Friday, February 27

Speak Your Brains - Part 1

Last year we called upon our beloved bands on Southern Records to speak their brains and tell us about their experiences in 2008 and their forecast for 2009. Here is the first installment for your pleasure (in alphabetical order)...

Action Beat - Don Mclean (Lead guitar)

Complete this sentence: "2008 was the year that...we recorded an album for Southern and played 90 shows in ten European countries with little or no money".

What album from 2008 will you still be listening to at the end of 2009,and why? Bilge Pump Rupert The Sky. We always listen to Bilge Pump anyway, so I'm sure we will have it on sometime towards the end of next year. It's a great record.

Which artist do you most want to see get the recognition they deserve in 2009? Action Beat. Nah, jokes. mmm... I will have to say Don Vito from Leipzig Germany because we all really love this band. A trio of very hard working individuals, who clearly deserve to be given some kind of recognition for the amazing music they produce. We'll have a competition with them for the most shows in 2009. We're aiming for at least 180!!! They are apparently touring almost every month next year, and also heading to China!!

Where will we find you in 2009? You will find us in the UK towards the end of February, Ireland in March, throughout Europe during Spring and Summer, and you might see us in the states during September/October (if we're lucky). You could also see us at a gig if you book it! Oh, and in your studio, bar, house, kitchen, bedroom, basement, car?

Action Beat have just released their second album The Noise Band From Bletchley on Southern's imprint label Truth Cult

Asva - Stuart Dahlquist (Main man and bass guitar)

Complete this sentence: "2008 was the year that...I voted Democrat, for Obama and wasn't ripped off, then left the mountains and became a member of the Seattle Elks Lodge and the Swedish Club... very cheap drinks and right smart old f*cks to brawl with."

What album from 2008 will you still be listening to at the end of 2009 and why? Most likely some Barbie soundtrack because my darling daughter won't stop playing this crap.

Which artist do you most want to see get the recognition they deserve in 2009? Well that would be me. I just built a fence for somebody; it took a month and its f*cking cold and wet. Yes it would be Asva. I'm sick of this sh*t.

Where will we find you in 2009? Hopefully on tour a bunch and recording/releasing a new record. Some sleeping. A little eating. Making love if I'm allowed, masturbating if I'm not. Evenings rehearsing, late nights having a drink somewhere. Stumbling... Mumbling... Shuffling to the coffee pot in the AM and doing it again.

Stuart is currently working on a new Asva record. More news to follow.

Bellafea - Heather McEntire (lead vocals and guitar)

Complete this sentence: "2008 was the year that I .........." "...was redeemed."

What album from 2008 will you still be listening to at the end of 2009, and why? (Tie) The Curtains of Night Lost Houses - Lost Houses = the reaction after being sucker-punched by your yoga teacher

Beach House Devotion - 1) Gila is the best single of 2008; so perfect, and 2) it's like being on drugs legally and being in a cathedral at the same time, without the side effects and without the damnation.

Which artist do you most want to see get the recognition they deserve in 2009? (Tie) Liza Kate, The Screaming Females

Where will we find you in 2009? Bellafea will be finishing writing and recording our next album. I will be recording albums with the two other bands I'm in - Mount Moriah and Un Deux Trois - as well as working on putting out local releases on my label - Holidays For Quince Records.

Chrome Hoof - Emmett Elvin (Rhodes, organ and synth)

Complete this sentence: "2008 was the year that I .........." .........perfected time travel. I spent most of the year in 1971 hanging out with Bruce Forsyth - what an animal he was back then!

What album from 2008 will you still be listening to at the end of 2009, and why? Offend Maggie by Deerhoof - Forsyth smashed all my other records attempting a tango after two bottles of creme de menthe.

Where will we find you in 2009? 1892, probably. Paris is a bit of a cliche, but I want to get some new keyboard chops off Claude Debussy.

