It has been a busy year, and a bit of task to try and get down the 100s of albums that have come my way down to a top 25. This years list reflects, very much, the local music scene and our record label, a little display of nepotism perhaps, but I’d argue that if I didn’t like them then we would not put them out into the world.
So here we go with a handful of notables that did not make the list to kick off.
EPs of the year, singles of the year. and gigs of the year will follow over the holiday period……
Notable ones that didn’t make the list
Cavern of Anti-Matter – Void Beats/Invocation Trex
Time is escaping me at a rapid rate due to lots of other workloads, with no time for considered prose. So this time it’s just a series of videos and soundclouds of things that I reckon you should wrap your ears around. They are out now or due soon. Plus there’s a list of current favourite listens at the end of the post showing what’s on rotation on the I-Pod at the moment….and a bit of shameless self-publication at the bottom. Enjoy!
Right then dear reader this will have to be a big one, else I will never catch-up. Things have been zipping in from the ether at a rapid rate. So i’ll keep each portion shortish….
11 Paranoias release their fourth album “Reliquary For A Dreamed Of World” on 28th October 2016 on Ritual Productions. Adam Richardson, Mike Vest and Nathan Perrier’s heavy psychedelic rock pulls no punches as evidenced by this edit from album closer ‘Milk of Amnesia’.
“Agartha” is the fourth studio album by Finnish quintet Oddarrang and their second for UK label Edition Records. Taking its name from the legendary world that is said to reside in the Earth’s core, ‘Agartha’ , a title used by Miles Davis for one of his live albums many years back, this is much anticipated. The preview track ‘Mass I-III’ offers a glimpse of what to expect i.e. epic post-rock.
7th October sees the release of the “Arise” album by synth-pop duo Perpacity who deliver moody, darkwave tunes via crisp and modern production. As featured on Autal Delights 194 and 198.
Hypnopazūzu sees Current 93 main man David Tibet joining forces with Youth, famed not only for his work as bassist with Killing Joke but for production and collaborative work with an eclectic list of artists from Alien Sex Fiend to Paul McCartney. Together, they’ve created a singular album “Create Christ, Sailor Boy” which defies simplistic comparison. As featured on Autal Delights 194.
Steve Hauschildt, kranky’s electronic kosmische guru, and once a member of the seminal outfit Emeralds, follows up the release of 2015’s “Where All Is Fled”, with the announcement of a new LP, entitled “Strands”, due October 28th. Delicate high quality synthesis which sets the bar for the electronica genre.
Portland, Oregon hardcore punk legends Poison Idea have recently resurrected the American Leather Records imprint, the band’s own DIY label that initially released the hardcore punk essential “Feel The Darkness”, along with “Blank”, “Blackout”, “Vacant” and a series of singles throughout the late 80’s and early 90’s. The label presents the latest material from the band, following their full length comeback record, 2015’s “Confuse & Conquer” for Southern Lord. Business commences with a 5-song limited edition 12” EP of new material, which is available at the band’s official online merch store. They have also released this video for one of their brand new songs ‘Calling All Ghosts’.
While we are in hardcore punk territory check out the recent album from Lies – brutal, fast and unforgiving.
Southern Lord are shining the spotlight on Denmark again for their newest signing, in the form of Frederica’s Lifesick, a hard hitting act that take aggressive, mosh pit friendly hardcore and add it to morbid extreme metal. Their debut LP, “6 0 1” (recorded at Dead Rat Studio by Jacob Bredhal and mastered by Brad Boatright), will be released by the label on vinyl and digital formats in November, following on from the CD release by FWH Records. Noisy.
Due to an unfortunate leaking of the eponymous debut Predatory Light full length, the band has elected to make this material available for digital streaming/purchase on Bandcamp. All purchases support the band directly. CD & CS editions will be available publicly in mid-September alongside exclusive merchandise. The LP edition will follow later this autumn via Invictus Productions and Psychic Violence Records. Epic metal is the best description.
14th October sees the release of the “Trio” EP by Boston’s Dyr Faser who take psych garage rock and elevate it another level with the use of beats and synths. Mesmerising, slightly Ktautrock and enough jangly guitars to shake a stick at. Dyr Faster is comprised of Eric Boomhower (vocals, guitar, synth, Casio), Thalia Zedek (guitar, slide, backing vocals) and Katherine ‘Kate’ Murray (synth). Most enjoyable.
