It is September now, the best month of the year typically. 2019 is in fine fettle.
New set of releases, new month and a new record to champion. September's ROTM is Gruff Rhys' utterly lush Pang! We'll be talking more about it next week on release, but flagging up that we have a test pressing to be won, more info here.
We also have a competition running on our instagram page (we'll be doing this more if you all like it) to win a King Gizzard banner.
Record of the Week is the return of the Tuareg group Tinariwen, with Amadjar. Featuring guest appearances from Sun O)))’s Stephen O’Malley, Cass McCombs and the baddest seed Warren Ellis, who all add to proceedings unobtrusively with real care. The broad narrative is that the album was recorded on the road (true to the nomad spirit), on the two-week journey through Morocco and the Western Sahara. They pitched camp each night and recorded sketches of songs in a camper van-turned-mobile studio. Lush flowing feel to it, songs of great spirit.
+ Limited first pressing 2LP edition comes with 28 page road trip booklet.
Natasha Khan returns as Bat For Lashes with her fifth studio album Lost Girls, and it is a glorious slice of retro futurism. Few people have so successfully mined through 80's synth-pop and brought anything new to it, Lost Girls does exactly that, weird tones using those classic timbres. Above all else, it just feels so personal it's impossible not to get caught up.
+ Available as a limited indie shop pressing on clear vinyl with pink and red colour splatter.
+ We have a handful of SIGNED COPIES of the Black Vinyl edition.
This week sees the release of Dinked 20, the rich and soulful Something Like A War from Kindness. The production here really is amazing, some lush guest appearances too (Robyn and Bahamadia in particular). We have kept a few aside, just put them online now so don't miss out.
+ Limited pressing of just 400 copies, worldwide.
+ Exclusive Dinked opaque lemon yellow coloured double vinyl.
+ Includes three exclusive art prints, one is signed and hand-numbered.
Frankie Cosmos release their fourth LP Close It Quietly on Sub Pop and it's such a treat. Brilliantly melancholic pop nuggets with saccharine sweetness blurring the edges of some really quite introspective themes. Some lush jangle, we've been going back on this a fair bit.
Iggy Pop returns with a sombre new album called Free. It's a patchwork of jazz, poetry and ambience, late night session vibes.
+ Limited Indie shop edition is pressed on 'sea blue' coloured vinyl.
L'épée is a stellar combination of the talents of The Brian Jonestown Massacre’s Anton Newcombe, cinematic femme fatale Emmanuelle Seigner and ice-cool pop provocateurs The Limiñanas (Lionel and Marie Liminana).
+ Diabolique is available on limited ruby red vinyl.
Toronto-based artist Sandro Perri releases his new LP Soft Landing on Constellation. The delivery is pretty masterful, a beautiful balance of sliding guitars and electronic gestures... Got a feeling that this might be the sort of record we get pretty obsessed with. Do make sure to find the time for this weird and wonderful beast.
The Competition is the fourth album from Lower Dens, politically charged dream-pop. Enjoyed this a lot, played back to back and definitely kept taking more from it.
+ Limited Indies only addition on Clear vinyl
Adam Green returns with his latest offering Engine Of Paradise, featuring James Richardson (MGMT), Florence Welch (Florence and the Machine) and Jonathan Rado (Foxygen). As ever, he is both baffling and piercingly brilliant. A fine crooner, a brilliant storyteller and totally idiosyncratic.
The mercurial Black Country, New Road release the Sunglasses 7" on Blank Editions. We sold out (twice) hard and fast. Keep an eye on the socials incase we can cop a few more.
Jack Peñate's new single Prayer, is his first official release in a decade since his second album ‘Everything is New’ was released on XL Recordings in 2009. Just a couple of 7"s left.
Lastly for new this week, Salami Rose Joe Louis (real name Lindsay Olsen) - the Bay Area based musician, composer and producer - releases her new album Zdenka 2080 via Brainfeeder. Woozy electronic music that sounds like sagging tapes and cracking bleeps, telling tales of a future dystopia. Beautifully weird and one we've been loving getting lost in.
A couple of killer complications this week.
We have the second edition of BBE's J Jazz, covering Deep Modern Jazz From Japan 1969 – 1983. Loads of bases covered through the years of fusion, and as BBE said themselves, "enough here to satisfy the most curious and demanding jazz fan seeking something extra special". Playing this a lot.
Strut continues its essential compilation series of Indian Ocean sounds with Alefa Madagascar, the first compilation to document the unique culture of salegy, soukous and soul on the island during the ‘70s and ‘80s. Emerging from 15th Century ceremonial music and a cappella chanting called antsa, salegy evolved into a fast-paced dance based on 6/8 and 12/8 rhythms. From the ’60s onwards, the vibrant call-and-response style contributed to a Malagasy style that defined much of the island’s popular music.
We are going to sell so many of these off the stereo, utter bangers!
Twenty-three years after it first saw the light of day, Arab Strap's debut album The Week Never Starts Round Here has been remastered. Recorded on the outskirts of Glasgow at MCM – where label-mates Mogwai and The Delgados also recorded their debuts and which would become the first iteration of Chemikal Underground’s sister operation Chem19 – the master tapes have been meticulously refreshed by original recording engineer Paul Savage. Just a couple left!
Mute release another couple of excellent Throbbing Gristle editions, with Throbbing Gristle’s Greatest Hits (lush Transparent orange vinyl) and D.O.A. The Third and Final Report of Throbbing Gristle (Transparent green vinyl) in print with new notes. Superb.
LCD Soundsystem's second ever 12-inch Yeah receives a rare repressing, and is sleeved in the original artwork from the 2003 UK edition. Is it any good? Mate... Yeah yeah yeah, yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah, yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah.
For the very first time as a complete album, Miles Davis' Rubberband gets a release. It has been completed by the original producers Randy Hall and Zane Giles, and Davis’ nephew Vince Wilburn Jr.,with guest Vocalists Including Lalah Hathaway and Ledisi. Some explosive moments with some quite avant-garde pop production, way ahead of the curve, even if it did get shelved for thirty-plus years.
The John Peel Sessions 1979-1983 is a collection of all the Echo & The Bunnymen Radio 1 John Peel sessions that they performed during the formative years of the band. Significantly, this collection of 21 tracks are from the very beginning of the band's existence. With little money, the band used them to demo new material. Many of the songs were written due to the fact a Peel session had been booked, not because the show loved the new songs - demonstrating the level of trust, confidence and love they had for the band. The sessions are vibey, quite angular at times and full of golden moments. Great band, great supporter, great chemistry.
As ever, playlists up on the blog to have a listen to, but you can always just come and see us... We're pretty good fun.