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PREPARE YOUR PRUNES

Last week of freedom before daddy's home. Gotta clean up so just a couple of quick announcements. 

Check this week's NTS show with a guest mix from Macker in the second hour. 

Also, not prepared to divulge more details just yet but make sure you keep the 26th of May free. It's a Bank Holiday Sunday and it's gonna be WILD. 

LC xxx

HEITH
MUD
SAUCERS | 12" | £9.99

Blind-siding EP of devil-mix atmospherics and shapeshifting, fractural sound design - the latest offering from Heith (Haunter Records ++) and the first release on his new outlet - SAUCERS.

For all its psychic, slow-burning umami, “Mud” floats with an urgency that’s almost impossible to place - the raw, dry-ice rudeness of some Reinforced synth sweeps playing 800% slower than intended, fused and tightened with the immersive, sci-fi wonder of Dopplereffekt’s “Calabi Yau Space”. Heith utilises this deadly sound palette and moves with an unbeknown stealth and liquid agility that generates some sorta demented sense of adrenalin (and that’s just the intro!).

“Extra Melma” sounds like it could have been recorded in a magma chamber deep in the earth’s core - waves of THICK molten chords drift across most of Side A, slowly diffusing like a lava flow gradually rolling into the ocean, intermittently disrupted by swiftly evaporating fissures of digitally distorted sub-bass. Totally addictive this one - teaming with the forward leaning phuturistix you need to feel like you are actually living in 2019, without getting too, ya know, Matrix: Reloaded.

On the other side, a booming, steadily paced stepper - “Yoga Of Stealth” comes primed with apathetic synth sweeps that vaguely recall JTG’s “Angela” from last year, further extraterrestrial club tension forged by cyclic string samples folding in on themselves. It’s the perfect lead-up to the clattering, dislocated grime swordplay of “?” - it’s shattered, naked-flame melody revolving on and on until Heith closes with a deep, aching cut of computer-soul - the vocals on “Mud Queen” singing an untranslatable romance of two distant planets.

Hands down our fave EP of the year so far.

VARIOUS ARTISTS
NO ORDER IN DESTINY
KASHUAL PLASTIK | 2LP | £29.99

World building compilation of boundless, sinister post-industrial and blissfully sedated, synth muzak from Kashual Plastik, presented in an intricate, rope-bound and hand-crafted wooden cover with several earthy screen-prints across the two panel gatefold (can only imagine the cursing that went down on the assembly line, good heavens!).

Contemporary kosmiche offerings from our folks Brannten Schnure and Lamusa II instantly catch the ear and pulled us into the spacious, wooden constructs of “No Order In Destiny”, before taking the subnarcotic night drive from F ingers’ ’Orgy In The Country Homestead…’ to the astral-outerplains of Milan W.’s “Astra”. A sloppy nose-grind from Steve Pepe’s ‘Interlude’ and we’re trapped in the vacuumized, percussion-led, downward spirals of Nadine Byrne (Ectoplasm Girls) - all the selections here so, SO on the money, all delicately placed to induce completely abstract noggin’-wandering into previously unchartered ecosystems.

I mean, it feels like ANYONE can release anything these days, so ya kinda want something more from your VA comp than tracks from a bunch of folk whose email addresses you happen to have. Hacking and sawing against the grain KP cough up this carefully assembled, labour intensive package, its powerful, lucid sequencing MORE than dignifying its concept - the design, the sound all completely coherent in their confusion and perfectly snapshotting the odd-ball DIY fringe of which we are so utterly enchanted by. Sturdy, underground offering in the veins of Sordide Sentimental - future artyfact, no doubt.

MARIACHI
MARIACHI
NO LAGOS MUSIQUE | LP | £17.99

LOUD free-form, dead space texture generation and stripped back, Glenn Branca- style studio devolutions from Nina Garcia and her untameable guitar, grinding up every inch of the poor instrument, wiring it through a humble pedal and exploring it’s full sonic potential with a certain ferocity and yet, deeply considered prowess.

It’s taken us a few weeks to get our heads round the twists and turns of Mariahci - it’s stark minimalism staring you in the face and demanding you to get on board. Managing to keep our lunch down over the course of this rickety, INVIGORATING rollercoaster, we are left with a few cracked ribs and an insightful, genuinely exciting sense of thoroughness that recalls the first time we heard Guido Bresaola’s “Esterno / Interno” (not a comparison we would make lightly!!) - Bresaola summoning the deepest, DARKEST shudders of the double bass across a whole LP to terrifying, demon-conjuring effect (ye, you just gotta to check that one too!). Highly, highly recommended to any of you sound explorers out there needing to rattle the cage a bit.

HAMILTON SCALPEL
HAMILTON SCALPEL
CONCRETE CABIN | 12" | £9.99 

Four asbo-dodgin’ harmdashers from the dear grey place, unknown duo Hamilton Scalpel step out on the new imprint from warehouse-of-horrors club night Concrete Cabin (home of go-to guns for hire Mother Mark and DJ Crud).

Highly anticipated round these parts, this one - a twisted tale of dark-side ruffage that lands it’s first swing with the Blantyre-breakcore RAMMY (eh?!) of “Anti-Vibe (UK Compliance)” - the sound of Tango & Ratty failing their M.O.T. test - the amen gearbox sticking, kruschin’, REVVING - before flying out the stops with a twitching, British Murder Boys style blood-thirst and enough disorderly conduct to dwarf adjectives a la “rowdy”, every word in the English language seeming far too polite to capture the immeasurable fury of the windmilling, jungle-tekno on show here.