And to conclude the first of many reminders about the Salford music festival which starts on 29th September and concludes on 1st October. It’s the seventh year of the festival and the line-up is excellent and ALL the gigs are free. All the information on the festival can be found at the festival website. If you are in these parts over that weekend you can get a superb range of excellent music, and i’m of course going to mention our two German Shepherd Records stages at the Eagle Inn on the Friday and Saturday night.
Friday 30th September 2016
7:30 PM – The Junta
8:15 PM – Bouquet Of Dead Crows
9:15 PM – The Scissors
10:15 PM – Kit B
Saturday 1st October 2016
7:05 PM – Rose & The Diamond Hand
7:55 PM -Taser Puppets
8:45 PM – Poppycock
9:35 PM – JD Meatyard
10:25 PM – West Coast Sick Line
Still catching up on about three weeks worth of submissions so some of the below might be slightly out of date…..
Hot off the press is news of the much anticipated third album from Harry Howard and the NDE, which is teased with a pay what you want track “The Only One”. The album is called “Sleepless Girls”. Marvellous!
Politburo, from the place on the other side of the Irwell, kindly donated a track to our “Salford Streets” charity album a few years back, i’ll return the favour by bringing to your attention their album “Barrington Way” which is rather fine indeed.
The somewhat musically schizophrenic Sky Between Leaves journey between Krautrock, Dream Pop, Post-Punk and Space Rock in this four track EP called “Klein Blues”. They are a trio from Brazil who reside in East London.
The utterly wonderful Opposite Sex , described as post-post-punk, released their new one in August, just got around to listening to it. Chaotic but charming lo-fi majesty….
David Pajo last released something as Papa M back in 2004, indeed we have to back as far as 2001 for an original release. That will be remedied on November 11th with a new album. Here’s the single from it….
I’m very pleased to share the song “Odal” from Wardruna´s upcoming album “Runaljod – Ragnarok” set to be released 21 October through By Norse Music.
This release is the third instalment in a trilogy of albums that began with Runaljod – gap var Ginnunga (2009) and continued with Runaljod – Yggdrasil (2013). The song itself features special appearances from main man Einar Selvik’s own children. Wonderful percussive epic music.
A bit of a long gap between this blog and the last one – mostly due to being busy organising gigs and releases for German Shepherd . We are doing two stages at this years Salford Music Festival, on Friday 30th September and 1st October, and there’s been a touch of fettling required due to various unforseens. It’s all settled now and we have four bands on the first night – The Junta, Bouquet of Dead Crows, The Scissors and Kit B, and five bands on the second – Rose & The Diamond Hand, Taser Puppets, Poppycock, JD Meatyard and West Coast Sick Line. The line-up is very attractive and it’s free so i’m hoping a few will turn up at the Eagle Inn in Sunny Salford. The major issue at the moment is the great amount going on in Greater Mancunia and the challenge is to get those hardy souls who like cutting edge music out into the night to watch the bands. There may be further antipodean adventures later in the year, but i’ll keep my powder dry on that one. Anyhow the cricket season is nearly over which means I should have some spare time. One more match to go………
So, as I have not done anything on the blog for a couple of weeks, things have mounted up. Of necessity therefore here are some brief notes to whet your musical whistle……
Et Tu Brucé return with a new video for “Laska”, which is on their eponymous album. A band which manages the clever balancing act between a recognisable sound and being innovative without resorting to genre cliches and industry cloning. A delightful tune well worthy of a listen.
Following the release of their self-titled debut album in 2011, and 2014’s Mutations, Obake are back. Their third LP, entitled “Draugr”, signals both a return to the origins of the band “and a purification of their sound” whatever that means. It is released on October 28th via Rare Noise Records. No material as yet but I will share on receipt.
Cardiff’s Slowly Rolling Camera have announced the release of a new one called “All Things” on 4th November…….soulful vocally with some interesting stuff going on behind it by the sounds of it….one to watch out for I would venture.