Chrome Hoof again...(there are so many of them) - Andrew Gustard (Guitar and percussion)

Complete this sentence: "2008 was the year that...I became a dad"

What album from 2008 will you still be listening to at the end of 2009, and why? Electric Wizard - Witchcult Today -- 'cos its so good!

Which artist do you most want to see get the recognition they deserve in 2009? - egg

Where will we find you in 2009? in a field

The new album is currently in a parallel universe where eggs rule the world, as soon as the egg leader has built his space/time transporter he will deliver it to planet Earth. Until this space.

Dianogah - Jason Harvey (Bass guitar)

Complete this sentence: "2008 was the year that I .........." ...put out my favorite Dianogah record. It's not going to solve world peace, or make it onto anyone's top ten list, or sell many copies, but I'm really proud of it.

What album from 2008 will you still be listening to at the end of 2009, and why? ObZen by Meshuggah. The song Bleed is in my top metal songs of all time.

Which artist do you most want to see get the recognition they deserve in 2009? We played a few shows with our old friends Pinebender this year. Those guys should be ruling the world. I don't know how fame somehow escaped them. I also would like to see the Chicago band Head Of Skulls get some recognition. Maybe an Oscar?

Where will we find you in 2009? Practicing in a coffee grinding warehouse. Right now it sounds a little too big and boomy, but hopefully when that place gets filled with bags of coffee it'll sound and smell better.

Glorytellers - Geoff Farina (Vocals, electric, steel-string, flamenco and bass guitars)

Complete this sentence: "2008 was the year that I .........." ....finally got serious about playing harmonica

What album from 2008 will you still be listening to at the end of 2009, and why? Ida My Fair, My Dark

Which artist do you most want to see get the recognition they deserve in 2009? Norman Blake

Where will we find you in 2009? On tour for the new Glorytellers record I hope!

As mentioned Geoff is working on a new Glorytellers record. Keep your ears to the ground and look out for more news on our website.

The Owl Service - Steve Collins (Vocals, guitar, acoustic electric, bass guitars and sitar and just about everything else)

2008 was the year that I... Released an album to critical acclaim on a respected independent label with a rich history... shared a stage with a psych-folk legend and accompanied her on one of my favourite songs of all time... sung The Landlord's Daughter in front of an audience twice, once in a 14th century castle - it's been a year for achieving dreams.

What album from 2008 will you still be listening to at the end of 2009, and why? Chinese Democracy - initially I avoided it, then I had a quick listen just to gloat at the train-wreck like everybody else, but something kept bringing me back to play it again and again and now I can't stop listening to it. I take my hat off to Axl Rose for actually delivering a truly momentous rock album against all odds. Sonically it's an amazing achievement - I love the way every section of each song has its own sound, it'll take me until the end of 2009 to fully get my head around it. It sounds like the guy has poured his heart and soul into every note and for that I applaud him. The first four tracks are particularly incredible - Better is as good as anything they've ever done.

Which artist do you most want to see get the recognition they deserve in 2009? Can I say Nancy Wallace? I'm releasing her debut solo album Old Stories on my own Midwich Records label in January - it's a sublime collection of songs sung by one of the best folk voices in the country. Nancy has been performing regularly in London for the past five years as a solo artist and also with The Memory Band and The Owl Service, and that's earned her a strong reputation and an ever-growing fanbase but it still feels like she's the London folk scene's best kept secret. For me, you can keep your Rusbys and Carthys - Nancy is as good is it gets and if there's any justice, 2009 will be the year that the rest of the music-loving world discovers her talent.

Where will we find you in 2009? Beside the seaside - I'll be hibernating at home in Leigh-on-Sea for at least the first four months of 2009 working on the second Owl Service album, "The Pattern Beneath The Plough". We have a few tracks in the bag so far; a dark, heavy version of "The Red Barn" and an epic folk-rock take on "The Banks Of The Nile", but I really need to get my backside in gear if it's going to be the sprawling, mammoth twenty track folk-opus I want it to be. Once that's done you'll find me driving the length and breadth of the country taking the Merrie Owl Service Touring Circus out on the road once again.

