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The Spoooooooooooooky Issue

Records

If the soul-crushing, slow sadness of Wit's End was too much for you because you're a pussy then you'll be glad to know that Humor Risk is the most upbeat record Cass has made.

CASS McCOMBS

RIZZLE KICKS

TEENAGE BAD GIRL

DAVID LYNCH

Consensus has it that Lil Wayne’s ninth album isn’t much cop and actually a bit shit. It’s true that there are moments that slip the wrong side of perfunctory, but when you consider the clamour for Tyler’s slothful effort,

Tha Carter IV

is a comparative masterpiece. Plus it has “6 Foot 7 Foot”—the best rap track of the last three years.

MABEL SIZZURP

Annoncering

RIZZLE KICKS

Stereo Typical

Island

Picture “Unorthodox”. Now take away Wretch 32, multiply by 14 and try, if you can, to imagine not one but two rappers worse than Example. For all their way with a sample—and “Down With the Trumpets” is the happiest use of Mexican brass in hip-hop since Delinquent Habits packed up—the voices are so weak, the tone so one-dimensional, it sounds like Big Brovaz reborn as

NME

readers.

ED BLINGER

STATIK SELEKTAH

Population Control

Showoff/Duck Down

These days I’m so pathetically grateful for any hip-hop album that doesn’t sound like it’s a) trying to rub dicks with Tiesto, or b) made live and uploaded to the web in the time it takes to boil a kettle, that it took about six listens to realise

Population Control

isn’t brilliant. Not by a long shot. Producer Statik Selektah is in thrall to East Coast trad rap and this album of assorted rappers on his beats lacks the gleeful charisma of his recent effort with Termanology.

SHANTY MEDDLAH

ZED BIAS

Biasonic Hotsauce—

Birth of the Nanocloud

Tru Thoughts

Aided and abetted by Toddla T, Falty DL and Mark Pritchard, loveable UK garage bloke Zed Bias is back to add a splash of class to the stagnant funky scene. Zed’s like that suede jacket you just rediscovered in the attic the other day: it still looks good even with the tassles, and the “honeyz” will go mad for it.

STEVE “SMOOVE” PUBES

Despite walking and talking the part, louche gothic trio Haterock never quite lived up to their billing sonically, despite serving up a drug-numbed, seen-it-all, Shoreditch neo-goth take on the very early, pre-album Sisters Of Mercy. Now positively sex- and depravity-sodden—on “Slo Glo” singer Jonnine Standish sounds like Sade in prison—they have a convincing sound they can finally call their own. Today down to a two-piece, they should be assured that in carrying on in order to honour an absent friend, they made the right decision and the right album.

Annoncering

JHNDRN

ONEOHTRIX POINT NEVER

Replica

Software

With his goatee and massive jazz-funk vibes, Quantic’s Will Holland has always been a man out of time. He even left the UK to live in Colombia so he could more easily soak up the local cumbia and latin sounds on the beach while sipping a mojito that costs 3 pence. This round-up of highlights from his first decade on Tru Thoughts takes in cuts from Quantic Soul Orchestra, Flowering Inferno and the Limp Twins and is worth a dabble. Not convinced? Just check Mark Ronson’s glowing testimony in the press notes: “I’m fully aware of Quantic’s importance in the new soul/jazz scene.”

INSTANT SHARMA

TEENAGE BAD GIRL

Backwash

Citizen

Teenage Bad Girl are not quite France’s best-kept secret—that’s the fact that the French all have AIDS and can only smell by licking things. They’re up there, though. An electro duo with a rocky twinge who last made a record in 2007 and who aren’t called Justice, their second effort turns out a few proper zingers, chiefly of all their Rye Rye team-up “X Girl”, where the professional protégé opens proceedings with a hearty exclamation of “Por favor!”. “The Wave” channels the nihilism of the Chemical Brothers’ “It Doesn’t Matter”, and their “Jumping Judas” team-up with J Dilla’s younger bro has all the muscularity of an S&M disco classic. Despite a worrying sideline in kitsch slower numbers,

Backwash

is an overflowing ashtray of electro booty.

