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Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit – Live From the Ryman

Americana icon Jason Isbell and his band the 400 Unit release a new live album release. The album is set in none other than the Mother Church of Country Music, the Ryman Auditorium. Live From the Ryman was recorded at Nashville’s famous auditorium, and will feature live versions of songs from Isbell’s three latest releases, Southeastern, Something More Than Free andThe Nashville Sound. Songs included on the project are Last of My Kind, Hope the High Road, Something More Than Free and the Grammy Awards-winning If We Were Vampires, among others.

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The Lucid Dream – Actualisation

The Lucid Dream return with the release of their 4th album, Actualisation. Driven by fans raising £10,000 to help replace all equipment robbed after a Paris show in early 2017, a new album became the instant focus in the summer of 2017 for a rejuvenated The Lucid Dream. Actualisation is soaked in the influence of acid house, amalgamated with dub and kosmische. The album was penned over the summer of 2017 by Mark Emmerson (vocals/guitar/synths), using only the classic Roland 303/808 synths, bass and vocals as tools for writing. Inspiration for the writing was formed via continuous listening to the Chicago to UK acid house works of 1986-1992, the focus predominantly on the groove. Several months on from those writing sessions and The Lucid Dream have completed their 4th album in 5 years. A record made for the dancefloor. Recorded at Whitewood Studios, Liverpool, with Rob Whiteley, the album is produced alongside long-time collaborator Ross Halden (Ghost Town Studios, Leeds), with mastering via Dean Honer (All Seeing I/I Monster/The Moonlandingz). The confrontational techno-punk of Alone In Fear opens the album, a 9-minute attack fuelled by the frustration and anger spawned by Brexit, government and a realisation of what 2018 Britain currently is. Recent single SX1000 (the first work from the album, unveiled via 12′ vinyl in April this year) is the band’s first move into pure acid house. The acid house fusion runs throughout the record, represented furthermore by Ardency, a track already praised by live critics when aired live for the first time earlier this year as ‘even on first hearing, would’ve raised the roof of The Hacienda’. The 2-part opus of Zenith follows, commencing with a space-dub / house instrumental groove before building into a track that will go for your head as much as your hips. Only Breakdown harks back to sounds of old for the band, a little reminder of the skull-crushing impact they can make when stripped to the bare bones. No Sunlight Dub closes the album, a dark-dub that invites the classic acid-house tool (Roland 808) into the dub. The track makes a stop-off into drum ‘n’ bass / jungle along the way before rounding up in a manner suited to Lee Perry, King Tubby, Augustus Pablo and other Jamaican greats.

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Titus Andronicus – Home Alone on Halloween

Limited to 1,300 for world on Orange Vinyl with Download. With Home Alone on Halloween, noted rock band Titus Andronicus celebrate the spookiest of the seasons by staring into the abyss and confronting the bone-chilling terror which lies at the haunted heart of our human experience. Bearing the justly feared catalog number MRG666, the 12-inch EP spans 31 minutes and features three tracks recorded concurrently with the group’s most recent full-length A Productive Cough, offering an autumnal tableauof dread and decay to complement its LP companion’s springtime visions of rebirth and new possibilities. The title track remixes A Productive Cough’s hardest-rocking selection, foregrounding its ominous strings and swelling organ and featuring a soulful new lead vocal from frequent captain Matt “Money” Miller, while Only a Hobo plucks an oft-forgotten gem from the dusty corners of the Bob Dylan songbook to paint a grim portrait of hopes dashed and potential squandered. Eeriest of all is A Letter Home, which, across nearly 17 minutes and more than 1,200 words, drags the listener along for a harrowing descent into the darkness and proves definitively that this ceremony is no mere monster mash.

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Kiran Leonard – Western Culture

Kiran Leonard is a 22 year old musician from Saddleworth, Greater Manchester. Debut album proper Bowler Hat Soup(2014) and follow-up Grapefruit (2016) were both recorded at home, with Kiran playing virtually every instrument himself. Dervaun Seraun (2017), a concept album in five movements inspired by five pieces of literature and arranged for piano, strings and voice, was an ambitious departure from his usual sound. Western Culture now sees him return to the signature sound of his first two records, yet marks a huge sonic progression thanks to the involvement of his venerable live band on record for the first time, as well as being the first to have been made in a professional studio (Old Granada Studios in central Manchester).

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Novo Amor – Birthplace

Novo Amor, aka multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer Ali Lacey comes from deep in the Welsh mountains. Recording, mixing and producing everything in his home studio, Lacey’s emotive vocals and the sounds he uses, often formed through sonic experimentation, make for fantastically atmospheric songs that are moving and striking. On his debut album Birthplace, the sounds of his home bleed in – the chatter of a party across the street, Bonfire Night fireworks, the seagulls that gather on the building site next door. Even the sound of the late-night recording hours kept to avoid the sounds of construction make their presence felt. The songs cover many theme and thoughts – Repeat Until Death deals with friends experiencing drug addiction, Seneca is rooted in the story of a town in Nebraska that tore itself apart over a dispute over how many horses might be kept in a yard.

LP – Single LP made from recycled vinyl, housed in full-colour printed inner sleeve and full-colour printed reverse board outer sleeve. Includes download card and 8-page 12’’ tracing paper booklet, featuring gold Pantone detail to mirror the effect of the original artwork used on the cover. As using recycled vinyl every record will be unique, no two colours will be the same. All cardboard used is FSC certified.