“Slewn Kin” is a blazing wheelie bin of new-skool Chronobrain / Acid Planet madness, concealed weapon on Side B - “Coventry Dump Valve” - the one to watch as it rushes ya with seasnake hi-hats and underwater-dancehall sub-bass, a circling, crystl clear / LED-lit melody hanging around to keep the peace and offer non-violent resolution (“soundboy drops a swadger and briefly forgets his troubles”, mebbe?). Further raucous bam-tune breaks on “Uprated Night Zone” round off a bone-shattering debut - one to well n truly blow the cobwebs off/aff. 200 copies, all hand-scrawled n’ sticker’d by the Crud.

>>>> SHIPS FRIDAY >>>> 

BUNNY LEE & THE AGGROVATORS
ENTER INTO DUB / COME TO ME IN DUB
PRESSURE SOUNDS | 12" | £10.99

Four glassy-eyed reworks of Bunny Lee & The Aggrovators’ productions cut to 10” on Pressure Sounds. Sinuous heavy-weight, glue-on-your-soles excursions, dripping with condensation. Transplanting Johnny Clark’s ‘Enter Into His Gates’ and Jackie Edwards ‘Come Dub Me Girl’ from their original rhapsodising contexts, each side contains two splayed-out, half-speed dub rhythms which emphatically hit the original Bunny Lee / Aggrovators’ axis with crisp staccato snares and glorious tape echo delay ad infinitum. Total scorchers, destined to fly out the door.

VITAL IDLES
EP
UPSET THE RHYTHM | 7" | £6.99

The Glaswegian indie poppers Vital Idles return to Upset the Rhythm with a BANGIN’ four track 7” swerving towards (and away from) Exit Order, Slender and Liliput. After the minimalist, clean compact riffing of last year’s Left Hand LP which channelled The Feelies or any of the Flying Nun ensembles you’d care to mention, these minutes long shoutings are distinctly more out of the studio in into the garage. Prolly the same garage as Current Affairs, Shopping and Sacred Paws. BELTER.

ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH OUR RECKON STORE?

Solid week over ‘ere, strong ciders and storming live debuts ++ at Cafe Oto last Saturday night - massive thanks to that talented bunch on stage and all who came down! Massive get it up ya to the plums who snuck in without paying and whoever it was that didn’t cough up for their drinks tab - no darling, it wasn’t us!
Anyway hypothetical fire-starting and classik mancunian death-trips to see you through - spoilt for choice this week. Until next time! 
LC xxx

THE FALL
BEND SINISTER / THE "DOMESDAY PAY-OFF" TRIAD-PLUS!
BEGGARS ARKIVE | 2LP | £19.99

BLEURRRRGH!!!!!! That’ll be the sound of 50,000 Fall fans/bores coughing out their dentures when we say that 1986’s jet-black space-punk death-trip Bend Sinister is their greatest LP bar none. More than that, it's easily among the four or five greatest rock’n’roll records EVER MADE. No YOU fuck off. This was the third and final Fall LP with John Leckie attempting to impose mixing desk order, and a reliably paranoid Smith railed at the swampy, trippy feel he was convinced the producer was smuggling in. That tension was presumably key to bringing about this most satisfying iteration of the Fall sound - murky but never muddy, lean and propulsive but almost Flying Nun WIDE, with Steve Hanley’s locomotive basslines flattening everything in their path. It’s also the pinnacle of Brix’s contribution to the group, her unmistakeable VYBZ all over the Lonely Surfer squall of ‘R.O.D.’ and slashing bubblegum riffage of ‘Terry Waite Sez’. Dunno if the received wisdom that this is the Fall’s “gothiest” record holds water - it's just a bit of a moody bastard, not least on the bleakly poetic ‘Gross Chapel - G.B. Grenadiers’ and cruise-control comedown classic ‘Living Too Late’ ("Crow's feet are ingrained on my face...") and their are occasional echoes of McGeogh’s Siouxsie juju in Brix and Scanlon’s locked-antler guitar damage. But these darker innervisions are offset, if not outnumbered, by moments of uninhibited JOY: chief among them the ragged cover of the Other Half’s ‘66 ode to getting twatted, ‘Mr Pharmacist’, which twists whimsical West Coast psychedelia into rowdy terrace-chant while also serving as a gloriously literal expression of Smith's underlying avant-garage agenda. BOOF. Remastered gatefold double-LP with a raft of bonus B-sides strapped on. This is the first and almost certainly the last time we will bother to recommend a Fall reissue to you. Forget everything else they did, just listen to THIS, on repeat, forever. "Watch out! Makers of fads / It's MES in shoulder pads..."

NATE YOUNG
VOLUME ONE: DILEMMAS OF IDENTITY
LOWER FLOOR MUSIC | LP | £17.99

Ruff n tumble slasher-cinematics from Wolf Eyes’ QB Nate Young - a hooliganistik ID crisis that is every bit as streetwise as it is atmospheric, “Dilemmas Of Identity” drags it’s knuckles through yelping industrial self-assessment and barges into a mutant techno soundtrack to some misunderstood youth skulking around a concrete jungle, setting empty shipping containers on fire (maybe). Imaginative, synthesised vandalism that is quite a stretch from the plasmic studio madness and droning malnourishment of the EXCELLENT Regression series, this first volume of Young’s latest direction coming very much swaggering outta isolation with A LOT to say.