Annoncering

DOMINIC MOHAWK

REBOLLEDO

Super Vato

Cómeme

Rebolledo is a roly-poly disco cat from Xalapa in Mexico who’s part of Matias Aguayo’s madcap Cómeme crew and also happens to be a dead ringer for Matt Berry’s oily

Darkplace

badboy Dr Lucien Sanchez. His very good debut

N

is packed with the kind of lusty and primitive Latino boogie that you imagine Mexico’s drug gangs play in their SUVs as they cruise around murdering bloggers and disembowling civil servants, high on their own supply. Hell, I know I would if I could.

LES PANINI

ACTIVE CHILD

You Are All I See

Like being trapped in a submarine with Jimmy Somerville, a copy of

Now That’s What I Call Chillwave

and the diaries of Richey Edwards, former chorister Pat Grossi’s debut record is claustrophobic, cloying, deeply self-involved and can probably precipitate some sort of medical emergency where you have to crack your own skull open with a ball-peen hammer in order to get it out. Some of his 1mph-R&B-as-realised-by-a-bipolar-parrot is not without its own post-Miracle slo-mo disco charm. Once that charm expires and everything slides towards Jame Blake levels of hollow pomposity, you’d better have some sort of arranged method for snapping your own neck.

KELVIN MACKCRACKERS

BURAKA SOM SISTEMA

Komba

Enchufada

Fears that the hipster transglobal ethnofunk thing was just so 2008 prove unfounded.

Komba

is bigger and broader than Buraka’s last—with one eye on European pop markets on tracks like “(We Stay) Up All Night”—but pure propulsive fun is still its game. Either you get angsty about Portugeezers raiding their former colonies for art, or you say, “Fuck it.”

Annoncering

KIM CARNAGE

DRC MUSIC

Kinshasa One Two

Warp

Like with Tony Blair making same-sex civil partnerships legal and Ming the Merciless overhauling the transport network on the planet Mongo, no one really feels comfortable recognising the handful of good things Damon Albarn has achieved. But as co-owner of Honest Jon’s he’s released several key African albums such as

Shangaan Electro

and the Foster Manganyi compilation. He also has a curatorial role in this great proceeds-to-Oxfam Congolese dance compilation which is actually the least worthy thing you’ll hear all month. Best of all, Jupiter Bokondji’s “Ah Congo” sounds like the Bug’s “Skeng” transplanted to Kinshasa.

PUBLIC KONONO #1

KING MIDAS SOUND

Without You

Hyperdub

A year ago at Supersonic Festival in Birmingham, Kevin Martin found himself sharing the stage with his old creative foyle, Justin Broadrick. Unwilling to let the caustic industrial grind of Godflesh swamp the dubby lovers rock of his latest outfit King Midas Sound, he reverted to fighting fire with fire, leading to one of the best gigs (from both parties) of the year. This album of reworkings and remixes finds them back in quieter, more introspective mode but is sheer class from start to finish. Not even preposterous trance hippies Gang Gang Dance (essentially, the po-faced Bentley Rhythm Ace) can fuck their track up. When they get to their second album proper, however, here’s hoping KM reaches for the nuclear meltdown button once more.

Annoncering

JESSICA CAMOGLI

KATE WAX

Dust Collision

Border Community

When VICE’s Surburban Dwight interviewed a young Kate Wax back in 2004 as she promoted her long-lost “Black Sheep” EP, she described herself as “the missing link between Front 242, Mazzy Star, Fad Gadget, PJ Harvey, Suicide, Tori Amos, Mike Ink and the Flying Lizards”. She was trying to be all things to all people, of course, and look where it got her—nowhere. Now, with second album

Dust Collision

, she’s keeping it simple by concentrating on being Switzerland’s very own Fever Ray. She’s got some analogue keyboards and a head full of strange emotion, and James Holden’s popped round to make sure she doesn’t write anything too catchy. Seems to have worked.

THEYDON BOIS

MARTYN

Ghost People

Brainfeeder

When you’re an easygoing Dutch bloke called Martyn, your music’s going to have to be pretty fucking special for anyone to take notice of it—and

Ghost People

is just that. As ever with Brainfeeder releases, this is crammed with nods to a million different styles. The difference is, Martyn doesn’t pack them all into one track before pressing repeat. There’s hints of just about everything good that’s happened to dance music in the last 20-plus years—UK garage, Chicago house, the “Macarena”—and barely a twitch of dubstep. Win-win.

