Beth Gibbons, MINING, Ex Easter Island Head, The Lovely Eggs, Michael Head and Earth Ball.

Beth Gibbons, MINING, Ex Easter Island Head, The Lovely Eggs, Michael Head and Earth Ball.

A stacked week with minute ambient gestures and loud, messy cacophonies. There is much inbetween too.

A fraction under thirty years since her band Portishead released the iconic Dummy debut LP, Beth Gibbons this week releases her solo debut - Lives Outgrown - and it is every bit as special as you’d imagine. Her voice retains that commanding sort of fragility, but there is also such an assured confidence in her delivery. The production is fantastic, it’s graceful and dynamic without ever breaking out of the dense atmospherics. We already really like this and it really feels like a grower. Record of the Week and highly recommended too.

+ Available on limited and exclusive 180g Black vinyl with an art print.
Beth Gibbons - Lives Outgrown
After much delay, we have an absolutely glorious new album with us this week called Chimet from the mysterious MINING. The collective - musicians, data scientists, programmers, photographers and designers - have created 67 minutes of quite extraordinary music, data through ‘sonification’ that maps the course of storm weather systems over a full week. The slow and evolving soundscape is just so immersive, with Matthew Bourne adding piano and cello for little flashes of emotion. It really is a special one.

+ Released on CD and a Limited Edition of 504 double vinyl LPs.

+ Unique vinyl packaging created using the same weather data to generate 504 individual pieces of art that will be digitally printed on the sleeves, corresponding to a specific 20 minute section of the storm, annotated with time and date and the limited edition number.

Liverpool’s Ex Easter Island Head return this week - with the addition of long-standing friend and collaborator Andrew PM Hunt - on another of the week’s hugely enthralling long players, Norther Band. Pin sharp minimalism and repetition, through to patters of bpm, this one is a hypnotic treasure and another one absolutely not to miss. So bloody good.

Iconic songwriter (he really is!) Michael Head and his The Red Elastic Band return this week with the excellent Loophole. “Drawing on 62 years of music, loves, losses, long summer days and longer, darker nights”, it is graceful stuff and not short of humour too.

+ Available on limited Light Blue colour vinyl.

A real scorcher for the noisier listeners this week with It’s Yours from Earth Ball. Improvised jams and burnt-out apocalyptic cacophonies, with a real Sonic Youth quality to the sparse and menacing sections. Far from easy-going, but a hell of a listen for the more adventurous. Great stuff.

Lancaster DIY duo The Lovely Eggs release the all new Eggsistentialism this week on their own ‘Egg Records’. It’s very funny. I think I always thought they were joking, but actually, it’s just funny and that comes across, which might be quite rare. Plenty of radio-drenched ear worms for you.

+ Available on exclusive Transparent Blue with “Coffee” Splatter vinyl.
+ LP copies include a signed print.

Blitzen Trapper return this week on Yep Rock with 100's of 1000's, Millions of Billions and it’s dead good. Hazed country shapes, but all sorts of other organic timbres in the production take it somewhere else. As ever, a great band.

+ Available on Clear Blue colour vinyl.

Also this week; Kentucky rock band Cage the Elephant return with Neon Pill. Hex Dealer is NY-based electronic punk band Lip Critic’s debut album. East London trio The Howlers release the woozy Black Honey-produced What You’ve Got To Lose To Win It All.
Steve Albini
Lastly for today, a couple of releases that we’re really into, but sadly can’t currently sell you.

Firstly, Melbourne-based trio Glass Beams release the knotty and evocative Mahal on Ninja Tune. It has such a dusty vibe, contemporary DIY production via 70’s travelogues. It is really good and just sold too hard on pre order. We are hoping to have more later in the month so do keep an eye out, it’s a proper summer banger.

Lastly, To All Trains is the new and final album from Shellac. We were as gutted as you all to learn of the tragic passing of Steve Albini last week and this new heavy slab from his wonderful Shellac will be some of the last noises his name gets attached too. We can’t add anything more to the broad conversations about his life and work, but we’d just comment that it’s rare to see eulogies paid to a person where their work and their character are celebrated as widely and with such appreciation. A singular talent and a pretty damn good guy too.

Again, with a bit of luck we can score a few more copies later this month.

Reissues this week include; Cymande, Death Cult, Ben Folds Five, Ron Geesin, Modest Mouse and the splendid Soft Summer Breezes compilation.


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