The crackin' artwork (also by Young) sizes it up pretty perfectly, minimalist approach yielding VAST and varied communication - tracks like “Mindless Voices” sounding a bit like Cabaret Voltaire doing an instrumental of “Seconds Too Late” with their chins up - sitting next to the pensive, night bus gloom-core of “Pardon The Mess” and demented piano lament on "Vents Of Blue" - our personal highlight, the acid-dashin’ STREETWALKER that is “The Weeping Babe” and it’s sinister beat-machine menace. When ingested as a whole, the album begins to channel a similar atmosphere (perhaps in a sturdier, tech-wise style) to the all time shut-in shunter - “FAULI TIL DAULI” (when are any of you reissue wurmz gonna sort THAT one out, eh?!) - both laying down monophonic smak-tracks that have the attitude of a thousand rat’s arses AND an almost automatic, inner-mind sensitivity, without any particularly colourful studio equipment. BANGER.

VOX POPULI!
HALF ALIVE GANJA MUSIC
COR ARDENS | CD | £11.99

MORE Half Dead Ganja Music?! Shove this in ur vape and smog it - new imprint Cor Ardens answers the prayers of all humble worshippers to Vox Populi’s 1987 triumph by getting up close and personal with the groups founders to unearth further, lost studio and live cuts that never saw the light of day, now presented as “Half Alive Ganja Music”.

Ever since Spencer Clark slapped together the vinyl reissue of HDGM in 2013 it has sat firmly at the top of our pile, with the thought always present that if the house were to tragically catch fire and we for some reason, categorically decided we could only escape with ONE reissue from the last decade - we would watch with a shallow, ambivalent grin as all other revived esoterica melted into an indistinguishable dollop - deeply content in the knowledge that we still had our paws on this indispensable, vampiric-industrial meditation.

Yeah, a serious game changer for us, so excuse us as we wipe the drool from our jaw in the wake of new routes - Half ALIVE Ganja Music gets high on the cinders of our burning abode and provides a welcome macro-dose of SEVENTEEN burnt-ends (including an epic 12 min live improvisation) - spanning the breadth and depth of the original release, dabbling in realms of psychedelic, nosferatu folk, engulfing feedback swells and paranormal synthesiser ascensions that never drift into the trappings of the polite and pyjama-clad, NO CHANCE. These lost boys n girls have bite - even by the second track on this collection, “Ala Okie”, you are welcomed back to all the growling gristle and frantic percussion of Half Dead, Mithra’s vocal enchantments gently hovering in the ether, forming what, to us at least, is the signature sound of VP! - HAUNTING, mystical beauty that no amount of faded photo’s the whole crew in the rustic, French countryside would make you believe that you are hearing music from this dimension. Proper vibes-akimbo on this one, not enough in-shoppe superlatives to even touch the sides on this beast - endless thanks to Jim Strong for digging this up and the ever on-it Nick horn o' plenty for alerting us to it’s existence - would recommend this to anyone who is even a tenth alive.

Also arrived from Cor Ardens - killer cassette comp feat unreleased tracks from Blue Chemise, Yixuan Pan, Jim Strong +++. Presented in laser-cut wood cover - bosh! 

LEIGHTON CRAIG
DIAMOND EYE
BRUIT DIRECT DISQUES | LP | £16.99

Lonely rafts of song bobbing on a sea of pink (?), foamy, minimal electronics - this spot-on new solo side from Oz career outsider Leighton Craig (one half of the excellent, underrated Primitive Motion and alumnus of noise-rock puzzlers/legends Lost Domain) - has an extremely gentle, private, almost post-traumatic feel, reminding us a little bit of Brunnen’s wispy Valium-ballads, the rural stargazing of Hood and Flying Saucer Attack or, closer to home, the most desperately yearning, burned-out moments of Michael Morley’s Gate... Creeps up on you... got a feeling this is one we’re gonna be talking about again come end of year.
VARIOUS ARTISTS
SPORTS
YOUTH | CD | £9.99

thhhporthh! Knock tha wind out ya comp of contemporary club tackle - turbulent beat tracks from the likes of FUMU and Shamos as well as a hissing, ballistic MISSILE from unknown producer LDWG - their contribution sounding like Footsie and Shiken Hanzo met at the genius bar and decided to start sharing a hard drive, at least until a seductive, vocal incantation drops in and propels “DRM1MKII” into a club-sphere totally of it’s own.

There’s also heaps of high-grade ambient, acid-smattered techno on offer from cautioned YOUTH Yugen Disciple and lord-of-the-dust Kassem Mosse, the chill-oot party thoroughly crashed by carefully placed, abrasive beat disruptions from the likes of Sensu and Turinn and shop fave Iueke’s hypno-percussive court dance. Deadly! Limited edition CD, 150 copies.