LORD WATERSON

BASTARD PRIEST

Forbidden World

High Rollers

The metal world does not send out physical promos, preferring to send MP3s. This would be annoying if you liked any of the records but, like all promos, 90 percent are total bollocks. This percentage is way higher when it comes to metal. Every month sees an endless barrage of death metal releases by bands with names like the Sharp End Of Death and Exmembersofanyaverageninetiesband. There’s also a relentless flurry of Nordic-inspired black metal bands called things like Kuntkommander and Blackforestgateaux. However, there’s always that 5 percent that guarantees I still open each email from one of the 458 labels who’ve got my address. And guess what? This is one that didn’t suck and thus got reviewed. And actually, this second Bastard Priest full-length totally fucking owns.

Annoncering

ALI BERNABIA

INTEGRITY

Thee Great DestroyORR

Holy Terror

ASVA

The Presence of Absences

Important

Lacking the in-house design genius of Stephen O’Malley and the bitching monk costumes of Sunn O)))—while obviously being slightly parochial compared to the unachievable remoteness of Corrupted—the drone-doom of ASVA has always been a bit of a hard sell to Trv Kvlt Nigels everywhere. G Stuart Dahlquist simply gets on with it “quietly”, however. This time out, gigantically reverberating drums recall “When the Levee Breaks” and reed organs build up Dr Phibes vibes. ASVA pride themselves on seeking out the honest and truthful in avant-metal, which seems almost oxymoronic. Either way, the colossal climax of the title track sounds like it was made on a Jovian moon: my god, it’s full of guitars…

LE CLAW

Nearly a quarter of a century since their inception, Integrity remain one of the few genuinely interesting and mobile units in extreme music. Stripped back to the creative duo of solitary stalwart Dwid Hellion and his boy wonder Robert Orr, this CD compiles all the material the pair have written and recorded to date. Despite his tender age, it’s clear Orr knows the Holy Terror muse inside out and this series of short sharp shocks offers a mass of influence past and present: Jap-core intensity, cheap trebly guitar histronics, the slablike sonic wallop of Psywarfare and the E-chord breakdowns all perfect foil to Dwid’s increasingly bitter isolationist worldview, where political extremity and nihilistic compulsion are the only conceivable actions left for a reasonable man.

Annoncering

JULIA EVVOLA

V/A

Golden Beirut—New Sounds From The Lebanon

Outhere

World music—it’s not all Omar Souleyman thunking out mad space-jams on his flute while a thousand hipsters validate his ethnic authenticity at Field Day. Sometimes it’s little indie-rock bands from Lebanon who still haven’t quite got their indie-rock mortars onto a decent bit of the indie-rock Golan Heights yet.

Golden Beirut

aims to showcase the best of angry young Lebanon, and it turns up the odd moment of excellence: Lumi’s electroclash “Don’t Fuck With My Cat”, or the Incompetents’ ramshackle colour-wheel “Disposable Valentine”. What it also proves is that wherever you go in the world, the globe has a universal liking for bland consciousness-raising hip-hop. Yes, we are all one, brothers.

DADDY DEWDROP

DAVID LYNCH

Crazy Clown Time

Sunday Best

Yes,

that

David Lynch. Widget. Death. Sphinx. Tuesday. Having made all the films that don’t make any sense that he can stand, the master director has gone into his own studio. Widget. Death. Sphinx. Tuesday. Got his sound engineer to program pre-chosen chords into a special guitar. Widget. Death. Sphinx. Tuesday. And thrashed out a series of jams. Widget. Death. Sphinx. Tuesday. Then picked up the phone to Karen O, and in his best backwards-talking-midget-inside-your-house voice, invited her to collaborate on “Pinky’s Dream”. The fruits of his twisted brainbox are often diverting, but x n i h p s.

Annoncering

NIVAG SENYAH

THE WAR ON DRUGS

Slave Ambient

Secretly Canadian

I can just picture Adam Granduciel’s face at his own personal “eureka” moment: marrying the tried and tested lyrical and melodic mores of Petty/Springsteen/Mellencamp’s working-man Americana with the impressionistic pulse of krautrock, creating an AOR counterpoint to Endless Boogie in the process. You wonder why no one stumbled upon the magic formula sooner because in many ways this is the ultimate roadtrip soundtrack, one that would work perfectly as the companion to, say, a Werner Herzog remake of

Two-Lane Blacktop

.

