Review: Time marches relentlessly on as does the immortal sound of iconic Manchester band Joy Division. At the heart of Unknown Pleasures was the alarming vocal talent of Ian Curtis. His alien wails, echoed expressionistic vistas of urban alienation over No Wave tribal beats and Gothic guitar impressions. And despite the breathtaking intensity of the angular acid comedown "She's Lost Control", the soaringly depraved detachment of "New Dawn Fades" and the proto-slowcore "Candidate", opening track "Disorder" remained the piece years ahead of its time and most immediately enduring. This anniversary record arrives almost forty years to the day after it was originally released, splashed out on 180g ruby red vinyl with an alternative white sleeve to resemble the original and legendary cover design. Unquestionably authentic, Unknown Pleasures was a vision so uncompromising and haunting that each track was worth its length. This commemorative reissue, then, continues the celebration of one of the most important albums of our time as well as highlighting the record as a landmark in music-design crossover history.
Wishing (If I Had A Photograph Of You) (extended remix)
The More You Live The More You Love (extended remix)
Nightmares (extended remix)
DNA (extended remix)
Electrics (extended remix)
Man Made (extended remix)
Tranfer Affection (extended remix)
Review: This year, the original A Flock Of Seagulls line up is touring together for the first time since 1984. To celebrate, they've decided to put out this collection of "Extended Essentials" - club-ready 12" versions of their original 1980s hits. There's naturally plenty to enjoy throughout, from the hazy shuffle of "Transfer Affection" and the alien freakiness of "Space Age Love Song" (a cut smothered in eyes-closed guitar solos that changes tempo midway through), to the surprisingly cheery hustle of "Nightmare" and the classic new wave creepiness of early single "Modern Love is Automatic". These aren't 12" mixes that showcase 1980s production trickery, but rather tasteful extensions that ratchet up the atmosphere and thrusting grooves.
Review: The best thing since the Klaxons or Bloc Party have arrived. black midi! The student art rock band are bringing a new youthful energy and slight of malice back to the arena of post-indie inspired alternative guitar and synth music. They make this overtly known from the start with the supercharged opener that is "953", introducing an album that is said to have laid down eight of the record's nine tracks in just five days. Drums are fast and skittering, rhythms are dancey and guitars keep it Madchester jangley. "Speedway" (is that a wry Prodigy reference?) is among the album's highlights alongside the punk-funky "bmbmbm" and the short but trippy "Years Ago". With a 100 per cent backing by UK music institution Rough Trade: meet this generation's newest sensation.
Review: After years of what has seemingly been live record after live record - (not to mention their debut Broken Boy Soldiers album haunting our Juno offices for nearly a decade) Jack White's inspired troupe are back with a bang - exploding with Help Us Stranger. Think the amplified epicness of The Who. The album twists and turns through telephone amplified blues ("Help Me Stranger"), the dandy piano ballads in "Shine The Light On Me" to the rolling, western, country drums of "Hey Gyp (Dig The Slowness)". Regardless of the tracks, this album teems with an energy that rock music has not felt for some time and there's no denying the future classic that this will become. Rock on The Raconteurs!
Review: Hot Chip are back! The coolest dudes since Devo return like a monkey with a miniature cymbal with their seventh full length album. With vocoding effects layered over the sweet tone of Alexis Taylor's voice referencing all matter of contemporary and retro-active pop and trance sensibilities, this album once again sees Hot Chip at the front of pioneering, friendly and avant garde pop music. Produced by the late Philippe Zdar (one half of Cassius) - also responsible for applying award winning touches to albums by Phoenix and Cat Power, Domino is calling the record "a celebration of joy but recognises the struggle it can take to get to that point of happiness". Our tips: album opener "Melody Of Love" and the '80s trance-pop that is "Hungry Child".
Review: The latest outing from Swiss reissue specialists WRWTFWW takes us back to 1981 and the debut single from Bern-based post-punk combo Grauzone. The 12" release of "Eisbaer" has long been a must-have amongst fans of off-kilter, dancefloor-ready new wave, and this replica reissue includes all three tracks featured on that version. Opener "Eisbar" sets the tone, with the bands weary, half spoken/half sung vocals rising above a backing track that's powered forwards by relentless bass guitar, screeching riffs and broken computer style electronics. "Film 2" is a heavy, synthesizer powered workout peppered with delay-laden drum hits and odd noises, while closing cut "Ich Liebe Sie" is a clicking and quietly melodious affair that's almost entirely electronic.
Review: Zru Vogue is a two man post punk avant-pop group from Palo Alto, California, combining the talents of Andrew Finkle and Rick Cuevas. The band began in 1980 as a four member group: Rick, Andy, Tom Sanders and Nancy Miller. Tom and Nancy left the group shortly after the first single, "Nakweda Dream", was released by independent San Francisco label Adolescent Records in February 1981. Inspired by rave reviews and heavy airplay on alternative radio stations, Andy and Rick went back into the studio, now as a duo, to record some new ZRU tracks. The self-tilted LP was released on the band's Zero Risk Records in 1982. It contains eight compositions blending African tribal and Middle Eastern rhythms, avant-garde rock, minimal electronics, and funk-rock guitars. The duo's sound is inspired by the art and anti-art movements of Dada and Surrealism. All songs have been remastered by George Horn at Fantasy Studios. Each copy is housed in a replica of the original jacket, which features artwork by the group members, and includes the original 2-sided lyric sheet.
Review: The Vanishing Twins first surfaced in 2016 with their Choose Your Own Adventure LP before taking some years away to magically re-appear like ghosts can do with The Age Of Immunology. The album brings together space pop with African spoken word and poetry, odd-ball percussion and strangely inspired UK synth pop made to fit a world of other exotic musical styles. There's no denying the unique sound that the band have conjured and it's something for those Broadcast, Pram and Stereolab fans out there in need of new, inspired material. At 10 tracks long it's a magical carpet ride for the ears and you'll never know what part of the world you'll end up.