Review: Turbotrax was an intermittent curio that belched out of the Bristol underground in a fit of tongue in cheek edits and samples back in the '00s. Someone's clearly rebooted the mainframe and brought this elusive collective out of hiding for another bout of cheeky lifts from more esoteric corners of culture. Library Vultures says it all - this is the work of dedicated diggers pulling forgotten bits n' pieces out of retirement, such as, on the A side here, the storming theme to a Commodore advert, and giving it a buff up more extended retro-pleasure. "Whatever Happened To The Hippies?" on the flip is a more light-hearted affair with a jaunty lilt and a message of positivity for all.
Last I Heard (...He Was Circling The Drain) (5:10)
Dawn Chorus (5:35)
I Am A Very Rude Person (3:51)
Not The News (4:01)
The Axe (6:56)
Impossible Knots (4:22)
(Ladies & Gentlemen, Thank You For Coming) (5:05)
Review: It's taken a while, but finally Thom Yorke's impressive third solo album, "ANIMA", is available on wax (and in a fetching shade of orange, too). A future classic that continues the legacy he started with XL Recordings back in 2006 (with his solo debut The Eraser), ANIMA is well worth picking up, as Yorke and co-producer Nigel Godrich offer up evocative, off-kilter songs built around the twin attractions of the Radiohead man's distinctive vocals and skewed backing tracks rich in layered electronic noise, body-bending sub-bass, discordant synthesizer parts and intriguingly jaunty drum loops. Highlights are plentiful throughout, from the creepy, lo-fi ambient swirl of "Last I Heard (...He Was Circling the Drain)" and "Dawn Chorus" (a blissfully dewy-eyed early morning soundscape), to the low-slung, post-trip-hop hum of "I Am A Very Rude Person" and the fizzing, jazz-fired thrust of "Impossible Knots". Melancholic, yes. Deep and self-effacing, of course. Nihilistic, not really. Percussive futurist sub-pop is back.
Review: For Sufjan Stevens, "With My Whole Heart", is said to be a self-described attempt to "write an upbeat and sincere love song without conflict, anxiety, or self-deprecation." This single arrives as a most prominent work since his album for 4AD in 2017, and the title track sees rolling toms and keys glitter alongside call-and-response choruses, and a commanding guitar solo. The 1996 demo, done entirely on acoustic guitar, carries even more melancholy and like a lot of his work from this early period, it feels fragmented, even vulnerable, but never without touch of hope and sentimentality. A voice for a new generation.
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: 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.
Sous Le Meme Soleil, Vie Disparu Dans Le Ciel (Loops Variation) (1:02)
Majic Milk (Loops Variation) (4:06)
Ivana Vessel (2:19)
Battle Ropes (2:27)
Review: The seriously cool Jane Weaver returns with a remarkable 10th album! Following her Modern Kosmology LP in 2017 - Loops In The Secret Society - presents a re-imagined journey through that album and 2014's The Silver Globe. The result delivers a smattering of atmospheric fragments and remakes of previous tracks that never made it to her album past and it sees Weaver venture further down the rabbit hole of abstract and ambient electronics; with tracks like "H>A>K (Loops Variation)" (named after Hilma af Klint, a pioneering Swedish abstract painter) and "Battle Ropes" instantly affecting on first listen. There's no denying the original approach that the British singer-songwriter has gone for here - single-handedly embracing techno and folk - in a look and sound that's arrives like a cosmic curveball of electronic pop from tomorrow.
Review: Harriette "Hatchie" Pilbeam has been in the incubator of London label Heavenly for roughly two years now, with the label slowly establishing the artist before this debut with a slick run of 7" singles and promo material. Colliding breathy synth pop with reverb-drench folk, a touch of trip hop and good old-fashioned indie, Keepsake presents the debut opus from an emerging talent that's helping define what Shoegaze can be for 2019. Highlights include the Enya-like "Secret" and the melancholic two step beats of "Stay With Me". With touches of Boards Of Canada to be found in Hatchie's music too, there's a deep musical brain behind these beats and it should not be slept on. Check. It. Out.
I Forget & I Can't Tell (Ballad Of The Lights part 1)
Habit Of You
Your Motion Says
Don't Forget About Me
Love Is Overtaking Me
Planted A Thought
Love Comes Back
Review: A musical polymath like no other, the late Arthur Russell turned his hand to a bewildering variety of different musical styles, from avant-garde torch songs to pounding disco, yet all imbued with his otherworldly songwriting skill and richly emotional voice. This posthumous compilation, however, collects together the more oddly accessible material that he created, in largely acoustic and country styles. The cowboy hat on the sleeve may be strangely appropriate here, but more than this, the blend of plaintive melancholy and freewheeling charm can only leave the listener wondering how Arthur Russell managed to avoid mainstream success in his all-too-brief career. A strange and beguiling transmission from a unique talent.
Review: From humble beginnings for Parisian label Kitsune back in 2010, the sub-pop of Two Door Cinema Club has reached great heights thanks to their albums Beacon, Gameshow and most of all, their debut, Tourist History. Now with False Alarm, Alex Trimble's vocals continue to collide in sweet harmony with the band's contemporary arrangement of synths, acoustic drums and undertones of tropical instrumentation - bear in mind that TDCC never stray too far from the poppy realms of disco either. Highlights include the radical '80s charm of "Satisfaction Guaranteed" (think Sting or Hall & Oates) to "Satellite" and the oddly, stylisticly French ballad that is "Break". Good times roll!
Review: Shoegaze dream pop duo Molly - out of Innsbruck, Austria - deliver a deluxe alpine coloured vinyl to compliment the elemental themes of their debut album. It follows two previous singles in 2016-17, respectively, suggesting that last year was spent entirely in the studio. As it turns out their studio sits atop their native alps and laced throughout this LP are field recordings of their chosen summit which only offers more space to an already expansive, glacial and epic sound. With the 15-minute album opener "Coming Of Age" a mountain of production in itself, Molly right now are hitting their peak.