What does it mean to be human and who cares?

 


The big news this week – of interest only to us, and maybe two or three of our regulars at a push– is that we’ve radically re-organised the rack sections on the shop floor. Actually, “radical” is the wrong word, when all we’ve done is fillet STRANGE SOUND and TEKNO and divide them into several more easily navigable sub-sections. Come see us and marvel at the impossible beauty and logic and symmetry of it all, and while you're at it check out Sanjay’s newfound bald-spot, which he has christened LOW COMPANY.
 
In all seriousness, this modest re-organisation is just the beginning of a larger programme of cosmetic surgery we’ve got planned for the next couple of months, a cheeky bit of Botox ahead of full-on lipo-suction and breast enlargement. After all, mad as it seems, our 1st birthday isn’t far away now. Obviously we're planning a wee party to celebrate, away from the safety of the shop itself, info soon.

In the meantime...

 


LOLINA

LOLITA

NO LABEL | 10" | £9.99

This 10" came out at an awkward time, just before Christmas (and all it entails)...glad we’ve sat on it a bit because it’s taken that long for it to properly click. Although it won’t quite satisfy anyone (still) craving the subtlety and density of Because I’m Worth It, never mind the unfettered pop majesty of ‘Smitten’, Lolita wipes the floor with its two Lolina-authored predecessors, taking the spiky, garish synth tones of Relaxin’ With and Live In Paris and grafting them onto the kind of ghosted-out R&B/street-beats that characterised Worth It and her more to-the-point Gast collaborations. In terms of its sloppy, stream-of-consciousness singjaying, you'd have to say there's an affinity with Blunt’s Stone Island, but this is less self-absorbed material, and sonically way more adventurous, always with one eye on the (imaginary) dance. From the title track, with Inga doing her best Martina T-B over hollowed-out eski/dancehall, the fucked polka of ‘Keep On Moving’ (with that nagging “cash-and-carry” refrain) and sinewy, crepuscular instrumental ‘Plot Twist’, it all feels right on the $$$, free-form but rooted, well aware of its surroundings but totally its own thing and, whatever its longevity, truly of its time (a compliment). As with Worth It, rhythms that seem obnoxiously primitive and messed-up on first contact, quickly come to feel complex and space-time-jarring and (DIY-)visionary - at once more locked-on and lawless than 99% of the sheep-music emanating from white boys' bedrooms the world over. If you're a fan... you know. 

 



VARIOUS / ANDY RANTZEN

MAGNETIC SOUTH: A COLLECTION OF RARE AND UNRELEASED MASKING TAPES RECORDINGS 1984-86
KASHUAL PLASTIK | LP | £18.99

Probably like most people outside of Australia and/or hardcore post-punk/minimal synth-collecting circles, our first contact with Andy Rantzen was through Forced Nostalgia’s 2011 reissue of an amazing Pelican Daughters set from 1988, Fishbones And Wishbones. While there were plenty of people emerging from early ‘80s industrial culture whose work anticipated, or directly fed into, the techno/dance paradigm shift that occurred later in the decade, some of Rantzen’s productions feel madly prescient – see ‘Do I Dream’ on that Oz Waves comp, house-not-house which wouldn’t have sounded out of place on Warriors Dance, or the rolling toms of Pelicans’ gothic zone-out ‘Through The Sepulchre’. Same goes for ‘Beacon Hill’, a proto-IDM glaze which could easily pass for an early Black Dog or Ae track, and which opens this compilation, an excruciatingly limited edition (250 copies) from Kashual Plastik. Drawn from the archive of the Masking Tapes label, it features a couple of Rantzen solo tracks plus choice selections - all reliably gloomy and dub-disoriented - from his Pelican, Shibboleth and Knapp projects.

Housed in a black, hand-screen-printed cloth bag sleeve. One per customer, ships Monday. 
 




DRUNK ELK 
IN THE TUSCAN SUN / WINGS OF WINTER 

IL DISCHI DEL BARONE | 7" | £6.99


On the face of it band called Drunk Elk is a hard sell, but this Tasmanian outfit has impeccable pedigree and any humour implied by that handle is of the most dismal, pessimistic kind. Led by the vocals of the aptly named Dave Askew, their brand of eavesdropped, slow-motion loner folk/DIY will surely strike a chord with fans of The Shadow Ring, Garbage & The Flowers’ Entlang and lathe stuff, and more recently Enhet For Fri Musik (in fact this 7” comes to us courtesy of I Dischi Del Barone, a label run by Enhet’s Matthias A.).