STATE OF THE NATION

 

A wearier week than usual (should be used to it, right?) waking up to the increasingly exasperated choir of grey faces hoarsely speculating the future of UK and its residents when in fact they don’t know if it’s frikkin' New York or New Year. General mood made only worse this morning after asking a fellow member of the public for the time (phone died fuqsake) only to be told with a warm smile and sincere apology that they didn’t have any spare change. If you don’t laugh you’ll cry, eh? Thank fuck for MUSIC AND ALCOHOL. Tickets for our Saturday night social below. 

xx LC


LOW COMPANY AT CAFE OTO, SATURDAY 16TH MARCH
ILTA HÄMÄRÄ + CUCINA POVERA + MALVERN BRUME + XVARR


Join us as we leave the safety, comfort and, er, CONFINES of our four walls as we once again plunge in to the ocean of LIVE music with five of our favourite sound explorers: from the wilds of Belgium, Ilta Hämärä aka dark magi Timo Van Lujik and Bart De Paepe, purveyors of punishing, baddest-trip psychedelia and haunting outsider concrète....Cosmically-aligned art-songs from our favourite Finnish-Glaswegian psalmsorialist (no that's definitely not a word), Cucina Povera..the ritual electronics / planet-gargling noise of XVARR...and hermetic sound collage x suspensive beat cycles from Malvern Brume. Intro/intermission/extended outro provided by the SO MUCH BELTER SOUNDSYSTEM: Kenny / Carla / Sanjay
AKIO SUZUKI
JUMPING AND STANDING
ART INTO LIFE | LP | £23.99

 

Emphatic, rhythmic MELTDOWN courtesy of Japan's Art Into Life - a live and previously unreleased recording of Akio Suzuki performing at Musashino Art University, in 1984, using a combination of metallic percussion, a reel-to-reel and five wind-up, toy rabbits which have been employed as a shockingly effective / cute as fuck rhythm section - the audience in this recording HOWLING with laughter for the opening couple of minutes as Suzuki presumably attempts to herd and conduct a small orchestra of mobile Furbee percussionists.

All these initial shambolics set the record up perfectly, as it is the interactive nature of Suzuki's work that separates him from the rest of the ol’ time avant-gardies (at it since the sixties!), a rare engagement with audiences and a deadly focused, but ultimately light-hearted ideal - standing and jumping, throwing and following - playful ideas and their resulting rhythms are sat right at the core of this exploratory performance - as well as being integral to Suzuki’s lifetime experiments in sound and the spaces which can imprison them.

As the noise of the audiences’ laughter seems to make way for the silence of their enchantment, we hear the subtle nuances of Suzuki and his robotic mob catching a “groove” - a chorus of feedback loops that begin to sound like a mechanical birdsong, a rattling dither of phasing harmonics that fills the space between a drifting, percussive noise scape of wood and metal bric-a-brac, which over the course of thirty minutes (it goes fast!), begins to feel like a tiny, charmingly unoptimised ecosystem that has been attentively grown and nurtured by Suzuki and his seemingly doting audience. Genuinely wish we’d been there to see this in ’84 - a deftly measured, nigh-on shamanistic incantation and a truly innovative document as to what sound-art can offer. FFO: Company series on Incus, Kosugi, Alvin Curran, Michael Snow.

Japanese import, limited to 300 copies. A couple of ours have VERY slight warping but you’ll live.

LOW LIFE
DOWNER EDN
ALTER | LP | £14.99
 

Long-time followers of the shop (not that we’ve been around that long eh) will be well aware of our love of DOGGING… by which we mean not ONLY exhibitionist sexual activity but ALSO the ripping album of that name by Oz mutantes Low Life. A cult classic pretty much on arrival (2014 to be precise, courtesy R.I.P. Society / Disinfect), the more widely available 2017 pressing on Luke Younger’s Alter confirmed its burgeoning LEGENDARY STATUS. Downer EDN is the follow-up, and what a beautiful snarling sobbing brawling beast of a record it is… a worthy successor to Dogging, I mean, might it even be better than Dogging?! The production/mix is less uneven, is bang-on in fact (Mikey Young innit), the songwriting's tighter, the vocals bolshier, the swearing more gratuitous, the wall of guitars thicker and nastier and more recklessly overdriven than before. But what makes Low Life special, and always has, is the way they queer their full-throttle, bonehead street-punk/noise-rock pitch with subtle currents of more spectral, brittle sonics and dare we say SOUL-SEARCHING lyrical appeals - capturing the desperation and futility not just of footie-loving, pint-smashing Sydney 'Lad Life’ but of ALL LIFE. An absolute blast, do not miss. 

FELIX KUBIN
MAX BRAND STUDIE IV - T O P I A
VIS | LP | £13.99


Essential harbour city sorrows and nightmare, electro-bubblebaths in the Hamburg docklands, top synth physician Felix Kubin and his Max Brand hash out their differences to create two spacious, long-form oscillations of rasping analogue textures for the walking wounded. 

The two pieces cycle through a series unnerving, high-alert, underpass sonics and stark, mirror-symmetry minimalism, allowing for no distractions as to the Max Brand’s monophonic, HAUNTING prowess and the abundant vault of Kubin’s ideas - each movement sidewinding beyond it’s solution - expanding, inverting and taking on a life of their own with poise reminiscent of Laszlo Dubrovay or a seventies Subotnick LP and all the imagination of that HEAVILY underrated Onomatopoeia LP from the 90s, or the earlier works Ursula Bogner. Dimly-lit wizardry, not to be overlooked!