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The Oscillation – Wasted Space

The Oscillation are back with their sixth and most ambitious album to date, Wasted Space. A meditation on the nature of existence in the face of what can be insurmountable odds, Wasted Space finds The Oscillation painting from the darker shades of the kaleidoscopic scale. “The origins of Wasted Space go back to Monographic in 2016,” muses Demian Castellanos – themastermind behind The Oscillation. “That was a very bleak and heavy record and I really needed to move out of that mindset. Making U.E.F freed me up to write a coherent collection of narrative songs and compositions. Wasted Space is a partial continuation of a journey started with U.E.F., but one that re-incorporates more song-based ideas again.”What’s immediately apparent is that Wasted Space sets it stall well away from the prosaic third-eye tropes that have become orthodoxy. Album opener ‘Entity’ establishes the pace with a focus on the dance floor as much as on the navigation of existence. Fusing muscular grooves with an industrial wall of sound,these are bold steps into wholly new territories. “There’s an irony at play here,” considers Castellanos. “It’s a twisted party song, albeit a party for one.” But what a party it is. The mutant disco is bolstered by the rhythmic call-and-response of ‘Drop’, a track that eschews conventional methods of dance sensibility for more instinctive and primal urges. This is music that calls out to the suitably attuned.

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Cloud Nothings – Last Building Burning

Last Building Burning is the product of eight days with producer Randall Dunn (Sunn O))), Wolves in the Throne Room, Boris) in Texas studio Sonic Ranch. Clocking in just over half an hour, the eight-song album sees Cloud Nothings capture their onstage appeal with help from Dunn, who Dylan Baldi describes as “technically minded without relying on technology to perfect the live sound.” In that, Last Building Burning is a return to Cloud Nothing’s sharpest form – the unhinged, feverish, guitar-heavy sound that they explode with onstage – without their early angst. “It’s not an angry record,” says Baldi. “It’s a very joyous thing for me. And it feels so nice to scream again, especially when you know people in the crowd will be screaming along back at you.”

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Peter Holsapple vs Alex Chilton  –  The Death Of Rock

Newly discovered recordings of early solo Peter Holsapple and Like Flies On Sherbert–era Alex Chilton. Liner notes by Peter Holsapple and author / filmmaker, Robert Gordon. Previously unseen photos from the collections of Peter Holsapple and Pat Rainer. It’s 1978 at Sam Phillips Recording Service in Memphis, TN. Peter Holsapple had rolled into town chasing the essence of Big Star. He hooked up with musician / engineer / friend-of-Big-Star, Richard Rosebrough after approaching, and being turned down by, Chris Bell who Holsapple had hoped might be interested in producing him. Together Richard and Peter started laying down tracks during the off hours at the studio. Chilton meanwhile, was knee deep in the making ofLike Flies On Sherbert, also being tracked at Phillips. He told Peter, “I heard some of that stuff you’re working on with Richard . . . and it really sucks.” Alex promised to come by and show Peter “how it’s done.” The results? Alex’s tracks definitely line up with the chaos found on Flies, while several of Peter’s songs found homes on The dB’s albums (Bad Reputationand We Were Happy There) and on an album by The Troggs (The Death Of Rock retooled as I’m In Control), so not a loss at all. What we have in these newly discovered tapes, is a fascinating pivot point with both artists moving past each other headed in distinctly different directions. Chilton moved toward punk/psychobilly as he began playing with Tav Falco’s Panther Burns and produced The Cramps debut, Songs The Lord Taught Us, within a few months of these recordings. Holsapple was off to New York to audition for The dB’s and enter the world of “sweet pop.” Liner notes by Peter Holsapple tell the story of these recordings firsthand and author / filmmaker / Memphian, Robert Gordon, helps pull the time and place into focus. Previously unseen photos included in the package are drawn from the collections of Peter Holsapple and Pat Rainer.

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Dave Matthews Band – Come Tomorrow

ATO records release Dave Matthews Band’s long-awaited new albumCome Tomorrow. Come Tomorrow is the band’s ninth studio release and its first since 2012’s Away From The World, which debuted at No. 1 on Billboard 200. Working between tours at studios in Seattle, Los Angeles and Charlottesville, Dave Matthews Band chose to record with several different producers, including John Alagia, Mark Batson, Rob Cavallo and Rob Evans. The cover art for Come Tomorrow is by Béatrice Coron, who creates narrative allegories in silhouette to render archetypal stories.

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Insecure Men – Karaoke for One: Vol 1

Insecure Men return with a 10 track covers record, featuring takes on Bruce Springsteen, The Pogues, The Carpenters, Peter Andre et al.

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R.E.M.  –  Live At The BBC

REM grew up with the BBC, and this historic relationship is lovingly celebrated across an incredible collection that beautifully illustrates the career trajectory of one of modern music’s greatest bands. The collection comprises a treasure trove of rare and unreleased live and studio recordings culled from the BBC and band archives. This is a must-have collection for REM fans and an authoritative introduction for newcomers.

9CD – In-studio performances featured in the 8-CD / 1-DVD box set include a John Peel Session (1998), Drivetime and Mark and Lard appearances (2003) and a glorious Radio 1 Live Lounge performance (2008). Live broadcasts include a rough-and-tumble show from Nottingham’s Rock City (1984), the stunning 1995 Milton Keynes Monster Tour (their first after a six-year break), a blistering 1999 Glastonbury headline set and an invitation-only 2004 show at London’s St James’s Church. The DVD kicks off with a sixty-minute intimate retrospective of the band’s legendary performances at the BBC in the Accelerating Backwards film – previously broadcast only in the UK and available commercially for the first time here. Accelerating Backwards also includes revealing interviews with Peter Buck, Mike Mills and Michael Stipe, further testifying to R.E.M.’s long, special relationship with the BBC. The DVD also offers a complete 1998 Later….With Jools Holland episode uniquely dedicated to the band, plus TV appearances on Top of the Pops and more.

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