Holy smokes, folks, September keeps giving with a hugely impressive set of newies.
Four fifths of Super Furry Animals open a new chapter this week with DK.01, their full debut as Das Koolies. Much like SFA, it’s all about balance. There are some really lush slow builds and there are some really gripping dives into techno, but the victory is the way that they take those components and create something woozy, new and very much them. We’ll have to do some serious counting, but album opener ‘Best Mindf*ck Yet’ might well have more f*cks than SFA’s 1996 single, ‘The Man Don't Give A F--k’, which is going some!
A debut, but it’s not like this is their first rodeo; this is the sound of people working in decades of practised union. Record of the Week.
+ Available on double ECO Colour Vinyl (expect the unexpected!).
+ Double Black vinyl is running late.
+ We have signed art cards to give away.
Our Guest Can’t Be Named is the raucous and unruly return from Brighton-based The Wytches. They still have a gnarled pop sensitivity amongst the noise, but balancing that with some of their biggest steps into stoner/doom psych is gripping stuff. Mostly loud and messy, but always working in the right direction and not short of some lush little surprises.
It was a real joy to work with both Das Koolies and The Wytches on Dinked Editions.
Gentle Confrontation is the third LP from electronic vanguard Loraine James on Hyperdub and it really is a special one. She pulls in so many textures and tones, an ebbing and flowing soundscape that moves through beats right through to ambience. It just has such amazing energy, an immersive headspace without sounding fugged. Absolutely love this.
Noisy noisy duo JOHN return this week with A Life Diagrammatic and it is a real slab! Man, they make such an impressive din. It’s such a muscular record, powerful rhythms and that frenetic intensity they bring. Guest appearances include Simon Pegg (yeah!) and Barry Adamson who both add to the drive on an album that cements them as one of the best bands out there doing it right now. Great stuff.
+ Available on either Metallic Sand or Silver colour vinyl pressings.
+ Both LPs include a customised architect’s ruler, designed by the band.
Also very much to be filled under noisy are Los Angeles garage-rock trio Flat Worms who return with the blazzin’ Witness Marks on Ty Segall’s Drag City imprint, God? They worked with Ty on production again and this one really pounds it home. It’s an exercise in delivering short and sharp garage nuggets in the way they deserve. Raw and essential, this one is really fantastic.
Flying Wig is the new LP from Devendra Banhart, his first with Mexican Summer. It was produced by his new label mate Cate Le Bon, and they really have created a vibe. The delivery is super relaxed, with hazy vocals at the front of the mix. It’s all dreamy without being vacant and the richness of the arrangements is another huge gold star to Cate Le Bon’s production CV.
+ Available on exclusive Opaque Blue colour vinyl.
+ Devendra has painted us some limited prints to give away with all LPs.
Atlas is the new piano led album from Laurel Halo and it’s really gorgeous stuff. Hazy, ambient meditations with flashes of saxophone and strings. The production is absolutely masterful, ornate but also dense and occasionally sinister. This one really is essential listening.
Absolute jangle royalty Teenage Fanclub return in suitable jangling form on the new Nothing Lasts Forever LP. The production is really good, you can hear what everyone is doing and it has quite a lo-fi and live sound to it all, with your big euphoric waves of harmonie too! Great energy. Jangles!
+ Available on exclusive Translucent Red colour vinyl.
+ We have signed 12” art cards to give away.
Drag City release Upstate from Prison, a loose collective of NYC musicians to include Endless Boogie‘s Paul Major, Mike Fellows (Rites of Spring, Silver Jews) and the late Sam Jayne. They had been jamming it live for a decade and this long-gestating studio album is a locked-in trip through gritty, bluesy, garagey jams. Really excellent.
Now solely under the direction of founder Domingæ, Santiago-founded and Mexico City-based Föllakzoid return on Sacred Bones Records with V and it is darkly delicious. The long evolving energy remains, but whereas the textures have previously utilised psychedelic and krautrock, this one is very much club culture and locked in beats. Hypnotic and alluring.
CHAI are back this week with the eponymous CHAI via Sub Pop and it has HUGE pop vibes. The Japanese four piece go back to their roots and this one is inspired and absolutely soaked in City Pop. It’s got such a bright and bould sound, pop bangers that squelch and ooze. It’s ridiculously good fun.
+ Pressed on Translucent Pink colour vinyl.
+ We’ll be giving away a test pressing for anyone who buys this one.
Will Butler - formerly of Arcade Fire - releases the eponymous Will Butler + Sister Squares this week via Merge. It’s definitely a new space, but it does recall somewhere between up-tempo Suburbs and Reflektor.
+ Available on Indie Blue Swirl colour vinyl.
+ We will have signed prints to give away with this one too.
LA producer Kiefer releases It's Ok, B U via Stones Throw Records and the production is - rather predictably - sublime. Beats and keys, so quite simple in that way, but the tones are just lush and the pacing really floats.
Jacked up, pounding and VERY ready for Saturday night is Prisoners Of Love And Hate, the latest Apostille LP on Night School. Lots of stylistic points of reference, but it’s all very much whirled up and fired out of his own distinct lens. Super fun!
All that and we still have time for ‘also this week™’ … Khruangbin team up with Toro y Moi on the Live at The Fillmore Miami release as part of their ongoing live record series. With us in a minute also is Goth: A History, the deep dive into goth culture from Lol Tolhurst, co-founder of The Cure. Bibio releases the absolutely gorgeous Sunbursting EP on Warp. I mean, he always is, but this is just awe-inspiring. A lush mood and a rich and warm set of hypnotic trips.
Lastly this week and very much not one to miss is Tall Vision of the Voyage, the expansive new LP from duo Delmer Darion. The vibe? Well, the second half is a four-part narration of the sinking of the HMY Iolaire in Stornoway harbour in 1919… It is thematically about exploration and there is a real sense of that in the sonics, ambitious and searching production that moves from the macro to the maximal with little clicks and beeps and sweeping sonics. There is not one second where something engaging isn’t happening, the detail is astonishing.
Reissues this week include: The Breeders, Alain Goraguer, Tom Waits and Holy Church Of The Ecstatic Soul! We’ll be sure to tell you more about them all soon.