Cinematic post-rock, a bit Sigur Ros but less ethereal, is the order of the day from Floating In Space. New album “The Edge of Light ” is out on October 14th, You get some glimpses of the content here below. A rich confection of sounds…..
So the promo on this next one says “Honesty comes in many forms, with DUNT, it’s a clattering blow to the consciousness via an Edinburgh-based genre-melding punk/speed metal four-piece.” My immediate reaction revolved around what the hell the drummer was up to in the video…..i’m not sure on this one, i’ll leave you to make your own mind up, i’ve never been a big skate punk fan….but it will get some airplay on one of the podcasts.
Graney and Moore are back with a new one, as part of the “one release a month” project for 2016, and it’s a bit special. When DG goes for the jugular on “political” issues he does it with some style and class. The object of his ire on this one is fairly clear and more power to his elbow for that. Musically Dave and Clare never fail to disappoint and the variety of material in this run of singles has been pretty damn fine. I love the cover image ……..
Talking of matters Melbournian, a plea to the chaps at Witch Hats to release their latest album “Deliverance” in digital or indeed CD form so that those of us who don’t do vinyl can have a copy. Unless I am missing something I can’t find a non-vinyl version anywhere.If you aren’t blown away by the opening track “Weekend Holocauster” then I fear for your mortal soul.
And to conclude our diversions in Melbourne, shoe-gazers, Bloodhounds on My Trail, have a new single out called ‘Over The Wall’ via Texas-based Moon Sounds Records. Reverb drenched stuff which has a timely autumnal feel. Vocally it touches on Barney Albrecht in my head for some reason. Real wall of sound stuff.
Back to the nothern hemisphere and northern britain and I am contractually obliged to advise you of the release of a new one by Moff Skellington, his 31st album. Moff’s been making Mark E. Smith look like a bit of a slacker of late, with his fourth album this year. Sublimely titled “The Gloating Mustards of Error” the bard of Abstercot is in fine fettle exploring, as he does, that strange place between dreams and reality embodied by Eddodi. I live in eternal hope that the rest of the known universe will eventually catch on to what this guy is up to, his unique use of language and musical instruments deserves recognition in an “entertainment” business stuffed with tribute bands and industry clones.
Sofia Härdig‘s new one appears to be about maps and car parks at least in video terms. Musically it sort of hovers between Banshees and PJH, the promo people aim to draw a Sonic Youth comparison which I don’t get, and a Pixies comparison, which I sort of get…..good stuff
The promo says “Newcastle based alternative five piece Bernaccia mix choral and tribal rhythms together with sweeping soundscapes and neo-psychedelic guitars. September 2016 sees the release of their next single “Angel””. I say, the revolving door of post-punk, pre-goth, pre-shoegaze comes around again with a nod towards the noir cinemania of say Crime and the City Solution, and one or two other things of that ilk, it reminds me of a cold November night in a half empty Hacienda in 1983 , you know before youth culture finally cottoned on……said track is featured on the most recent Aural Delights Podcast – see how I slipped the shameless self promotion there whilst you were not looking…..?
To conclude, following on from the recent “Bath White” EP by 50FOOTWAVE , a further release from indie music legend Kristin Hersh, renowned for her solo work and as frontwoman of Throwing Muses. Called ‘Wyatt at the Coyote Palace’, the double CD and book combination releases in the UK on October 28, 2016 . Ms Hersh is on tour in UK and Eire during November landing at Gorilla,Manchester on November 13th for those of you who live around these parts. I’ve asked for a review copy of the new album for which I wait with baited breath….
It’s usually quite quiet in June, not this year, with a raft of new things worthy of your aural consideration.
To kick off a few things from the north of England which caught my ear:
Self described as “blues-laden menacing psych” the sample below leaps out at you as an unctuous mix of Arthur Brown and Tex-Mex imbibing something mind expanding in an opium den in a Bill Burroughs tract . Moody, brooding, and sensuous the band comprises Stewart Kinloch – Vocals, Mark Stainton – Guitar, Dave Royston – Guitar, and, Mike Smith- Drums, They are from Leeds and are called Mesmer Disciples and we will no doubt be hearing a lot more from them.
tAngerinecAt are Eugene Purpurovsky and Paul Chilton. Their music is unique and compelling. Paul provides a selection of electronica and rhythms with occasional penny whistle and Eugene creates a fascinating sound with the traditional instrument the hurdy-gurdy. They have been blazing a unique trail across the music venues of the north and beyond with their fascinating sound and overtly political/polemical music. Someone needs to snap them up quick and get them out to a wider audience. They are based in Manchester.