Handnumbered LP with insert and download code. Limited to 300. 
ANNE GILLIS
ARCHIVES BOX 1983-2005
ART INTO LIFE | 5XCD | £44.99

 

A devils picnic INDEED, found-sound TITAN Anne Gillis’ definitive archive, in a gloriously presented CD box-set that leaves little else to be desired in the realms of unique, gristly sound exploration. Her works throughout the eighties (and beyond) cut a path completely of their own - hypnotic compositions of circling, reverberant feedback and whistling, GRINDING sample manipulation that slide on the slants of industrial, are paired off with the unnatural, chaotic beauty of her all-encompassing, innovative sound collage and wound together with a seditionary minimal-synth sensibility. This collection also crams in a remaster of the often passed over “Pomme Ou Pas Pomme” cassette, where Gillis effortlessly drifts into graceful, kosmiche synth-“pop” skeletons.

Properly FLOORED by this - can’t remember the last time we actually ENJOYED a box set, the format most famously known for gathering dust and sharing more in common with some sorta boutique jigsaw than something you would actually listen to, no, having all this material in once place really gives some perspective to a body of work and hammers home the once whispered idea of Gillis being one of the most exciting and impulsive artists to ever do it. Highly desirable item - one please!

 

Contents are as follows:

Disc 1: Lxgrin (1984), Aha (1984); Disc 2: Montetachek (1985), Bisherigori (1986); Disc 3: Devil’s Picnic (1983), Rementact (1989); Disc 4: Manon Anne Gillis & G.X. Jupitter-Larsen - Encored Dust (1994-95), Euragine (1994); Disc 5: Compilations + Unreleased Works.

CRAZY DOBERMAN / BLACK VOMIT
CRAZY DOBERMAN / BLACK VOMIT
POST-MATERIALIZATION MUSIC | CS | £6.99

Absolute pearler from our favourite freaks across the pond, Crazy Doberman, via Russian tape label, Post-Materialization Music. Sordid sax freakouts and cantankerous spatterings sound like Pierre Brotzmann’s junkyard terriers let off the leash. More free than they’re last 7” outing on IDDB but the same brutish no wave dolDRUM energy as Implog colliding with the Joe McPhee/Bryan Eubanks collab. Proper open-circuit, open vein outer limits music. The flip diverges somewhat with two excursions from The Black Vomit who seem to have a penchant for redlining the woodwind section into a frenzied, ESP-asthma attack with such fury only matched by their terrifying pastiche of various vocal shriekings that drift in and out over the course of the two tracks. One for the masochists.

BAM TUNES

 

Bit behind on the mailer this week due to an intensive spring clean, reevaluating our existence after Static Shock and Sanjay’s disruptive shrieks of horror brought on by a brief encounter with a household mouse, which had taken up residence in the back office. Despite our brief murmurings of vendetta the wee guy was swiftly and HUMANELY removed from the premises and is now being considered a good omen: WE'RE FINALLY A REAL RECORD SHOP. 

Anyway, brief nag about next Saturday Night and what joys await - our takeover at Cafe Oto, tickets here - aaaaand onto this week’s WEALTH of damage. Choose your weapons!

NOVOSTJ DSORDNE
1983-1988
ACC RECORDS | LP | £16.99

Mouldering, mind-altering minimal electronics, mingled with lavishly baroque songs of thwarted romance/escape, suffused with high Catholic drama and fatalism and dread… we’ll have some of that! The original Italian DIY/industrial scene has been heavily plundered in recent years, but the work of Marco Milano and Roberta Ongaro, first as Novostj and then as DsorDNE (any tips on how to pronounce EITHER would be appreciated, ta), has proved elusive until now and this important vinyl reincarnation of an eight-track, 1988 cassette compilation on Hax. Icy, economical, vaguely Dome-ish pop jewels are embedded in more expansive textural explorations, noise harrowings and long, looping drum-spells, gradually adding up to an exacting and exhilarating torture-garden psychedelia…think Minimal Man, the S.Y.P.H. of ‘Nachbar’ (sort of), the Robert Turman of The Way Down, Chrome at their most way-out. There’s an adolescent fearlessness and innocence and honesty to it too, a sense that this music is EVERYTHING to the people who made it – see especially the blasted-heath (do they have heaths in Italy?) howl of 'Nel Vuoto' - not the soundtrack to their lives, but the stuff of life itself. But it's also frighteningly accomplished, and effortlessly, almost shruggingly, avant-garde…a deeply personal vision that nonetheless feels pointedly experimental and outward-looking and strangely prophetic, with passages of ectoplasmic, ego-shredding basement sludge that point the way to Xpressway and Siltbreeze’s 90s zonings, and strong premonitions of techno too in the raging gothic hypnobeat/bad-NRG of 'Disordine' and 'Voce di Edefici Vuoti'. Yeah...it's proper good this one. 

INTERBELLUM
FEBRUARI
VRYSTAETE | LP | £18.99


Ice-cave entanglements and ambient vapours from Interbellum, that subtly drift and rumble into the realms of techno and make up the ninth offering on the properly IMPECCABLE Vrystaete - literally every one of their releases causing some sorta stir in these waters.

