Spinna is a new Reggae label administered by Bob Harding and Dom Sotgiu, two widely respected dub heads who formerly took care of day-to-day business at the world renowned Blood & Fire label for over a decade. Their first release is a collection of genuine rarities produced by Bunny…
VERNON MAYTONE
Old Pan Sound
Selah Wadada
7″ // £5.99

Woiii!!! 8-Bit digital murderation from Tapes on his ace label, Selah Waddada! Legendary JA vocalist Vernon Maytone of the Maytones voices ‘Old Pan Sound’ on the A-side in a perfect balance of classic, dulcet tone and biting, computerised riddimism, importantly not just a straight recreation of old sound, but a really fresh feeling update. The riddim itself is the most developed, dynamic and sharpest in Tapes arsenal, rockin’ a driving…
GRACE JONES
Hurricane / Dub
Wall Of Sound
2CD // £9.99

*Reissued with a bonus, Hi-Tech dubbed version by original ‘Hurricane’ producer Ivor Guest* With her first new album in four years, and quite easily her best in much longer, Grace Jones makes a welcome return to her musical roots with a new set for Wall Of Sound. Reuniting her with the original riddim twins Sly & Robbie is a genius move, giving the album a head start from the beginning…
LITTLE ROY
Battle For Seattle
ARK
LP // £13.49

“Little Roy was born in Witfield Town, Kingston, Jamaica. He launched his career in the rocksteady age, recording singles for Coxone Dodd, Prince Buster and Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, who brought in The Wailers to help out on the session. ‘Battle For Seattle’ is ten Nirvana songs covered by Little Roy in a reggae style, picked carefully from Nirvana’s four studio albums and singles.”
LITTLE ROY
Battle For Seattle
ARK
CD // £10.49

“Little Roy was born in Witfield Town, Kingston, Jamaica. He launched his career in the rocksteady age, recording singles for Coxone Dodd, Prince Buster and Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, who brought in The Wailers to help out on the session. ‘Battle For Seattle’ is ten Nirvana songs covered by Little Roy in a reggae style, picked carefully from Nirvana’s four studio albums and singles.”

 

DUBSTEP / GRIME / FUNKY
See all
PANGAEA
Hex / Fatalist
Hemlock Recordings
12″ // £6.99

Ultra-crisp, hard-bodied future flexes from Pangaea, dropping one of his deadliest singles to date. The man’s hardly known for his high work rate, releasing only a handful of records since he started in 2008, but he’s evidently born of a rare breed who exert exacting quality control over their music, hence one of the most definitive catalogues in the modern Bass music canon. Disciplined, and distinctively rooted rhythmic control coupled…
LANDO KAL
Maneuver
Rush Hour
12″ // £7.99

**Transparent Vinyl – Limited Copies** Unmissable, advanced electronic funk from one half of Bay Area Hip Hop duo Lazer Sword, Lando Kal. He was last spotted rocking a stush cybersoul look on the ‘Further/Time Out’ 12″ for Hotflush, and this one is equally nexx level. Frontside is the Robin S-referencing, Garage-swinging killer ‘Maneuver’, built from slydin’, scissoring drum syncopations cut with ‘ardcore edits and bold synth work for guaranteed dancefloor…
LANDO KAL / STILLCOLD MYSTERES
Rhythm (Version) / Opinwide
STILLCOLD RECORDS
12″ // £6.99

*Hand-stamped white label* Fresh from wrecking us with that Electroid monster for Rush Hour, Lando Kal slices up ‘Rhythm Of The Night’ on a wicked 808 tip for Stillcold. The first in their white label series features the Lazer Sword dude ripping the main motif over cracked woodblocks and busy bass hits somewhere between Girl Unit-style Hip Hop rave and juke muzik, strictly for the dance. Flipside Stillcold’s Mystéres project…
ASC
3rd Eye / Torque / Ubik
BLKND
12″ // £5.99

ASC serves his second helpig for Blackout’s BLKND series. A-side squares off the HipHop/D&B fusion of ‘3rd Eye’, a lugubrious neck-snapper with hard-edged synths and drums. Flipside is ‘Torque’, a very late ’90s/early ’00s IDM production with overdriven percussion and proggy melodies, next to the equally archaic ‘Ubik’.
TERROR DANJAH
Full Attention
Hardrive
12″ // £5.99

Hyper-crafty rave-pop futurism from the top Grime dog, backed with Roska remix. Danjah’s at his most dextrous for ‘Full Attention’, working to a restless agenda of tense breakbeats edits, full blown string orchestrations and dutty riddim switches for Ruby Lee’s soul achin’ vocal. Roska’s mix is a cooler Funky ride, but sounds pedestrian next to the original. If you can’t handle the vocal and need an injection of narstiness, check…
IKONIKA / OM UNIT / MONKY
Hoya:Hoya Vol.3
Hoya:hoya
12″ // £6.49

The latest EP from Manchester’s estimable Hoya:Hoya crew features the talents of Ikonika, Om Unit and Monky, all taking the opportunity to go out on a limb and serve up something really fresh. Ikonika pays tribute to, er, ‘Fleas’ with a midnight electro stepper, with bolshy but blue synth arpeggios busting loose of a tom-heavy rhythm somewhere between UKF and an 80s cop movie soundtrack – think Moroder by way…
CLOUD BOAT
Lions On The Beach
R&S Records
10″ // £6.99

R&S continues to delve into the bass-heavy unknown on its next single release, looking hard for the next James Blake perhaps? To be fair Cloud Boat aka Tom Clark is his own man and ‘Lions On The Beach’ is a strong statement of intent, its punchy 2-step rhythm sheathed in shimmering guitars and indistinct vocal swoons. Nice. ‘Bastion’ is out-and-out pop music with the vocals foregrounded, undeniably recalling Blake’s brand…
BRACKLES
Rinse Presents: Brackles 12 inch Number One
Rinse
12″ // £4.99

Rinse’s infamous all-style specialist has been noticeably absent on the production front in 2011, but makes up for it with two kinkily tucked rollers. ‘Spider’ as the names suggests, is all insectoid and skittery drum syncopation, but skillfully anchored by sparing bass stabs. ‘Take Me Home’ is more on a tropical tip, swaying to warmest synth swoons and mango-sweet female vocal while the rhythm is bustling but expertly held back…
MZ BRATT / BOK BOK / ROYAL T
Selecta Remixes
Hardrive
12″ // £5.99