Last but by no means least Trencher - Liam Sparkes (Badass drummer)

Complete this sentence: "2008 was the year that...I embraced long-johns"

What album from 2008 will you still be listening to at the end of 2009 and why? -- Kings Of Leon new album.

and which artist do you most want to see get the recognition they deserve in 2009? ---- An Albatross

Where will we find you in 2009? Slumped in a bar , flicking soggy toilet paper at bar staff and myself.

At some point in the future there will be a Trencher remix album and fingers (and toes) crossed, a new album too. Whenever you are ready with that estimated date of arrival Liam...

A huge thanks to all of our bands for taking part in this installment, look out for the second feature soon...

Thursday, February 26

The pAper chAse to unleash their fifth full length album

The pAper chAse are known for their angular guitar lines, discordant melodies, bombastic percussion, terror-stricken strings, bizarre samples and crashing pianos. They produce epic post-rock cum jagged pop at its finest and as you can see there is a lot going on and it is all tied together expertly by famous producer/engineer John Congleton who has worked with a variety of musicians including Modest Mouse, The Polyphonic Spree, Antony And The Johnsons, Celine Dion, Smog, R Kelly, The Roots, Marilyn Manson and many more...

The Paper Chase are fueled by genuine emotion and this is powerfully conveyed in their music, so much so that many have commented on their music as "uneasy listening". Yes, their music is challenging but this is no bad thing.

This May, the Paper Chase will be releasing their fifth full-length entitled Someday This Could Be Yours (Part 1) on Southern Records, the first of two concept albums about natural disasters. There is a moment on the album in which the final note of track two fades into a brief moment of silence. This is a peculiar development in the catalogue of a band that has historically filled every second of its albums with sound. On their new album, the group abandons some of the usual tricks. There are no segue pieces, no recurring musical motifs--just ten songs on an LP.

The power of this album lies in the songs and these songs are not short on grandeur. With each track representing a different natural disaster, The Paper Chase leader John Congleton crafts his most startling account of humanity, exploring the existential crisis inherent within a universe seemingly fated to exterminate its population. Wringing the most sinister and destructive elements out of the natural world, Congleton creates characters frantically trying to survive elements far beyond their control. While the narrative voices obsess over the batteries in their smoke alarms, the dams along the river and their desperate prayers for health and prosperity, these songs expose the utter frailty of the human condition. Faced with huge catastrophic or cosmic events, man has no choice but to recognise his own insignificance.

On Someday, The Paper Chase sounds even more unlike any other band in modern music. With drummer Jason Garner making his recorded debut with the group, the band expands upon its singular vision--a perpetual struggle between conflict and resolution, dissonance and beauty. Utilising a newfound dynamic command, these songs are able to breathe--subtly building feelings of anticipation, yet erupting into violence and chaos as crisis becomes inevitable. The Paper Chase has matured but hasn't lightened up. If anything, by leaving open spaces and allowing melodies to fully develop, the group presents its most powerful work to date.

Keep your eyes peeled on the Southern website for more information.

Wednesday, February 25

Chrome Hoof + Cluster = killer collaboration

The rumours of this unique collaboration are indeed true and I can now post the official press release for this very special event in March:

Cluster (Live) / Chrome Hoof (Live) / James Holden / 20JFGs
Date: Sat. 21st March 2009
Time: 10pm-5am
Venue: 4th Floor Art Space, Rich Mix, Bethnal Green Road, E1
THROWBACK! invites one-off live collaborations between musical pioneers and the exciting contemporary acts they have
TB_001 saw Salvatore Principato of Liquid Liquid fame jamming live onstage with Chilean punk-funk outfit Panico. DJ
support on that night came from Tigersushi boss Joakim.
The event, which took place at Hub in Aldgate last May, sold out well in advance and was a great success. To see a video of
the performance click
Taking the Krautrock/Kosmiche sound as inspiration, TB_002 unites krautrock/ambient masters Cluster with experimental
orchestra Chrome Hoof in what promises to be one of the most exciting collaborative gigs of 2009. Plus stellar DJ support from
James Holden!
Together with bands such as Kraftwerk, Can and Neu!, Cluster were part of a crop of German-borne acts which consciously
sought to take rock music beyond the confines of the American blues-based format. Fusing elements of psychedelia and avant-
garde electronics with a minimalist ethic their music laid foundations for the loop-based techno and electro of today as well as
predating the emergence of ambient music. Cluster's work with Brian Eno is also cited as having laid the blueprint for Bowie's
'Berlin Trilogy' namely the Heroes, Low & Lodger albums, which Eno produced. Echoes of Cluster's sublime fusion of ambient
psychedelia and rhythmic electronics can now be heard in contemporary acts such as Radiohead, Four Tet, Fujiya & Miyagi,
Simian Mobile Disco and the more spacey output from record labels like Warp and Kompakt.
Set to join Cluster on stage are experimental orchestra Chrome Hoof who are fast gaining a reputation as one of the most
mind-blowing live acts in the UK today. Bedecked in futuristic space-monk regalia they have laid waste to crowds with a sound
that echoes Sun Ra, ESG, Goblin, Funkadelic and Black Sabbath. Combining elements as disparate as disco, jazz, punk and
metal requires expert musicianship, which Chrome Hoof possess in bounds, so expect bassoons, brass, violins and glam clad
guitar duets.
It's an ostensibly bizarre pairing, with Cluster's minimalist beatless textures contrasting starkly with Chrome Hoof's orgiastic
theatrics but as with all THROWBACK! events the highlight of the night will be the artists' ability to play off each other's talents.
TB_002 then turns up the party heat with a DJ set from Border Community boss and techno-king James Holden, recently
voted amongst the top 40 DJs in the world.
Further DJ support comes from original and best bloggers 20JazzFunkGreats whose reputation as the first point of call for
music heads goes from strength to strength. Record of the Week recently voted them “Best Blog 2008” and has
recently recruited them to keep the wayward youth in check.
For this event the THROWBACK! team have unearthed a suitably excellent venue too. Rich Mix's 4th floor auditorium features
excellent facilities combined with stunning panoramic views of East London making this the ideal canvas on which these superb
artists can daub their sonic talents.
For venue info visit

Keep posted with more info at
We are not the only people screaming from the rooftops about the Hoof, it seems they have accumulated quite a following. Check out the following recent live reviews, one from The Quietus and the other from Chew The Fat.

They are extraordinary and wonderful and if you have not done so already I strongly urge you to experience a Chrome Hoof live show!

Photos by 1 and 3 taken by Steve Bliss (from the Chrome Hoof myspace) and the rest are by Queen B

Tuesday, February 17

Japanther sign to Truth Cult

Japanther are a dynamic punk rock duo hailing from New York City. The band was formed in 2001 by Matt Reilly and Ian Vanek, undergrads at NYC's highly regarded art school The Pratt Institute. With Reilly singing while playing a three-stringed bass as Vanek simultaneously attacked a drum kit and a bank of electronic equipment playing found and mutated cassettes, both of them singing into microphones fashioned out of old-fashioned telephone handsets, they're like a more playful and even more self-conscious updating of the late-'70s no wave scene, though a thorough rooting in the skate-punk scene as youngsters keeps things from getting too precious.

After a 2001 self-released demo, Japanther debuted with the 2002 EP South of Northport, followed by the full-lengths Leather Wings and Dump the Body in Rikki Lake. After a second EP, The Operating Manual for Life on Earth, and a pair of split EP projects with Sneeze and Viking Club, the albums Master of Pigeons (2005), Wolfenswan (2005), Don't Trust Anyone Over Thirty (2006), and Skuffed Up My Huffy (2007) followed. In addition to various multimedia projects with a variety of collaborators, Dump the Body in Rikki Lake and the concept album Don't Trust Anyone Over Thirty (a loose retelling of the 1960s cult classic Wild in the Streets) were used as the basis of puppet shows in collaboration with Philip Huber, who designed and controlled the marionettes in the film Being John Malkovich.