Yes, in the absence of having the time and / or education to dismantle the seemingly cast-iron correlation between low temperatures and electronic music, we can’t help but belly-flop into “Februari”s overwhelming invocations of the open ice’s beauty, brutality and COLD -like Interbellum spent the last winter held up in some igloo studio with ‘owt but their humming laptop to keep warm - delicately articulating a journey through isolation towards inner-sanctum, with gritty, city-scape ambient feeling like a distant planet as droning frequencies steadily swell in clean, fresh air and delicate melodies are allowed to soar up into an unpolluted polar sky.

The opener, “Every Word In The English Language”, tight ropes across a pensive network of underwater currents that rush below trance-inducing, melodic light displays - as if Thomas Koner got snowed in at Jochem Peteri’s studio - the only exception to this equation being the second track, “Brechtje”, that sees the addition of a sombre guitar line - which is kinda the only point where you are reminded you are listening to music made by actual humans. This passage is brief though, before further expeditions continue on the B-side with “Winter” and “Omen”, the former utilising hyper-real computerised warbles akin to the latest productions of HEITH and the latter, saddling-up subsonic bass sonars, deep freeze suikinkutsu styled synth droplets and distant, frostbitten percussions that recall the more recent works of Bellows or some forgotten artefact on the Icelandic imprint, Thule. Indispensable techno thermos to see yah through the longest nights.

REQ
TAPE TRANSPORT 1994-2000
SEAGRAVE | CS | £13.99

 

WHOA. Did not see this coming. Staggeringly well-presented double-cassette compilation of unreleased tracks from the archives of one of our all-time favourite producers: UK graffiti pioneer and Brighton native REQ, whose deep, droning, dub-smudged hip-hop scapes quietly deconstructed and remodelled the genre in late 90s - for those who were listening, anyway. We’re paraphrasing slightly, but it was another avowed fan, Lee Gamble, who said that REQ’s 1997 album One is to hip-hop what A Guy Called Gerald’s Black Secret Technology is to jungle. Like B.S.T., REQ’s music has a strung-out, quiet, reflective, Isolationist intensity to it, it’s music made not for the dancefloor but for intense private zoning… proper head music, unerringly rhythmic but constantly threatening pure ambient drift, and sounding as alien, smoked-out and futuristic today as it did 20+ years ago. Curt, tuff boom-bap rhythms are smeared and smothered into space-curdling abstraction, loops are sustained and hooks repeated for way longer than any right-thinking rap producer would dare - yeah REQ’s music feels, at times, like hip-hop extrapolated into a new kind of minimal B-boy techno. Not to mention the foregrounding of crackle and tape-hiss, reverb and delay, which is rooted in classic 90s sampledelia but clearly prefigures the early 2000s micro/dub experiments of Jan Jelinek, Pole etc and the kind of ultra-spatialised sound design we take totally for granted today. The lost tunes assembled across this set of two tapes feel like tunes too long, too cerebral, too fucked-up to fit in the context or duration of a conventional, commercially released album, and as such they represent REQ at his most bold, idiosyncratic and avant-garde. Seriously, fucking hell, this is nothing short of the MOTHERLODE. I need to have a lie-down. 

Pair of pro-dubbed cassettes - 1 black, 1 white - with contrasting on-body prints from REQ's 90's graffiti blackbook. Supplied in a double butterfly case with full-colour double-sided j-cards. Includes a uniquely tagged 'Hello My Name Is REQ' eggshell slap.



 
VARIOUS
NOISES
CORTIZONA | LP | £22.99

 

Abundant compilation of various Belgian TAPAS (13 tracks!), originally released in 1977 on Marc Moulin’s concise, immaculate Kamikaze imprint - a small project he threw together after dossing out some of the GREATEST jazz-funk (eek) albums of all time as Placebo AND just before he set his phasers to REVOLUTIONISE the world of synth-pop / electro as part of Telex! Christ. Must start getting up earlier in the morning. Anyway - what ye have here with “Noises” is, at least initially, a compelling mix of studio doodles from Michael Moers (also future Telex founder) as well as several concrete wonderings by Robert Altaber - taking familiar sounds and forming gristly textures that feel as earthy as the later works of Moniek Darge - these charming abstractions - interrupted by scattered, heart-stung folk songs - most namely Ilona Chale’s “Rester Dans Le Silence”. Proceed with caution!

For all of Side A’s curiosities - you really have to turn this one over to get the full dose - instantly find yourself confronted with the subtle inflections of Ariel Kalma’s “Aman” - a star-gazing flute-soup that moves with poise and purpose, a bit like a more meteoric version of Tibor Szemzo's “Let’s Go Out And Dance” - fourteen minutes of whirling wind instruments and kosmiche staircases for the mind to ascend. Maybe it’s a stretch, but at times “Aman” feels like a bleary-eyed, bedroom take on Reich’s “Different Trains”, but before you’ve had a chance to react to Kalma’s psychic MIND-YOGA you are cut straight to an extended offering from Moulin himself - a layered and looped, echo-chamber hallucination that sounds as contemporary as ever. AMAZING collection.

