Thursday, September 30, 2010

BBC Sessions, Anyone?

I'm late already, so I can't hang around. Just wanted to apologise to anyone who got a spam message from me today. It wasn't actually from me, but then you knew that already, right? Anyway, password changed so hopefully crisis averted.

I was keeping this till the weekend, but as I'm here now, here's something a bit special for the Cocteau heads out there. Although these reduced scale BBC versions don't perhaps have the impact of the proper studio stuff, they have a special charm all of their own. Instead of the usual "Cathedrals Of Sound", think "Maisonettes Of Sound".

I kill myself.

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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Shock 12"

Brand new re-release of rare as rocking horse shit 80's 12" from Rusty Egan and Richard James Burgess (of Landscape/Einstein-A-Go-Go fame). I don't want this to become a retro blog, but this shit is sounding wonderful. Too current. There's a 2010 remix as well (which isn't as good, obv), so that let's me off the hook, right?

Vinyl rip at 320 Kbps.

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The Human League - The Sound Of The Crowd/HardTimes/Love Action 12" Singles

Awesome double of early Human League 12" singles, which as far as I know, have never been re-released anywhere. The Sound Of The Crowd was the first one with 'the girls" on and Hard Times/Love Action was when they started to get really good after the split. Quite, quite brilliant. It's all about the space between the beats for me. Absolutely wonderful production from Martin Rushent, who was as much a member of the band as any of them were. If you've heard the raw demos for "Dare", you will understand what a crucial role he played in shaping this stuff into some sort of enduring genius. I am back in my bedroom at my parents house. Floppy fringe obscuring one eye, alive with possibilities and dreams. This was the soundtrack to my youth. Fucking brilliant.

Vinyl rips at 320Kbps.

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The Sundays - Cry

Another rare CDS from the Sundays with some unavailable elsewhere B sides. Jesus, what a great band they were. This also wins special points for being about being lonely on a railway station. I'm a sucker for those train images. As ever, Harriet's lyrics are something to get excited about and when you hear her singing them...

Well, "it makes me cry..."

320 Kbps

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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Appaloosa - Intimate 12"

This beauty has been pulling on my heartstrings for a few weeks now. I have no idea what this is. Is it electro/disco/post-modern disco/minimal/synth-core/retro/italio/dark-wave/minimal-wave/slowcore? I have no idea. What I can tell you is that it's such a great song with a brilliant lyric intoned by the (I'm assuming utterly beautiful) Anne-Laure Keib. It reminds me of one of those early Eighties Crepescule/Factory Benelux bands, but with a brilliant production and lots of spangle and twinkle. There are disco mixes from Glass Candy which will get your ass shakin' fo' sho', but for me, it's the low key original mixes which hit the spot. Lookout especially for the "Teardrops and Piano" mix. As it says on the website "Imagine the romantic Human League fronted by Nico covering Stereolab."

It's on the brilliant, seal of quality boutique label "Italians Do It Better". So we know we're in safe hands. Have a look at their shop and buy some shit. It's mostly awesome.

It's good to be alive, right?

Vinyl rip at 320 Kbps.

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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Little John and Billy Boyo - What You Want To Be (Disc Jockey)

Absolutely incredible archival re-release from the ever brilliant Dug Out records. From 1982, ruffed up with mad swinging effects and dubbed for the dance. Priceless vibes from the singers on the A-face and a heavyweight version of the original riddim from Professor & Roots Radics on the flip.

Jaw dropping shit.

Vinyl rip at 320 Kbps.

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Conrad Schnitzler - Zug

Extraordinary and essential archival obscurity from kosmische generator Conrad Schnitzler, reissued for the first time on vinyl with reshapes from Pole, and Bornbräber & Strüver. Schnitzler's 20 minute composition 'Zug' was issued on a private tape back in 1974, capturing the innovator in his most alien and transcendental form. The track revolves around a hypnotic and infinitely linear rhythm which Schnitzler gradually develops into glorious astral plumes, increasing with creepy intensity towards some foreboding, unresolved conclusion. The two remixes offer possible solutions to this problem. Firstly, Pole's reshape sounds remarkably similar to the recent MvO Trio experiments, detaching the prickly, metallic hi-end rhythms and arranging them around a swooping subbass momentum with acres of space in between. It's more earthbound than the original, but equally hypnotic and abstract. Further on and Bornbräber & Strüver give another grounded but similarly driving effort loaded with slow pounding kicks and a slowly maturing synth grind.

This is astonishing and wonderful and has been dominating my weekend like you would not believe.

Vinyl rip at 320 Kbps.