Former Aftershock mistress, Mz Bratt comes in for the remix treatment. Bok Bok’s on a staggered Grime-Tech swagger with his Sluggin’ remix, while Royal T cuts to the chase with a rompin’, road-ready Grime roller next Redlight’s original Junglist riddim. Includes Acapella for the DJs.
PRITCH & TRIM
Stereotype
Planet Mu
12″ // £5.49

One of the UK’s most important producers links with one of Grime’s most notorious characters for the cheekiest cut on Planet Mu this year. ‘Stereotype’ features Trim running inimitable riddles and road references over a jaunty hiphop beat from Africa Hitech’s Mark Pritchard which could have plausibly soundtracked the soapiest capers of Robin Askwith, well, maybe in a smoked-out parallel dimension? On a more minimal dancehall flex, ‘Kiss My Arse’…
RAFFERTIE
Visual Acuity
Ninja Tune
12″ // £5.99

Over the last 2 years Raffertie has emerged as an unquantifiable element with the UK Bass/electronic sphere. After releases for Planet Mu and Black Acre’s Special Branch, ‘Visual Acuity’ is his first release since completing a degree in classical music composition in 2010. It’s a clear step forward from the ADHD rave styles of his previous form, still manic but with an overriding sense of control. ‘Visual Acuity’ sets the…
BIOME
Space
BLACK BOX
12″ // £5.99

Black Box traverse the shadows with a moody Dubstep cut from Manchester’s Biome. ‘Space’ has to be his finest production to date, fronting a freshly galvanized finish applied to crisp and spaciously rendered halfstep dynamics, with a sparkling synth hook made to linger after the groove has stopped.
DUB WAR
The Funky Deal / To The Depths
Tempa
12″ // £4.99

Nine years since their debut on Tempa, Benny Ill and Rebel HiFi reunite on two darkened Dub steppers. ‘The Funky Deal’ sounds very early 2000’s-style Breaks, kinda like old skool Baobinga, whereas ‘To The Depths’ hits a more swaggered, cinematic vibe with dank atmospheres and droning bassweight for the Dread heads.
EVM128
Groove Content EP
MELTDOWN MUSIC RECORDINGS
12″ // £7.49

**SHIPS FRIDAY** Ross Allen’s new label debuts with six productions by graf artist/beat maker EVM128. Diverse styles abound, from crushed Funky to Anti-Social Ents style Dubstep Boogie and colourful, synth-heavy Hip Hop.
NERO
Welcome Reality
MTA Records
3 x 12″ // £16.99

*Gatefold triple vinyl* Overlarge debut opus from the big room Dubstep and Electro House titans. As far as Dubstep and Drum & Bass epics go, this is up there with the most ostentatious of them. These guys don’t go in for subtlety, ‘Welcome Reality’ is brash, bombastic and grandiose to the Max™, fusing the most hyperreal elements of Dubstep, trance, D&B and ElectroDisco for an overwhelming experience. Tipped by Fearne…
TODDLA T
Watch Me Dance
Ninja Tune
2LP // £15.99

**Includes free download code redeemable direct from the label** Toddla’s party-soaked sophomore album. Sheffield’s top export and Radio 1 resident DJ arrives at a genuinely populist sound, building on the deep roots laid over some half century of Jamaican pop music in the UK charts. This is heard no better than in the swaggering funk of lead and title tune ‘Watch Me Dance’, roping in this island’s most recognisable UK/JA…

 

ELECTRONIC
See all
JULIA HOLTER
Tragedy (Limited Vinyl Edition)
Leaving Records
LP // £14.99

*Strictly limited vinyl pressing (300 copies only) housed in custom Metallic Silver Jackets designed by: Jesselisa Moretti and hand-stamped, hand-stickered centre-labels* Quite honestly one of the best albums of any description you’ll hear in 2011…* Julia Holter is one of the most singular female artists we’ve encountered from the current groundswell of American indies. Leaving Records is possibly an unusual home for her latest, but then again, what’s “usual” about…
GOLDEN RETRIEVER
Light Cones
Root Strata
LP // £12.99

*Ships Monday* Root Strata present the first vinyl release of compelling and otherworldly electro-acoustic improvisation from the adventurous Golden retriever duo. Comprising Jonathan Sielaff’s effected Bass Clarinet and Matt Carlson’s analog modular synth and digital delay, the duo have thus far stood far out from the kosmische masses with their previous CDrs and cassettes including a beautiful eponymous debut on Root Strata and a stunner for NNA Tapes, but we’d…
ANTONI MAIOVVI
Battlestar Transreplica / Trial By Bullet
Seed
2CD // £12.99

Double feature presentation of unearthed soundtrack work by the infamous Anton Maiovvi. ‘Trial By Bullet’ was the Berlin-based synth fiend’s soundtrack to a short-lived Italian crime thriller of the same title. Centred around an intergalactic cop and his hunt for a Jeffrey Dahmer-like killer who preyed on off-planet sex clubs, Maiovvi’s score provides the necessary mixture of adrenaline-rush Italo-Techno arpeggios and orgiastic synth-sexual Electro to bring the eventually banned (by…
CANT
Dreams Come True
Warp Records
CD // £9.99

CANT is the new project from Grizzly Bear’s Chris Taylor in collaboration with Twin Shadow’s George Lewis Jr, and Dreams Come True is their first full-length offering. With their employment of R&B tropes and hard-snapping syn-drums coupled with classic pop songwriting, CANT are to Grizzly Bear what Discovery were to Vampire Weekend (kind of). But where Discovery’s self-titled LP was a celebratory record, Dreams Come True feels more plaintive and…
CANT
Dreams Come True
Warp Records
LP // £14.99

CANT is the new project from Grizzly Bear’s Chris Taylor in collaboration with Twin Shadow’s George Lewis Jr, and Dreams Come True is their first full-length offering. With their employment of R&B tropes and hard-snapping syn-drums coupled with classic pop songwriting, CANT are to Grizzly Bear what Discovery were to Vampire Weekend (kind of). But where Discovery’s self-titled LP was a celebratory record, Dreams Come True feels more plaintive and…
ROLL THE DICE
In Dust
The Leaf Label
CD // £8.99

After stealing our hearts with their 2010 debut on Digitalis, Roll The Dice have signed to Leaf for their sophomore LP, a richly emotive and highly personal collection of analogue synth instrumentals. As even RTD’s most ardent fans would corroborate, thus far out-and-out innovation hasn’t been at the top of the agenda; their extraordinary first album was created firmly and lovingly within a tradition, namely that 20th century canon of…
ROLL THE DICE
In Dust
The Leaf Label
2LP + CD // £12.99