CZN
THE GOLDEN PATH
LOVERS & LOLLYPOPS | LP | £14.99


Can we rewind four months and add ‘The Golden Path’ to our best of 2018 list? Slipped right through our fingers, this one, which is a damn shame considering how into all of Valentina Magaletti's work we've been. She’s been a transient, constant and crucial cog on the machine for so many projects and collaborations you’d be familiar with -  from working with Can, Graham Lewis (in the project UUUU on Editions Mego), Tomaga and even the recent, motorik offerings of Shit & Shine and Raime. Here she’s partnered up with Portuguese musician/sculptor Joao Pais Filipe on this project, CZN. It’s a unfettered DIY / modern classical magic carpet ride that sounds more like an Octopus wielding nun-chucks and kendo sticks than the simple spoon pictured on the front cover. Percussive fireworks scraped from the surfaces of symbols and gongs, smelted by Filipe himself (from copper, zinc and nickel presumably) smash against couple of crotal bells and a buchla synth swooping in with eerie disquiet sub bass. The record is forty minutes of deft bliss splayed to all corners of the Abbey Road Studios where it was recorded by some reassuringly large-fuck-off reel-to-reel tape recorder, probably. If you’re a fan of Tomaga this is obviously worth checking but also of similar mind to Andrea Belfi’s last LP on Latency, 'Cera Persa.' Unique to ‘The Golden Path’, you get the overwhelming sense that CZN captured their percussion in all it's lush glory with hundreds of antique room mics while keeping you on your toes with the imminent  arrival with the Buchla’s Lustmord-ish dreadnaught intensity. Highest possible recommend.

PUNKS ON PILLS

Another busy week over here, all getting firmly filed under POSITIVE STRESS. Main thing coming off the back-burner has been the planning of a couple nights on the tiles - the first of which being our next Oto takeover, this time on a most sociable Saturday night (16/03) - with a couple local debuts as well as some imported shop faves. Also gonna have Carla, Kenny and Sanjay generating some Saturday night fever in between acts with time for a good few pub classics at the end - mines a scooner! Big thanks to Tin Savage for the poster. Buy your tix here

Another occasion that is very much UPON US is the sixth instalment of Static Shock Festival, a four day debacle featuring nearly fifty bands and a thousand or-so punks on pingers taking over the streets of North London. In line with such depravity our good ‘ol neighbour Paco has opened the doors to the La Vida Es Un Mus cave and has TONNES of second hand punk / hardcore / post-punk and general groggy-oddities for sale from 12pm-4pm on Friday and Saturday. We’ve been ‘anging around in there this morning and TRUST US - he is well worth a visit. 

If all of this just sounds like a sore head, there’s also the option to stay indoors and enjoy the sounds of our renegade aussie beat-juggler, sans curse words (no “dog this”, “c*nt that” on air) and giving the first rinse on a pile of forthcoming LC business ++  - Sanjay’s radio show is up for infinite rewindover on NTS.

ANYWAY, deluge of good stuff in this week - read and, er, weep.

xxx


 
PLEXIGLADZ
THE 4TH DIMENSION
ULTRA ECZEMA | LP | £18.99

 

Last copies of this deadly, angst-in-their-pants set of late 70s / early 80s demo tapes, spikey studio sketches and thumping, rhythmic, back-alley brawls (check “I Hate”!) from one hit wonders of mangled Belgian New Wave, PLEXI GLADZ.
Not a phrase we use often but we are OVERJOYED to finally have these aggy scraps of clattering, post-punk mania in the shop - unearthed by Ultra Eczema at the end of last year - every track sounding like all the best gear on “The Elephant Table Album”, or some low fidelity stew of Burbounese Qualk, Geile Tiere and early Ata Tak tackle. Mutant sounds of the HIGHEST order!

Comes with archival photos, as well as a rejection letter from Virgin Records.

RAP (THOMAS BUSH & GUY GORMLEY)
EXPORT
JOLLY DISCS | CD | £6.99

 

Free, fresh, rowdy-cum-wistful rave/blooz mutations from Thomas Bush and Guy Gormley (Special Occasion, Enchante), improbably applying hardstyle tempos to breezy, dub-scuffed pop songs with soca/funky-derived rhythms and eerie, ambient/folk textures (what?). Hashed out over a few sessions at GG’s studio over the road from us back in December, it’s a looser, spacier z3excursion than the duo’s last RAP outing, the brightly lit and tightly wound ‘Originals’ - and in true Jolly Discs fashion it goes down so easy it takes a few listens before the true extent of its craft and daring and attention to detail becomes apparent. Those of us craving more from Bush after last year’s banging Old & Red ought to be first in line - his distinctive young-druid vocals are used sparingly, but very effectively, here, while as co-producers he and Gormley deliver something more than the sum of themselves, folding upful, bashy UK house tropes into a more private, moody, crepuscular sphere - a world where floatation-tank techno chords, steel-drum vamps and LFOish sub-bass plasma-bursts co-exist with eldritch swirls of woodwind and stately, high-lonesome piano nocturnes. It could be music imagined from a point so far in the future, or by a civilisation so far away, that the temporal and cultural distance between Gareth Williams and Karizma is effectively zero. Or just people making stuff to suit themselves, and kindly sharing the spoils with you. CD album with screenprinted disc, edition of 100>>>>

MALVERN BRUME
C.S.S. EAR-WELL
SEPTIC TEMPL | CS | £5.99
 
Low Company hard kru gets it’s hands on some of the most abundant “demos” we’ve heard in a loooong time, a recalibrating collection of hermetic sound collage and suspensive beat cycles that form the far-reaching, street-lamp sonics on “C.C.S. Ear-well” - the first outing of London based shut-in Malvern Brume and the maiden voyage of a cobbled together, in-house, hand scalpel’ing, carbon based farce / tape label.