Also from Leeds The Masses sound like something from the mid 80s – the tracks below is a sort of amalgamation of Dinosaur Jr, The Smiths and The Wedding Present. They describe themselves as “jangly indie pop” but I think they are a little more than that They are Nik Klimanski – Guitar, Vocals, Jack Hunt – Bass, Backing Vocals, and Roan Jenner – Drums
Completing the Leeds trio of bands are Deathtripper who manage to tick any number of my Aural Pleasure boxes with ease. There’s some post-punk, some Krautrock and some other bits which make me smile. I can’t find much more about them sadly as their Facebook age is bereft of info.
Scatter Factory, is the solo project of Will Foster. After many years of working with (as either a recording or touring artist) numerous notable artists, including The Fratellis, Martina Topley-Bird, Heather Nova, and Suede’s Brett Anderson and Bernard Butler he releases his debut album on July 22nd. Here is the single from the album which marries classic electronica with more modern proponents.
Off World, who are Sandro Perri, Drew Brown, Susumu Mukai, and Jesse Zubot release their debut album on Constellation in the Autumn. On the basis of the teaser track below I am looking forward to it. Go here for more detail.
New album “A Boat Upon Its Blood” is from Montréal-based improviser, composer and reedist Jason Sharp; a fixture of Montreal’s avant-garde and improv music communities, and an alumnus of Sam Shalabi’s Land of Kush orchestra and Matana Roberts’ Coin Coin Chapter One ensemble. With this debut recording issued under his own name, Sharp presents contemporary electro-acoustic music that reveals the shape and scope of his vision as a composer and bandleader in his own right. More info here.
In Black Crack Mark Tilton (guitarist, singer and founder member of The Membranes) fronts his five-piece band which is a vibrant mix of garage rock, post punk and half spoken half sung intensity. It’s a take no prisoners blast of sound with its in your face attack. Good stuff!
Dark wave goth in abundance comes with the new video and final single from Bradford (UK) based They Called Him Zone‘s ‘Miami‘ EP. Spooky psychdelic and somewhat trippy.
The excellenr Dutch insrumentalists Radar Men From The Moon recently released “Subversive II: Splendor of the Wicked”, a heady mix of space and stoner rock with an almost industrial edge to it and is well worth a listen – it’s a pay what you want offer so I suggest you dive into the psychedelic wonderment as soon as possible,
Latvian band Tesa tour with Neurosis in the Autumn and their previous Bandcamp release “Ghost” is now coming out on My Proud Mountain. Heavy wall of sound instrumental rock which should blow your socks off.
And last but not least that troubadour of the obscure Moff Skellington is back with a new album – his 30th – called “Sherbert is the Culture of the Void”. It seems somewhat odd that Moff Skellington is not a national institution by now. As an artist who combines the unique other-worldliness of Ivor Cutler, the singular English whimsy of Viv Stanshall, and word mangling obtuseness of Lewis Carroll, together with a musical pot-pourri combining elements of Tom Waits, Pere Ubu, The Residents, The Fall, and the folk band from your local pub, after several doses of mind-expanding substances, he certainly challenges conventions. I would have thought that this convention defying approach to music would have caught the ear of those in search of something new. However he has not broken the glass ceiling of fame as yet.
Maybe this time?
“Sherbert Is The Culture Of The Void” comprises 14 tracks and lasts just over 41 minutes. More experimental than his recent work this album explores familiar and unfamiliar themes in Moff’s world of Eddodi. Busy, alien sounding, instrumentals coupled with songs with fascinating titles, spoken word in broad Abstercot, and mind curving subject matter ranging from obesity, via Orthopaedic Chairs, to the sobriety of witches this is Moff at his most challenging.
Moff is currently working a new joint venture with Iron Mouse & Loop-Aznavour entitled The Mouse Engine which will be released later in the year. He also a couple of new albums in the pipeline.
The album was released on July 1st and is priced at £5.