After stealing our hearts with their 2010 debut on Digitalis, Roll The Dice have signed to Leaf for their sophomore LP, a richly emotive and highly personal collection of analogue synth instrumentals. As even RTD’s most ardent fans would corroborate, thus far out-and-out innovation hasn’t been at the top of the agenda; their extraordinary first album was created firmly and lovingly within a tradition, namely that 20th century canon of…
TARWATER
Inside The Ships
Bureau B
CD // £11.99

German duo Tarwater have been cultivating their oddball sound – somewhere between skew-whiff electro-pop and plangent post-rock experimentation – for more than 15 years, and for those who’ve been keeping an eye on ’em during this time, their evolution has been really impressive. Inside The Ships – something like their tenth album – finds them at the top of their game, their synthesis of guitar, electronic pulsation and pastorally psyched-out,…
TARWATER
Inside The Ships
Bureau B
LP // £13.99

**Includes free digital download code redeemable from the label** German duo Tarwater have been cultivating their oddball sound – somewhere between skew-whiff electro-pop and plangent post-rock experimentation – for more than 15 years, and for those who’ve been keeping an eye on ’em during this time, their evolution has been really impressive. Inside The Ships – something like their tenth album – finds them at the top of their game,…
NICKOLAS MOHANNA
Reflectors
Preservation
CD // £11.99

Part of the Circa series (limited editions of 300 copies) is the second album from Nikolas Mohanna under his birth name after years of recording as Vakhchav. ‘Reflectors’ draws upon the rich sensory experience of living in the complex sprawl of New York, and his time studying with noted improvisor and sampling maverick Bob Ostertag, to create dense, dynamic and detailed electronic environments with a certain sense of sci-fi wonder….
MOTION SICKNESS OF TIME TRAVEL
White Candle
DIGITALIS
Cassette // £8.99

*Edition of 200 copies for the world* We shouldn’t need to remind you that MSOTT aka Rachel Evans has owned our listening habits over the last year with a string of divine releases on the likes of Digitalis and Hooker Vision. The latest, ‘White Candle’ is essentially a collection of outtakes from one of her most cherished LPs, ‘Luminaries & Synastries’ coupled with two tracks from her impossible-to-find ‘Sistrum’ 3″…
VARIOUS / C.SIDES
Audible Approaches For A Better Place
c.sides
2CD // £10.99

‘Audible Approaches’ is an ambitious and deeply sentimental project initiated by Israeli/German imprint C.Sides with a worthy agenda: they asked ten artists, including members of Efterklang, Khan, Gold Panda, Glitterbug, and Brandt Brauer Frick to “…create a humble contribution toward making this a better place through audible means.” Of course, the effect remains to be seen, but they undoubtedly gathered some lovely music on this compilation. Each artist was requested…

 

FOLK / AMERICANA
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GROUPER
A I A : Alien Observer
Yellowelectric
LP // £17.99

*Second pressing – strictly limited copies* At this point you shouldn’t need any introduction to Liz Harris, better known to most as Grouper. She’s got a few albums and splits under her belt now, but chances are the first time you came across her music was the stunningy beautiful modern classic ‘Dragging A Dead Deer Up A Hill’, released back in 2008. It was the distinct and singular blend of…
GROUPER
A I A : Dream Loss
Yellowelectric
LP // £17.99

*Second pressing – strictly limited copies* Most artists would struggle to put one album of the quality Liz Harris exhibited on ‘Alien Observer’ (the first part of her A I A double-header, also out now) but somehow she’s managed to churn out a full two forty minute albums each as breathtaking as the last. ‘Dream Loss’ is the murkier, more grimy counterpart to ‘Alien Observer’s distant pop and travels still…
SARABETH TUCEK
Get Well Soon (Bonus Disc Edition)
Sonic Cathedral
2CD // £8.99

*Special edition double CD including bonus material* 2nd album from Brooklyn’s Sarabeth Tucek following her acclaimed eponymous debut in 2007. By all rights you should probably be more familiar with her name and music, but due to the death of her father following the release of her debut, Sarabeth had more important things to deal with. That experience provides the inspiration for ‘Get Well Soon’, calling it “an impressionistic rendering…
THE OWL SERVICE
The Pattern Beneath the Plough Parts 1 & 2
RIF MOUNTAIN
2CD // £11.99

“New double CD set bringing together the last two Owl Service releases, The View From a Hill album and The Burn Comes Down EP. Both of the original releases are now sold out as word-of-mouth continues to spread about The Owl Service’s exquisite brand of folk-rock. This package, with all new artwork, also contains a wealth of bonus material from the band’s earlier releases.”

 

HOME LISTENING / MODERN CLASSICAL / AMBIENT
See all
A WINGED VICTORY FOR THE SULLEN
A Winged Victory for the Sullen
ERASED TAPES
LP // £14.99

We were always going to dig a band called ‘A Winged Victory For The Sullen’, but we’re pleased to find that their music’s actually very special too. It’s a collaboration between composer Dustin O’Halloran and Stars Of The Lid’s Adam Wiltzie, bolstered by contributions from Hildur Gudnadottir and Peter Broderick, and if you’re familiar of the past work of all these sizeable talents then you’ll have an idea of what…
A WINGED VICTORY FOR THE SULLEN
A Winged Victory for the Sullen
ERASED TAPES
CD // £11.99

We were always going to dig a band called ‘A Winged Victory For The Sullen’, but we’re pleased to find that their music’s actually very special too. It’s a collaboration between composer Dustin O’Halloran and Stars Of The Lid’s Adam Wiltzie, bolstered by contributions from Hildur Gudnadottir and Peter Broderick, and if you’re familiar of the past work of all these sizeable talents then you’ll have an idea of what…
VARIOUS
Bridges (Double Picture Disc)
MACHINEFABRIEK
2LP // £28.99

**Hand-numbered edition of 250 double picture discs housed in diecut gatefold sleeve in poly bag** If there was an award for best looking record of the year, this would be coolly posing at the top of the list. The Bridges project was curated by Rutger Zuydervelt (Machinefabriek) and Gerco Hiddink, who paired four groups of improv players – Mats Gustafsson with Nate Wooley, Steven Hess with Erik Carlsson, Jon Mueller…
BVDUB
I Remember
Glacial Movements
CD // £11.99