A near sixty minute long Greenwich Tunnel Dive, “C.S.S...” is a set of lost transmissions on MB’s fading vitality and experiments in sun-starved, solitary fitness. From the off, the opening track “Pedestrian Movement” feels like a last legible journal entry, a pensive and melodic inquisition before rasping, Diesel Guitar-style drone descents and inaudible S.O.S. signals take hold and tracks become fully shrouded in a malnourished distortion, dusted with fluttering memoirs of the real-world via some rickety, smoke stained London field recordings.

Side B morphs into more paranoid, beat-sequenced skeletons - “Tascam 1081” and “Ebb” feeling like hissing inversions of the German Shepherds’ “Music For Sick Queers”, whilst “Unrooted Drum” and “Mud Lap” take the shape of an unidentified strain of slickly modulating, claustrophobic techno - like something you might find on Morphine - an erratic yet intuitive tekno-primitivism, Brume going mad in captivity and simultaneously developing an acute understanding for his craft. Cold-hearted, grey C60 cassette with artwork by Victor Wagget, each copy chaotically hand-dubbed and numbered in-shoppe, one time run of 49 copies. Comes with download code.

CUCINA POVERA 
ZOOM
NIGHT SCHOOL | LP | £16.99

Woii, new cosmically-aligned art-songs from our favourite Finnish-Glaswegian psalmsorialist, Cucina Povera. It’s all in the title with this one, ‘Zoom,’ the pocket recorder and weapon of choice for field recordists the world over, which CP (aka Maria Rossi) uses to capture choral acappellas of potent mysticism. At its best moments (which are frequent!), the unadulterated acoustic timbre is enhanced by using little more than a loop pedal which wraps her voice around the concrète traces of her production techniques (such as using a coke bottle as a mesmerising, rhythmic pan-flute). The minimalist junkyard textures upon which her acappellas are throned is the basis for Zoom’s singular appeal, conjuring images of lost lovers moon dancing across the frozen peaks of the Ural Mountains. It’s enchantment flows from the same well as Meredith Monk’s ’71 masterpiece, ‘Key’ but crucially CP’s voice on tracks like ZOOM0010 and ZOOM0014 is much more prominent and clearly the star of the show, in all its naked glory. Think of any Joan le Barbara’s works, such as 'Voice is the Original Instrument' but unashamedly more vulnerable and unaffected. Rossi has taken a big risk on this one, laying bare the mechanics of her creative vision and we’ve got to say, it’s undoubtedly paid off in spades - perched right out on the edge of intrigue. Zoom is an intimate, celestial and abstract self-portrait of a person who’s progression as an artist is because of the limitations she’s set herself. A few ingredients can bare a dish worthy of infinite praise.

 

EEL 
HDD
ETHBO | 12" | £10.99

Refreshingly boisterous, deep sea sound-exploration and undefinable texture generation from Leipzig duo EEL - snatched fresh from the polluted ocean floor and plopped into some sorta fish tank hologram for our awe and amusement - their glitch’ing, otherworldly manoeuvres - ones to truly behold as they dart from the gargling, disruptive grit-scapes of HDD1 to the drenched yet glistening melodies of HDD2 - that sound like the most interplanetary adventures of Jamal Moss, stranded in a digital rainstorm. HDD 3 is a dense cut of scrambled, psychic-drowning tape manipulation, before rounding things up on some kinda mangled, amphibian court-dance of percussive polyrhythm and rowdy digi-dub bass on HDD 4. Total UFO - did NOT see this one coming.

 
SUN CITY GIRLS 
PELICAN '92
POST-MATERIALIZATION MUSIC | CS | £6.99


Storming live recording of Sun City Girls from ‘92 - a band that has come up in conversation a lot recently round deez parts - mostly because we won’t stop blasting their “Djinn Funnel” Lp on Nashazphone in shoppe - a general consensus of people being very much aware of SCG but not knowing where to start when stood at the foot of the mountain that is their extensive back catalogue.

WELL,  what we have ‘ere is an ideal point of departure - in that its pretty cheap AND “Pelican ‘92” captures both the engrossing variety and restless energy of this bold Phoenix mob - psychedelic passages of Bishop's guitar circling, coming back around on itself, like a man with one leg longer than the other - lost, walking in an endless desert, as well as full throttle, high-speed sessions of fuzzed out, telepathic interplay. ADDICTIVE BELTER. 


RESTOCKS
 
NURSE WITH WOUND 
SUN RA 
DE FABRIEK  

POST-MATERIALISATION MUSIC | CS | £7.99 EACH

 
BAZUINSCHAL
BAZUINSCHAL
ULTRA ECZEMA | LP | £17.99

STILLUPPSTEYPA
BEACH JOLANDA
ULTRA ECZEMA | LP | £21.99

DAN MELCHIOR & SIGTRYGGUR BERG SIGMARSSON
DARK ARC
ULTRA ECZEMA | LP | £21.99

 
CHEN YI
"THE" 1978-1983
90% WASSER | LP | £20.99

 
ILTA HÄMÄRA
VELLOA
MEEUW MUZAK | 7" | £6.99