We’ve had a couple of Elk records in before – their self-titled LP on House Rules, a 2x7” on Black Petal, and a second-hand Wormwood Grasshopper side - and they’ve all sold quickly and quietly, without being much talked about, unsurprising perhaps as this is a music of small gestures, intensely private and fragile-feeling, which you instinctively want to keep to yourself and whose virtues you’d struggle to communicate to another human being anyway (this is us, struggling). Some people just get it.* 

Two tracks on stamped white-label 7”, housed in a white cardboard sleeve with postcard attached and an 8-page booklet featuring a chapter from Askew’s story The Land Over The Ocean.

[*If this scratches your itch see also the recent-ish Blue Chemise 7" (also on IDDB) that Carla turned us onto, another essential conjuring of "precarious and fucked late-night desolation" from the Southern Hemisphere]. 





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SEKUNDENSCHLAF

BLACKEST EVER BLACK | LP | £13.99

Sleep-deprived, serotonin-depleted breakbeats and dank tekno atmospheres from somewhere west of Lake Lagoda, near the Russia-Finland border - we defy you not to be blown away by 'Pacifier Habits' and 'Are You Still Hurt'. Sekundenschlaf has significant points of correspondence with contemporary European electronic music, as well as the golden age of (early) jungle and ambient techno, but its psychogeography is rooted in the tranquility of Western Russian nature, and the anxiety and distress of the country’s post-Soviet working class. The music has a loose, improvised feel, but its arrangements are intricate, its melodies iridescent: cascading arpeggios that gleam in the light (what little light there is), sighing string-pads that evoke the deepest melancholy. Rhythms that sound at once hyped-up and burned-out, collapsing in on themselves as they race to destinations unknown, somehow never dropping a stitch. All bound together with field recordings of eavesdropped conversations, blurred into abstraction, a droning subliminal menace.






VICTIM
THE TEEN AGE

OVERGROUND | 7" | £6.49

Overground reissue of obscure, irresistible 1980 7" from Ireland's Victim, originally released on Illuminated. A bolshy, effortlessly anthemic celebration of YOOF (although they themselves look suspiciously weather-beaten) which captures/embodies that magickal transition between glitterbeat and punk, writ large with a thugged-out cover of Bowie's 'Hang On To Yourself' on the B-side. Limited repro edition - amazing artwork, eh.





LASZLO HORTOBAGYI

TRANSREPLICA MECCANO

LULLABIES FOR INSOMNIACS | LP | £19.99

Re-press! One of last year's most in-demand releases (round these parts, anyway), this is a "remastered and revised" edition of a key LP by Hungarian composer and musicologist László Hortobágyi, originally released on Hungaropop in 1988. Inspired by his spiritual and musical awakenings in North India, it finds him using PCM morphology and FFT spectrum analysis as well as virtual overtone processing synthesis software he developed himself in the 1980s to transform samples into rich tapestries of ambient and nervy computer funk - reminding us at certain points of Jorge Reyes, My Life In The Bush Of Ghostsand late (digital) Clock DVA. A must for fans of them and of Miracle Steps, RAMZi, Sakamoto ++. Lovely silver foil sleeve. 





KID MACHINE

REPLICANTS EP

VIEWLEXX | 12" | £9.99

So pleased that Viewlexx has been ramping up its reissue programme of late. I-f’s expanded Brown Elbow Conspiracy justly flew out when we had it in a couple of months ago (re-press due soon), and his evergreen, epoch-shifting pop-moment ‘Space Invaders Are Smoking Grass’ is up next, but in the meantime we’ve been floored by this lesser known but unfuckwithable modern classic of badboy neo-italo/electro from Kid Machine (an alias of UK producer Mark Wilkinson), originally released in 2012. The goofy sci-fi samples might put off all but the real-gone IFM/Magic Waves stalwarts, but embrace ‘em and you’ll be rewarded with ultra-druggy, tuff-bassline-driven robo-disko that stands shoulder to padded shoulder with the very best this sacred genre has to offer. Killer.

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