‘I Remember’ takes Brock Van Wey’s beautiful blend of shoegaze and Berlin dub techno and pushes it into even further realms of dreamy bliss. The beats are all but gone, and Van Wey allows himself to experiment on this selection of long compositions. Each track is almost fifteen minutes in length, and Van Wey’s tried and tested ping-ponging samples breathlessly heave through oceans, stars and deep caves. Close your eyes…
AARON MARTIN & JUSTIN WRIGHT
Light Poured Out Of Our Bones
Preservation
CD // £11.99

For the last instalment in their Circa series (all limited to 300 copies), Preservation capture the debut collaboration from astral traveller Justin Wright (Expo 70) and electro-acoustic explorer Aaron Martin. Both musicians have established illustrious, singular catalogues of electronic music with quite varying approaches, but consolidate a common ground on ‘Light Poured Out Of Our Bones’, realising an epically deserted, widescreen psychedelia as potently transcendent as anything they’ve done individually….
JANEK SCHAEFER
Phoenix & Phaedra Holding Patterns
SPEKK
CD // £12.99

*Live composition for portable radios, FM transmitter, 4 corner speakers, found sound textures, & Shruti drone box.* “Sound is all around us. An ethereal tapestry of invisible radio waves and sound pressure waves fills our world. Live in concert, Phoenix and Phaedra plays with our sense of place and scale, by using a surround sound speaker system in combination with a short range FM transmitter which broadcasts to a collection…
RAFAEL ANTON IRISARRI
Reverie (Second Edition)
IMMUNE
LP // £12.99

*Second pressing on black vinyl, limited to just 450 copies for the world, features a sublime recording of Arvo Part’s “Fur Alina” and also comes with a coupon to download an MP3 version direct from the label* Arriving around the same time as his greatly anticipated return as The Sight Below, this new LP from Rafael Anton Irisarri shows a different side to this talented composer/producer.  Reverie pairs two brand…
GARETH DAVIS, JAN KLEEFSTRA & ROMKE KLEEFSTRA
Tongerswel
Home Normal
CD // £8.99

Brothers Kleefstra meet Gareth Davis for a patiently slow, minimal and atmospheric suite of six electro-acoustic songs. As the story goes, Jan and Romke Kleefstra encountered Gareth Davis’ music accidently when they received one of his albums via mail order by mistake. Luckily they liked it and contacted him via myspace, later meeting up at their studio on a farm in the Netherlands for two February afternoons of wholesome improvisation…
TERUYUKI NOBUCHIKA
Sonorite
PLOP
CD // £12.99

Japanese Film composer Teruyuki Nobuchika is something of a veteran at this point, at least on Japanese shores, and ‘Sonorite’ is his second ‘proper’ album of solo piano work. Similar to Goldmund, Nobochika explores the instrument with a melancholy, slow paced depth rarely heard. His cinematic experience shines through however and in every pause, every breath there is a sense that something is right around the corner. Fans of Johann…

 

INDIE / ROCK / ALTERNATIVE
See all
EVANGELISTA
In Animal Tongue
Constellation
CD // £10.99

Carla Bozulich’s mighty Evangelista return with what might well be a career-best album, inspired by “the forces of rocks, evolution, geology, drugs, boxing, everything-ology and dead stuff that makes the dirt and cement and the trees grow.” Refusing to rock out as we all know they can, on In Animal Tongue Evangelista’s brute force is more a threat or an implication than a demonstrable reality, but you feel it crushing…
MOGWAI
Earth Division EP
Rock Action Records
LP // £7.99

A bit of grandstanding romanticism from Scotland’s finest, with sweeping chamber instrumentation favoured over guitar shredding. ‘Get To France’ is an unreconstructed bit of neo-classical music, though it has something of the sinister, occult cabaret vibe of Coil and Kreng about it too. ‘Hound Of Winter’ pursues a nice vision of country-soul, all downhome acoustic guitars, twinkling pianos and harmonica; when the strings enter from the wings, it’s easy to…
MOGWAI
Earth Division EP
Rock Action Records
CD // £5.99

A bit of grandstanding romanticism from Scotland’s finest, with sweeping chamber instrumentation favoured over guitar shredding. ‘Get To France’ is an unreconstructed bit of neo-classical music, though it has something of the sinister, occult cabaret vibe of Coil and Kreng about it too. ‘Hound Of Winter’ pursues a nice vision of country-soul, all downhome acoustic guitars, twinkling pianos and harmonica; when the strings enter from the wings, it’s easy to…
ICEAGE
New Brigade
XL
LP // £13.49

Iceage are a young bunch of Danish punk heroes who’ve just made one of the best punk albums of recent years. ‘New Brigade’ has found fans with a largely younger generation of punk fans and find themselves lined up alongside the likes of Fucked Up and No Age, playing a hi-octane hybrid of original ’76 snot-and-blood punk with twinges of ’80s American hardcore. Their live shows are reported to be…
ICEAGE
New Brigade
XL
CD // £8.99

Iceage are a young bunch of Danish punk heroes who’ve just made one of the best punk albums of recent years. ‘New Brigade’ has found fans with a largely younger generation of punk fans and find themselves lined up alongside the likes of Fucked Up and No Age, playing a hi-octane hybrid of original ’76 snot-and-blood punk with twinges of ’80s American hardcore. Their live shows are reported to be…
LOW
Secret Name (2011 Edition)
Kranky
CD // £14.49

Secret Name’ was Low’s full-length debut on Kranky, recorded by the Godlike Steve Albini, it slipped out after the glorious ‘Songs for a Dead Pilot EP’ and continues many of the themes they would later make their trademark. They tell me Low invented slowcore… well I can handle that, certainly on this 1999 album they were slower than any other band I can remember at the time, the thing is…
LOW
Secret Name (2011 Edition)
Kranky
2LP // £16.99

Secret Name’ was Low’s full-length debut on Kranky, recorded by the Godlike Steve Albini, it slipped out after the glorious ‘Songs for a Dead Pilot EP’ and continues many of the themes they would later make their trademark. They tell me Low invented slowcore… well I can handle that, certainly on this 1999 album they were slower than any other band I can remember at the time, the thing is…
LOW
Trust (2011 Edition)
Kranky
2LP // £16.99

‘Trust’ is the most assertive and expansive Low album yet, loaded with meaningful sonic details and the caressing audio textures that the band have become so well known and worshipped for over the years. This record grazes you with a brick then knocks you over with a feather, in true seminal tradition.. Recorded with Tom Herbert at 3rd Ear Studios in Minneapolis, and mixed in London by Tchad Blake, and…
LOW
Things We Lost In The Fire (2011 Edition)
Kranky
2LP // £16.99