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Hello Nolan Micron,
We are really happy you like the stuff we release on our label m=minimal.
We are not happy at all, that you invite other people to download it for free.
You would help us to save work and time removing the download link on your blog by yourself as soon as you read this mail.
This will allow you and us to simply continue enjoying music instead of dealing with stuff nobody of us likes to deal with.
Thank you

Hi there.

I'll remove the link as soon as I get home tonight. It's always a difficult balance for bloggers - to draw attention to great music and to give people a taste of what's cool and out there. For the record, I get far more requests to re up music than I do from people who dig the stuff I post (which I always ignore). And I always only keep current releases up for a few days only.

Would it be ok if I printed this mail and a link to your website on the blog?

I'd also be more than happy to link to you if you have any new stuff upcoming that you'd like to promote.

Still friends?

Nolan Micron

We are still friends!

Great to be able to work out a problem in such a nice and easy way.

Feel free to post the mail on your blog and yes, please include the link to our site

I'll add your mail to our newsletter, so you'll receive it as soon we release something new.


So there we have it. I fully understand Christian's position and have removed the link. It's the Blogger's dilemma. I don't want to deprive anyone of important revenue, least of all super cool and important boutique labels like m=minimal, so I guess the answer is for you to go and buy some stuff released by them. If you do, could you leave a comment to let Christian and I know? Thanks.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Johan Agebjørn and Sally Shapiro - Spacer Woman From Mars EP

In complete contrast, but weirdly, coming from the same place in my life, have a go on this frothy silliness. Sci-Fi disco of the highest order, wrapped in a sheen of knowing kitsch. This also has been a delight and a bit of a prop.
Shapiro features on lead track 'Spacer Woman From Mars', a veritable cosmic disco masterpiece that actually manages to sound liberated from the tedium of irony. Elsewhere, Rude 66 and Elitechnique have a stab at remixing the track, with the former revving up the Italo factor with some textbook synth arpeggiation. The latter increases the tempo and starts off almost exactly like CSS's 'Let's Make Love And Listen To Death From Above' only to climb to an authentically ecstatic disco altitude within the space of just a few bars. Also included is solo Agebjorn effort 'Megaman II' which sounds very much as its title would lead you to believe, with some choice 8 bit action dictating the sound.

Once again, this is available as a DD, so will only be around here for a few days.

320 Kbps.

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Nest - Retold

I've been holding off on posting this one for so long. This is a truly special album which has seen me through a few difficult patches. Sublime and beautiful understated genius. Every single note seems to be perfectly placed. These guys know exactly what they are doing. You're going to love it, I promise you.
Retold is something of a masterpiece within its field. Even on early inspections this record excels on every level as a piece of cinematic, ambient contemporary classical composition. From the writing, performances and sparing arrangements right down to the deeply atmospheric production this is an album that followers of cinematic score-work/modern-classical music will absolutely relish, combining memorable deployments of both melody and texture with a kind of scrupulous minimalism that never overplays its hand. 'Lodge' serves as an apt introduction to the album, setting out with muffled, bell-like piano phrases, pining horns and the gentlest current of strings, but by the time we arrive at 'Marefjellet' the duo have really hit their stride, conjuring suspenseful, filmic passages populated by rhythmic keying figures, deep, bass-heavy harps and vintage-style electronic processing. At times it's as if you're listening to a cross between Biosphere's Insomnia soundtrack and his album, Shenzhou, and in terms of ambient music, that must surely be regarded as a compliment of the highest order. Elsewhere, more abstract pieces arrive with the likes of 'Trans Siberian', where the influence of sound collage takes hold: early outbreaks of wintry drone merge with passing locomotive sounds, before an evocative mixture of coarse, filtered strings, fractured piano and field recordings start to flow. The previously unreleased material on the disc proves to be more than up to the task of following up the earlier EP tracks: 'Wheatstone' is full of immaculately produced, aloof romanticism, while 'The Helwick' takes on a blizzard-like feel with its musty, Deathprod-like approach to engineering. Possibly the most extroverted of all the recordings here is 'Far From Land', a composition that's just achingly beautiful as it builds up to a choral midway point that's guaranteed to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand to attention.
Although the CD is long since sold out, this is available as a DD, so I'm only going to keep it up for a few days. Don't miss out.

320 Kbps.

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Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Sundays - Summertime

This Sundays "Summertime" double CD set is probably arriving slightly late for most of us, although we seem to be getting the usual Indian Summer which always happens at this time of year in Bedfordshire.

Perhaps the overseas readers of the blog are at any point in time basking in the soft, warm light of an idyllic balmy Summer evening. You bastards.

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