KURT CREBAIN

CASS McCOMBS

Humor Risk

Domino

If the soul-crushing, slow sadness of

Wit’s End

was too much for you because you’re a pussy then you’ll be glad to know that

Humor Risk

is the most upbeat record Cass has made since

Dropping the Writ

. Wordswise, these are some of his best ones, including my favourite: “Not you again/ I thought you’d died”. By the way, if you haven’t seen the sketch with Cass being interviewed by the fat music journalist by the swimming pool, please go to YouTube and watch it now.

ANITA CRAPPER

ODONIS ODONIS

Hollandaze

Fat Cat

WILL HAVEN

Voir Dire

Bieler

Featuring original vocalist Grady Avenell and Slipknot’s second percussion player Chris Fehn on bass, cult favourites Will Haven are back. When

Voir Dire

starts, however, it doesn’t sound like the end of the world, it sounds like the Cure playing a mid-paced album track in 1997. And just as you’re about to stab yourself through the forehead with a screwdriver, it suddenly becomes a bit more like listening to Tusk meshed with Khanate. Fucking good job too.

Annoncering

SHAVED MINOTAUR

REM

Part Lies, Part Heart,

Part Truth, Part Garbage:

1982–2011

Warner Bros

Farewell, then, REM. You have taken the whisky and the revolver into the study and done the decent thing. It was time, sadly. You have left us with a will where your career is doled out in equal measure across these 40 tracks, because all albums must get a chance, even the fag-end ones. Because you still have your pride. So that means you’ve found space for terrible “End of the World…” rewrite “Bad Day”, but none for “E-Bow the Letter” or “Bittersweet Me”. You have placed the limp late-period “Leaving New York” and fey nonsense “Imitation of Life”, but found no space for “Crush With Eyeliner”, “Star 69”, or “Bang and Blame”. Just playing devil’s advocate here, guys, but do you maybe think that sequencing this in chronological order might not exactly help people get to the end of CD2?

GEORGIE GREED

RED HORSES OF THE SNOW

Territories

Flashback

Somewhere deep inside you there is an unbroken 12-year-old who has been waiting all his life for this album that references the melancholy expansiveness of late Talk Talk,

Ocean Rain

by Echo & the Bunnymen and the classicist shoegaze of the Besnard Lakes. He will love it as much as he loves walking through the snow in a long coat thinking about the girl he saw on the bus but didn’t speak to. WARNING: If you cannot locate this inner innocent child/man, you will want to smash this fucking record to pieces with a cricket bat.

Annoncering

ANGRY HOMONCULUS

BATTANT

As I Ride With No Horse

Kill the DJ

The arrival of this snazzy record is overshadowed by the death last month of Battant’s Joel Dever at the age of 25. Our thoughts are with his partner in the group, Chloé Raunet. I don’t know if this was their intention, but

As I Ride With No Horse

sounds like a cross between Fairport Convention and Gallon Drunk, aided somewhat by Ivan Smagghe’s impeccable sleight of hand at the mixing desk.

JENNIFER JUPITER

He’s the non-dead Jay Reatard. He’s the Nathan Williams it’s OK not to punch in the face if you see him in the street. He’s the latest flavour in DIY one-man bands of squalling home-made garage-rock that sounds like the only mixing it has been near is the cement mixer it was recorded in. Equal parts early-Cure post-punk thunk, angry Del Shannon 60s swirl and proto-Pixies lo-fi distortion, Odonis Odonis is the latest project of Dean Tzenos. An obscenely prolific polymath, Tzenos has already slotted the follow-up to

Hollandaze

for spring 2012, in-between several other side projects. Its grungy vortex is nice enough, if you treat it with the same cheerful disposability its author does.

FRUITY MCGINTY

RENAISSANCE MAN

The Renaissance Man Project

Turbo

Renaissance Man’s album

The Renaissance Man Project

sure takes you on a journey—to the land of friggin’ nod. I’m all for wilful experimentation in electronic music, but this eccentric Finnish gear is way too quirky for me, and at 79 minutes that’s an awful lot of quirky. You know what? Hundreds of fun moments squished together don’t necessarily a fun listening experience make, as some wiseguy once said (me).

JUHO IGLESIAS