I probably shouldn’t let myself go on about Low so much but they are one of those rare bands that never fail to impress me. ‘Things We Lost in the Fire’ is for most people Low’s finest moment and on its release in 2001 was universally praised by critics for finally nailing what the band had been hinting at for so long. The album had fused the minimal experimentalism of…
LOW
Things We Lost In The Fire (2011 Edition)
Kranky
CD // £11.99

I probably shouldn’t let myself go on about Low so much but they are one of those rare bands that never fail to impress me. ‘Things We Lost in the Fire’ is for most people Low’s finest moment and on its release in 2001 was universally praised by critics for finally nailing what the band had been hinting at for so long. The album had fused the minimal experimentalism of…
P.G. SIX
Starry Mind
Drag City
CD // £10.99

Pat Gubler’s been pedaling his softly-spoken folk rock for long enough to call him a ‘veteran’ at this point, and ‘Starry Mind’ is exactly what you’d hope from someone who doesn’t have to resort to dropping R Kelly references to get column inches. He might not be injecting anything particularly new into his songs, but there are few solo artists who do a better job of capturing the golden age…
P.G. SIX
Starry Mind
Drag City
LP // £11.99

Pat Gubler’s been pedaling his softly-spoken folk rock for long enough to call him a ‘veteran’ at this point, and ‘Starry Mind’ is exactly what you’d hope from someone who doesn’t have to resort to dropping R Kelly references to get column inches. He might not be injecting anything particularly new into his songs, but there are few solo artists who do a better job of capturing the golden age…
ST. VINCENT
Strange Mercy
4AD
CD // £9.99

Coming across like a weird hybrid of Dirty Projectors, Tom Waits and Susanna and the Magical Orchestra (really), ‘Strange Mercy’ is the third full-length from St. Vincent (aka Annie Clark). It certainly wasn’t what I was expecting either, with the critical (and most likely commercial, although I don’t have numbers in hand…) success of ‘Actor’, I wrongly assumed that Clark would ditch all her avant leanings in favour of some…
A GRAVE WITH NO NAME
Crows / Ballons
NO PAIN IN POP
7″ // £5.49

“London’s A Grave With No Name mine their own distinctive vein of haunted freaked folk and art rock, tracing delicate fissures in the emotional radiography of loss and longing to spellbinding effect. These three piano led tracks bring the vulnerability and honesty of frontman Alexander Shields’ songwriting to the foreground of his desolate and beautiful home recordings.”
DENT MAY
Fun
Paw Tracks Records
7″ // £4.49

Exquisitely sideways pop music from Dent May on Animal Collective’s Paw Tracks outlet. Coastal vocal harmonies meld with drowsy synths and smudged machine drums in the slyly off-kilter ‘Fun’, and turn into even cuter arrangements on the sublimely optimistic pop of ‘Wedding Day’.
GIRLS
Father, Son, Holy Ghost
TURNSTILE
2LP // £12.99

**Double LP on 1 black and 1 white vinyl, includes free download voucher redeemable from the label** San Francisco indie types Girls might want to think their sound is indebted to the glory days of Neil Young, Randy Newman and The Beach Boys, but while those comparisons aren’t a million miles away, I hear a lot more of the 90s than the 60s in their pop nuggets. There’s a sense…
PETER WOLF CRIER
Garden Of Arms
Jagjaguwar
LP // £13.49

“Peter Wolf Crier’s second album ‘Garden Of Arms’ is a document that paints a vivid portrait of all the pain and beauty of growth. The duo of Peter Pisano and Brian Moen transformed the fuzzy distortion, rolling and crashing drums, and laser-focused purposefulness into an intensely dynamic yet supremely polished album. The lead off track, ‘Right Away’ best exemplifies the band’s new direction, a dense and jarring embrace of the…
STEPHIN MERRITT
Obscurities
Domino
CD // £9.99

“Critically acclaimed songwriter and mastermind behind The Magnetic Fields, Stephin Merritt ‘Obscurities’ is a collection of Merritt’s hard-to-find early recordings. ‘Obscurities’ features 14 tracks in all, including five previously unreleased songs, all recorded prior to The Magnetic Fields’ seminal album ‘69 Love Songs’. Among the tracks on ‘Obscurities’ is The Song From Venus’ ‘Forever And A Day’, a solo-acoustic ukelele-based love song reminiscent of ‘69 Love Songs’ ‘The Book Of…
STEPHIN MERRITT
Obscurities
Domino
LP // £13.49

“Critically acclaimed songwriter and mastermind behind The Magnetic Fields, Stephin Merritt ‘Obscurities’ is a collection of Merritt’s hard-to-find early recordings. ‘Obscurities’ features 14 tracks in all, including five previously unreleased songs, all recorded prior to The Magnetic Fields’ seminal album ‘69 Love Songs’. Among the tracks on ‘Obscurities’ is The Song From Venus’ ‘Forever And A Day’, a solo-acoustic ukelele-based love song reminiscent of ‘69 Love Songs’ ‘The Book Of…
THE ANTLERS
Hospice
Frenchkiss
CD // £11.99

A mightily impressive body of work from Brooklyn’s The Antlers, whose sombre experimentalism points to a promising future. The record is a pretty high concept affair, checking in with sick children, Sylvia Plath, and inevitably, death on a thematic rollercoaster pointed towards a euphoric state of gloom. Comparisons have been made between this record and Arcade Fire’s Funeral, and given the scale and earnestness of the album, that’s a pretty…
WARM DIGITS
Keep Warm…with the Warm Digits
Distraction
2LP // £18.99

*Full colour gatefold sleeve* Warm Digits present their debut album of motorik Kraut, Psych and Disco for Distraction Records. The North East duo comprises Andrew Hodson, who’s previously known for his outing as The Matinee Orchestra, and Stephen Jeffries, who used to make electronica as Cathode, but together they’re looking at the classic thrust of Neu!, the the pulsing arpeggios of Giorgio Moroder and Brian Eno’s proggy excess for inspiration….
XIU XIU
Daphny
POLYVINYL RECORD CO
7″ // £3.99

**Blue Marbled Vinyl – Includes free MP3 download redeemable from the label** The inimitable Jamie Stewart and Xiu Xiu present their original composition ‘Daphny’ backed with a queerly dissonant cover of Rihanna’s ‘Only Girl (In The World)’. “‘Daphny’ charts the real-life nightmare experienced by a friend of Xiu Xiu singer Jamie Stewart, who – following an arrest for shoplifting – was raped by an officer while in police custody. The…

