Time’s a funny thing! Loads of it has elapsed since we did one of these new music lists. Where have we been? Kidnapped by terrorists? With amnesia after a terrible accident? Space?
The answer is simply. Busy! How dull…
But no excuses, we’re back at it with a stunning run of new music, worthy of time in your ears.
Go Dark – Violetest Red
New Bella Union signing Go Dark, have announced their debut album (due out January 2019) with a dark skewing of electro-pop. ‘Violetest Red’ make dystopian ghetto-jams from a dark future imagined by John Carpenter.
Haiku Salut – Occupy
The Derbyshire-based sonic alchemists have released this stand-out from their exceptional third record There Is No Elsewhere. Fuelled by a kinetic, electronic chime ‘Occupy’ evokes a sense of marching, of movement towards a goal before exploding with a club-ready synth surge.
Sunbane – Yungen/Cog
For a label in its infancy, Disintegration State has already released a large pile of electronic wonders. The new Soma EP from Sunbane is one of those. The lengthy, downbeat techno excursions are a serious aural trip. Take it.
Mark Stewart – Paranoia
Does Mark Stewart get the credit he deserves? Leader of The Pop Group, maverick, Godfather of the Bristol scene, he is pivotal in so many great developments in British music! Never mind, his forward-thinking debut solo album Learning To Cope With Cowardice is getting a reissue early next year along with a whole batch of newly discovered unreleased cuts. ‘Paranoia’ is an indication of this unreleased noise. A slice of mutant dub (with Adrian Sherwood at the controls) meshing with the frantic post punk politicising Stewart had perfected in The Pop Group. This is a re-emerging document of a vital period of post punk.
Death Valley Girls – (One Less Thing) Before I Die
There’s something wonderfully unhinged about Death Valley Girls new tune. It’s a high-octane rock n roll romp packed with that live-fast-die-young nihilism that makes the most compelling rock.
Rattle – Signal
Nottingham duo Rattle continue their explorations of rhythm on forthcoming album Sequence. ‘Signal’ is another hypnotic, soft tribal tune to fully immerse yourself in.
Yuki Murata – red owl
Aside from her work with brilliant cinematic instrumental group Anoice, Tokyo-based pianist/composer Yuki Murata releases beautiful sounds in her own right. A fourth solo record in imminent infusing gentle piano tunes with an array of other instruments including violin, viola, cello, organ and flute to create a serene aural sedative. ‘red owl’ is a great example of what to expect.
Lala Lala – Scary Movie
The new Lala Lala album is something of an enigma, equally a dark alt-rock record and a “pop” record, mining the depths of emotion. ‘Scary Movie’ is an echo-soaked slice of simple alt-Americana for the social media age. Basically, it’s great.
Stringtronics – Tropicola
Library music – the go-to soundtrack source for low-budget TV and strange genre filmmaking back in the day. Fitting any mood required these catalogues of sound has been largely lost to time until compilations started to unearth their wonders in recent years. Unusual Sounds (complimenting David Hollander’s excellent book of the same name) is the latest deep dive into the world of library music. Over 20 tracks it journeys through rock, jazz, funk and the avant-garde. ‘Tropicola’ by Stringsonics is a lovely, cinematic downbeat funk lament needed in any collection.
Malojian – Let Your Weirdness Carry You Home
Northern Ireland’s Stephen Scullion aka Malojian makes music that sounds A LOT like peak-era Grandaddy. Panoramic Americana speckled with analogue synths and drowning in fuzz. There’s nothing wrong with this at all. It’s lush. He’s dropping a deluxe version of his Northern Irish Music Prize shortlisted album Let Your Weirdness Carry You Home next month. The track of the same name grandly evokes the ghost of Grandaddy.
Go March – Chop Chop
Antwerp three-piece Go March find the spaces between punk funk, electronica and post rock and fill them with their own kinetic energy. This is rock music driven by future electronics or disco for the machines. ‘Chop Chop’ has a pulsating energy that could fill dancefloors in Blade Runner’s vision of the future, like Vangelis had discovered ecstasy. Their second album is out now.
LIARS – Murdrum
When have LIARS been anything but excellent? Never? Correct! That’s the same on ‘Murdrum’ the latest cut released from forthcoming record Titles With The Word Fountain, which is already sounding like another worthy addition to the band’s (now just Angus Andrew) exceptional catalogue.
David August – D’Angelo
The press release calls Italian producer/composer David August’s sound as ‘polymorphous’. Tracks like ‘D’Angelo’ (from the album of the same name, out today) certainly fits that bill, as it constantly morphs into new shapes. Down-toned elements of Balearic house and techno experimentation permeate a classic, big 80s pop stomper, albeit one that has been subdued. This new album is a real sonic adventure but one that never loses sight of its pop sensibilities.
Kikagaku Moyo – Nazo Nazo
Japan’s Kikagaku Moyo is currently one of the world’s finest exponents of psych. Latest single ‘Nazo Nazo’ shows them on contemplative and beautiful form, creating a summery haze of sound. “Nazo Nazo” means riddle in their native tongue, the word alone means question or mystery. This is a track that unfolds its wonders answering new questions as it evolves.
Lowtide – Southern Mind (Ulrich Schnauss remix)
Melbourne band Lowtide have opened up their album Southern Mind to a heap of great electronic artists to pound their guitar-driven work into new sonic shapes. The results are largely great. Take this reworking of ‘Southern Mind’ by electronic legend Ulrich Schnauss for starters, it takes dream-pop on a techno excursion with engulfing effect.
Szun Waves – Moon Runes
Szun Waves latest record New Hymn To Freedom is one of the albums of the year! It’s a jazz-electronic trip across the galaxy and one that recalls old sci-fi where the future was a gleaming place of wonder and possibility. ‘Moon Runes’ evokes travels to the far reaches of space – take the trip.
Vessel – Argo (For Maggie)
This track by Bristol’s Vessel is proper nuts! It sounds like aliens invading the court of an Elizabethan stately home. There are strings being eaten by electronics, big bass, surging synths and some strange voices. It’s not an easy listen and all the better for it.
Amparo – Coastal Dusk
As Amparo, Lela Amparo crafts ambient daydreams from guitar loops and minimalist electronics. There is yearning and melancholy in her aural creations, but they float with a reassuring optimism. ‘Coastal Dusk’ comes from the forthcoming Palm House EP out at the end of this month.
The Soft Moon – Like A Father (Imperial Black Unit remix)
More remix action now, this time for The Soft Moon’s album Criminal which is getting a two-volume reworking. Much of it promises to take The Soft Moon’s aural darkness into new depths if Imperial Black Unit’s stalking remix is anything to go by. ‘Like A Father’ in this guise sounds like it will stalk you and kill you in your sleep, possibly photographing your corpse afterwards. Happy stuff!
Thomas Ragsdale – Hawthorn
Thomas Ragsdale is prolific, mastering many different styles. We were turned onto him via his banging remix of Haiku Salut’s ‘The More and Moreness’. New album Honley Civic Archives Volume 1 sees him deconstruct an archive of improvised string ensembles and intimate field recordings for a new series on new label Soundtracking the Void. The stark, foreboding sounds contained here are perfect for a label with such a name. It evokes terror and ghostly landscapes.
Laura Gibson – Domestication
Ahhh, a nice piece of sweeping singer-songwriter fare here. ‘Domestication’ builds on floating strings and uplifting piano, with Gibson’s clear, skewed vocals leading the way. It’s lovely and bodes well for the new album Goners out at the end of this month on City Slang.