 

JAZZ / RELATED
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IN THE COUNTRY
Sounds and Sights
Rune Grammofon
2LP // £15.99

“Originally planned as a concert dvd, In The Country invited video director Claus Arthur Breda-Gulbrandsen to bring a crew to film a couple of Norwegian shows in October 2010. Claus had previously directed two videoes for Morten´s other band, Susanna and the Magical Orchestra. Not content with merely filming these shows, Claus (and the band as well) had bigger ambitions for a more expanded type of film, of which you…
MARA CARLYLE
Floreat
ANCIENT & MODERN
CD // £9.99

Some of you might remember Mara Carlyle’s fantastic debut on Matthew Herbert’s Accidental imprint way back in 2007. It was a gorgeous juxtaposition of Carlyle’s stunning, smoky vocals and some devilishly dreamy production (think Angelo Badalamenti and you’re not far off) and was one of my favourite records that year. Unfortunately it piqued the attention of EMI, who promptly shelved Carlyle’s sophomore album (back then named ‘Nuzzle’), probably because it…
ZARA MCFARLANE
Chiaroscuro / Night & Day
Brownswood Recordings
10″ // £5.99

*Hand-stamped white label* Very limited taster for London-based vocalist zara McFarlane’s forthcoming album on ‘Until Tomorrow’. Blessed with a fine voice, Zara has collaborated with the likes of Denys Baptiste, Orphy Robinson, Soweto Kinch and Jazz Jamaica Allstars besides appearing on the 2006 Motown-themed ‘Motor City Roots’ album. Should sweetly appeal to fans of Jill Scott or Erykah Badu.

 

JUNGLE / DRUM & BASS
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GENOTYPE
A Few Too Many / The Director
Ingredients Records
12″ // £6.49

Crisply minimised halfstep D&B rollers from awol junglist, Genotype. The title track fits it close comfortably with that stripped Amit sound, steppin’ on spidery hi-hat syncopations and properly dread Reese bass with spooked out and spacious dub FX. Underside, ‘The Director’ tucks into techier, steppin’ formation with sparse, sparring drums and brooding subbass pressure quaking the ground beneath your feet. Authentic darkside business.
JOE SEVEN
All Prologue / Untitled Monotron
Exit Records
12″ // £7.99

Sci-fi stepper Joe Seven, aka They Live’s Joe Smaje, drops his 2nd single for Exit Records. The emphasis is placed on rich and deeply immersive atmospherics for ‘All Prologue’, entering to noirish backdrop of space station ambience and locking into a skulkin’, robotic rollers rhythm. Flipside ‘Untitled Monotron’ is more urgent, riding dry, Krust-style hardstep drum & bass patterns circled by swooshing stabs and cryptic, etheric communications from the on-board…
DBRIDGE
City Of Lonely Runaways / Dischord
Disfigured Dubz
12″ // £5.99

Dbridge’s first full solo 12″ of 2011 is a suitably special effort for Skream’s Disfigured Dubz label. These aren’t necessarily dancefloor tracks – that’s not to say they couldn’t be skilfully used in the right moment – but they are exquisite bits of modern UK Bass music. A-side is ‘City Of Lost Souls’, a melancholy minimal stepper’s rhythm suffused with gliding pads and a heart-breaking central motif lifted from a…

 

MINIMAL / DANCEFLOOR
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VARIOUS / PERMANENT VACATION
If This Is House I Want My Money Back Zwei
PERMANENT VACATION
CD // £11.99

Benjamin Fröhlich & Tom Bioly compile the latest set of stylish modern House & Disco tracks for Permanent Vacation, drawing for cuts from Soul Clap, Mano Le Tough, John Talabot, Hunee, Beautiful Swimmers, Jacob Korn and more. Standout tracks come from Washington DC’s ace Beautiful Swimmers with the sexy jack of ‘Excited’, Hunee and the flying hi-hats and frisky bass of ‘A Study In Wild’, and the Permanent Vacation edit…
DIXON
Live At Robert Johnson Vol.8
Live at Robert Johnson
CD // £8.99

Dixon closes the excellent Live At Robert Jonson mix series with a finely programmed mix spanning ambient kosmiche to sexy mid-tempo disco-tech. The first half is largely a sanguine selection taking in the likes of Ursula Bogner’s frothy radiophonica next to Hauschka’s lovely’ Wonder’ and his own edit of Barnt’s kosmiche Cologne experiments, before setting the tempo with Agoria’s For One Hour’ and Hatikvah’s ‘Big Mind’, and stealthily building up…
MACEO PLEX
Sweating Tears EP
Crosstown Rebels
12″ // £7.99

Hot Tech-House trax from an on-form Maceo Plex for Crosstown Rebels. A-side is the darker-edged and sexy Disco-Tech of ‘Can’t Leave You’, deploying his signature vocoder voices over fruity bass licks and brooding synth sweeps. B-side ‘Stop Your Hate’ is an expertly arranged big-room jacker with a slightly heavier Techno leaning.

 

SOUNDTRACKS / LIBRARY / EARLY ELECTRONIC
See all
THE KRAMFORD LOOK
1970
Wonderfulsound
CD // £9.99

The Kramford Look are a contemporary duo plus guests who specialise in spacey, groovy ’70s library theme music. Multi instrumentalists and engineers Dan Wood and Pierre Duplan man a small orchestra’s worth of gear including exotic bits such as pianet, Logan String Melody, kazoo, harpsichord, and 4 handed cello (wait a sec, are they having us on?), and sound very much like the real thing. All the tracks comes ready…

 

SYNTHWAVE / ELECTRO
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TORO Y MOI
Freaking Out
Carpark Records
LP // £10.99

**Includes free digital download code redeemable direct from the label** Chaz Bundick is back with a new EP, apparently written and recorded in double-quick time earlier this year, that showcases the most luminscent pop side of his sound. In the main the tracks subscribe to a neat boogie template, replete with squeeling P-funk synths, elastic bass and syn-drums equally evocative of Scritti Politti and Wacko; things get most interesting on…
TORO Y MOI
Freaking Out
Carpark Records
CD // £6.99

Chaz Bundick is back with a new EP, apparently written and recorded in double-quick time earlier this year, that showcases the most luminscent pop side of his sound. In the main the tracks subscribe to a neat boogie template, replete with squeeling P-funk synths, elastic bass and syn-drums equally evocative of Scritti Politti and Wacko; things get most interesting on the title track, a ruthlessly catchy, plasticized new wave number…
NEON INDIAN
Era Extrana
Static Tongues
CD // £13.49

Two year since assisting the birth of the “chillwave” subset with debut ‘Psychic Chasms – a 2009 end-of-year favourite from NME to Picthfork – Alan Palermo presents his second Neon Indian album. To assist the writing process he sequestered himself in Finland during the winter solstice months of 2010/11, and returned with a finely layered collision of shoegaze, electro-pop and chiptune memes which were tenderly masticated by producer Dave Fridmann…
FRIENDLY FIRES
Hawaiian Air (Seiji / Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs Mixes)
XL
12″ // £4.99

Big room-readied remixes of Friendly Fires. Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs are in euphoric mood for a Funky-Tech roller with hands-in-the-air breakdowns and bouncy breakbeats, whereas Seiji’s is more about the Latin-Funky swivel and propulsive, ascending synthlines. Drink spilling times.
PURO INSTINCT
Headbangers In Ecstasy
Record Makers
CD // £9.99

*Glitter-embossed cover* Emerging from a haze of hype circulated by Altered Zones and Ariel Pink, among many others, the Kaplan sisters deliver one of this year’s finest dream-pop delicacies. Since debuting in 2009, Piper and Skylar have changed name from Pearl Harbor to Puro Instinct and added a few new bandmates, but still retained that tender blend of misty-eyed Ruski pop and West Coast cool which gathered them such momentum…
THE RAPTURE
In The Grace Of Your Love
DFA / Coop
2LP // £14.99

Highly anticipated fourth album from the much-loved dons of New York indie-disco. ‘In The Grace Of Your Love’ is an overdue return from the trio, five years on from ‘Pieces Of The People We Love’, and their recent single aside, at least four years since any other new material. It’s been time well spent, evidently, resulting in a body of instantly pop sharp and dancefloor-rousing anthems, from the festival-ready pogo…
THE RAPTURE
In The Grace Of Your Love
DFA / Coop
CD // £10.99

Highly anticipated fourth album from the much-loved dons of New York indie-disco. ‘In The Grace Of Your Love’ is an overdue return from the trio, five years on from ‘Pieces Of The People We Love’, and their recent single aside, at least four years since any other new material. It’s been time well spent, evidently, resulting in a body of instantly pop sharp and dancefloor-rousing anthems, from the festival-ready pogo…
MIRROR MIRROR
Interiors EP
RVNG Intl.
LP // £14.99

*Mirrored reverse card jacket with 10″x10″ lyric sheet and download code redeemable from the label* Marvellous and multi-tiered avant-pop from NYC’s Mirror Mirror duo, following their debut album and FRKWAYS experiments with a daring ten track exploration of strange, psychedelic structures and cryptic lyrics. Notably, the album was recorded with two different sets of producers, yet for all it’s diversity there’s still a strong sense of cohesion thanks to David…
U.V. POP
Just A Game
Sacred Bones Records
7″ // £4.99

With typically excellent taste, Sacred Bones select this classic 1982 obscurity produced by Cabaret Voltaire for their latest reissue. UV Pøp was John K. White, a politically informed songwriter from Sheffield who released ‘Just A Game’ on PAX Records in a limited run of 1000 individually designed silk-screened copies. Most importantly, Cabaret Voltaire handled production at their Western Works studios and can be thanked for the harshly affected vocal treatments…
I BREAK HORSES
Winter Beats / Load Your Eyes (Star Slinger Mix)
Bella Union
12″ // £6.99

Ecstatic Shoegaze synth-pop from Sweden’s I Break Horses duo, backed by a crackshot Starslinger remix. Their original wears its heart on sleeve, a heart which radiates blinding, luminous synth arpeggios over surging indie-rock drums and a dizzying vocals potent enough to put you in a permanent freefall swoon. Thankfully, before you’re lost, Starslinger reigns in the Scandinavian excess just a bit on the flip with his ridin’ 808 rollers remix,…
MARK RONSON & THE BUSINESS INTL
Record Collection 2012 (feat. MNDR, Pharrell, Wiley & Wretch 32)
Kitsune
12″ // £6.49

Mark Ronson ropes in MNDR, Wretch 32, Wiley and Pharrell for busy version of his ‘Record Collection’ 2012. You’ll probably hear this A-listed on the Radio and down yer local indie disco, or the DJ might draw for the more yelpy CSS remix, the Technofied Logo remix or electroid pop revisions from Moonlight Matters or Plastic Plates. You just don’t know.
PENGUIN PRISON
Penguin Prison
STRANGER RECORDS
CD // £8.99

“Penguin Prison is Chris Glover. The final result of his debut effort is quite a smoothed-out, hook-heavy, unabashed lovers’ disco album. From the miraculous slices of shiny, infectious contemporary pop of ‘Multi-Millionaire’ and ‘Golden Train’, to forthcoming single ‘Fair Warning’, shimmering with spectral synths and breathless, honey vocals, to the mellow and mysterious album closer ‘Someone Got Everything’, Penguin Prison’s debut rolls you through a sleek, melodic world which sounds…
SPANK ROCK
Energy
Boysnoize Records
12″ // £5.99

Lead single from Spank Rock’s ‘Everything is Boring and Everyone is a F*cking Liar’ LP, backed with remixes by Jan Driver, The Glimmers and Win Win. Boys Noize is on the buttons for the original version, oddly enough sampling the break from Can’s ‘Vitamin C’ and adding buzz-cutting sawtooth teethlines to the catchy vocals. Jan Driver’s remix reworks it with a sultry sort of House grind and the Glimmers do…

 

TECHNO / HOUSE
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RADIOHEAD
Good Evening Mrs Magpie (Modeselektor RMX) / Bloom (Objekt RMX)
XL
12″ // £7.99

Radiohead’s favourite party unit, Modeselektor and Berlin’s rising star Objekt, remix tracks from ‘The King Of Limbs’. This is the one many of you have been waiting for. A-side, MDLKTR run ‘Good Evening Mr Magpie’ with a Funky-infected Technoid tilt full of deftly stuttered vocals and crowd-igniting peaks. Flipside the versatile Objekt jams on a ruder acidic swing, working off centre bass bumps and squirmy 303 with efficient motor control….
MARTYN
Masks / Viper
Brainfeeder
12″ // £4.99

Eagerly anticipated return for Martyn, heralding his upcoming sophomore album on Brainfeeder. ‘Masks’ is suave, dynamic but rude-as-f*ck steppers’ house, precision engineered to rough up dancefloors without breaking a sweat – istening to the pinched chords and pistoning, minimal drum-funk on this badboy makes pretty much all club gear we’ve heard this year sound a wee bit sluggish and toothless. ‘Viper’ appears in two versions: a kickless but still plenty…
BRAILLE
A Meaning EP
Hotflush Recordings
12″ // £5.99

Praveen Sharma’s back with a fine four-tracker of emotive Garage-Tech rollers in his Braille guise. Working to the same formula of studied, melodic arrangements, deeper Garage rhythms and lush electronics found on his ‘Year 3000’ ace, he opens with ‘A Meaning’, a sweetly frisky electronic soul groove, next to the chest swelling Funky uplift of ‘Riverbed’ on the A-side. Flip it over and ‘Breakup’ tucks up a smart Broken Beat…
PLASTIKMAN
Arkives Reference
Minus
11CD+DVD // £149.99

“17 years of Richie Hawtin’s alter ego Plastikman in one super-limited, luxurious box comprising 11 CDs, 1 DVD and a book! For long-time devotees and new fans alike, Hawtin now presents Plastikman’s Arkives, a comprehensive box set that pulls together all 17 years of the Plastikman story so far, including remastered versions of all six previously released Plastikman albums and a trove of rarities, unreleased sessions and new material. Arkives,…
WBEEZA
Bagwag EP
Third Ear Recordings
12″ // £7.99

Fresh buncha Wbeeza productions from Third Ear. Strong selections here, starting cool and vibey with ‘One Solution’ with studied, Carl Craig-like synths and laidback groove, before shaking out the warm, filtered House of ‘Laying Here’. ‘Coast Spotting’ belies a fresher sound, tweaking hypnotic and spacious Techno-style synths but still with that innate soul warmth he’s loved for, and ‘FallOut’ is the kind of more percussively rugged House we could imagine…
HIEROGLYPHIC BEING / SPECTER / AROY DEE
Elusive Triumph EP
SEQUENCIAS
12″ // £8.99

Authentically rugged and rooted Chicago styles from Hieroglyphic Being, Specter and Aroy Dee on this new label from Spain. A-side is Hieroglyphic Being’s ‘Night Thoughts (2AM remix)’, one of those melancholy, cosmicaly-inclined and intuitively epic jakkers he specialises in. Flipside, Specter (also spelt Spectr) follows his deadly Sound Signature 12″ with a proper fat but lo-fi acid workout powered by heart-pumping machine kicks, while Aroy Dee drops a fluid and…
RONNY & RENZO
Heartbreak Theme (Carl Craig Mix)
REKIDS
12″ // £5.99

Slow, systolic Techno epic from the elusive Belgian duo behind King Kung Foo Records, backed with an opulent Carl Craig remix. That original’s a real scene stealer, paced at a purposefully throbbing 105bpm to intense effect. Evidently Carl Craig has spent some time on the remix, two years apparently, and by the time the Vangelis-style synth brass is at full peak, you can see it was worth it.
MIKE DEHNERT
Oblique
Clone Basement Series
12″ // £7.99

Four subtly gripping Techno-House works from the Fachwerk mainman. With four years of releases he’s been forging a distinctly shifty, stripped and heavy form of Techno which seems to make crucial evolution with each release. For this one he’s practically shorn away all the kicks in favour of muscular, hydraulic bass syncopation and the results are deadly. From the slinking dub chord and tickin’ latin sync of the title track…
EMIKA / KYLE HALL
Pretend / Professional Loving
Ninja Tune
12″ // £4.99

*Barnstorming new single with remixes from Brandt Brauer Frick and Kyle motherf**kn Hall!* The ever-impressive Emika returns with a disarmingly angsty house jam, her voice simmering in a broth of industrial shrapnel and Hammer horror FX. Brandt Brauer Frick’s remix begins like a classic Perlon minimal prowler before evolving into something different and highly contemporary, gradually foregrounding elegant piano loops, off-kilter percussion edits and Emika’s sultry vocals without ever drifting from…
FULBERT
Garden State ’92 EP
LOCAL TALK
12″ // £7.49

Vintage-sounding but fresh Jersey House vibes produced by a French guy living in Seoul and released on a Swedish label, capiche? Both tracks are built with keen attention to detail and genuinely sound like they could have come from the early ’90s, the kicks are fat and warm, the bassline supple and syncopated with classy percussion, and the stabs scream good times! Made for happy reactions on the ‘floor.

 

WORLD
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MAHMOUD AHMED
Jeguol Naw Betwa
MISSISSIPPI
LP // £13.99

*Reissue of a 1978 self released LP by one of the greatest Ethiopian vocalists of all time* Cocoa butter-slick soul album from Mahmoud Ahmed, reissued for the first time on any format by the venerable Mississippi Records. ‘Jeguol Naw Betwa’ captures the Ethiopian vocal legend in stunning form at the end of the ‘golden age’ of Ethiopian urban music, showcasing a style distinctly more soul-based than the jazzy funk of…
TONY ALLEN
Jealousy
Kindred Spirits
LP // £15.99

*The seminal first Tony Allen solo record predictably features some genuinely deadly drumming from the master, tight, tucked and deeeply funky, mostly instrumental. Remastered reissue with restored original artwork.* “Jealousy is the first of the 3 solo albums by Tony Allen produced by Fela Kuti. In 1975 Tony Allen, the band-leader of Afrika 70, got an opportunity to rehearse his compositions together with rest of the Afrika 70. This ended…
TONY ALLEN WITH AFRICA 70
No Accommodation For Lagos
Kindred Spirits
LP // £15.99

*An important Tony Allen record from a tumultuous era of his career, and his last with Afrika 70. Presented on high quality, remastered vinyl with restored original artwork* “1978 was without a doubt one of the most disturbing years in the history of Fela and the Afrika 70. Just a year before the army had raided Fela’s compound destroying his house, his club, his brothers free medical clinic and fatally…
VARIOUS / SABOR
Sabor Do Brasil Vol. 6
SABOR
LP // £12.49

Another volume of “what the fook is that?!” edits and long versions of Brazilian cosmic music for discerning disco and Latin DJs. Styles fluctuate between more conventional bossa and samba to some immense electrified gemsliek the weirdly sped up and squeaky funk of ‘Chosen Ones’ and downright deadly percussive instrumentals such as ‘Drumm Drumm’. Invaluable tool for the selectors.