For the past seven years Brooklyn's ultra childish Japanther have baffled unsuspecting audiences and steadily grown its cult following. They've lived out of a van all over Europe, Australia, Canada and the US, circling the international underground like hungry wolves. All the while screaming through yellow pay phone mics, self releasing and self producing in keeping with the "Art Project" persona the group was founded on. Synchronized swimmer, illegal shows, marionettes and giant puppets have all been employed successfully again and again. All in an attempt to redefine what bands, groups and gangs can do.

Always a band of contrasts, Japanther exist halfway in the world of performance art, and halfway in DIY punk. We at Southern wholeheartedly embrace Japanther's ethos and after seeing them support Penny Rimbaud (Crass co-founder) at a London venue last year, we knew that we had to make them part of the family. It comes with great honour to announce that Japanther are our proud new signing on Truth Cult and we are very thrilled to be putting out the album Tut Tut, Now Shake Your Butt as the third release on the imprint label.

On this record and keeping the tradition of contrast alive the lads have teamed up with Penny Rimbaud for this record of punk songs and poetry. On the surface, that may sound like an odd combination, but this thing is a cohesive and truly a wild romp 'round Africa, the Bronx, San Pedro and Brooklyn, complete with faeries, bicycles and a few cans of spray paint. Japanther's infectious, free spirited trash hasn't let up a teeny bit, it's just gotten more focused. Rimbaud's churning, clever, degenerate cadence is an oddly fitting balance for Japanther's two-minute blasts.

These songs are consistent with the level of songwriting on their epic last record, Skuffed Up My Huffy LP. Tut Tut, Now Shake Ya Butt was recorded in late 2007 (at Zero Mass in Brooklyn), as the (band-curated/organized) Dinosaur Death Dance performance ran for three (sold out) nights at New York's PS122. On a special note, this record features a sleeper cover of Portland's New Bad Things' "The Dirge"!

Japanther are going to be bringing the ruckus to the UK and mainland Europe in May. Here is the routing so far and some confirmed dates (with more to be confirmed soon...)

May 1st Ireland
May 2nd Ireland
May 3rd Ireland
May 4th Belfast, Ireland
May 5th Scotland
May 7th Belgium
May 8th Leipzig, Germany - Altin Village Fest
May 9th Berlin, Germany - West Germany
May 12th Hamburg - The Rote Flora w/ The Pink Tank Collective.
May 13th Copenhagen, Denmark - Lades Kælder
May 14th Wuertzburg or Ahlborg, Denmark
May 15th Malmo, Sweden
May 16th Gothenburg or Sthlm
May 17th Oslo, Norway
May 18th Bergen, Norway
May 19th Norway
May 20th Turku, Finland
May 21st Helsinki, Finland
May 22nd St. Petersburg, Russia
May 23rd Moscow, Russia
May 24th Moscow, Russia
May 26th Vienna, Austria
May 27th Graz, Austria
May 28th Zagreb, Croatia or Vienna, Austria
May 29th Rome, Italy or Gio
May 30 Lyon, France - Grande
May 31st Tolouse, France
June 1st: Lisbon, Portugal - ZDB Gallery
June 2nd: Portugal
June 3rd Madrid, Spain or Barcelona, Spain
June 4th Bordeaux - Saint Ex w/ Lets Panic Later
June 5th Paris, France or Barcelona, Spain
June 6th London, England - The Dome (with Upset The Rhythm)

We will be updating these dates as soon as venues are confirmed so keep checking the Southern website for information.

Check out some of the praise from the press:

"Japanther remains one the New York City's most under rated acts...". -Pitchfork Media

"spazz gods… a mother f**ker of an album… Japanther is a lean slam boogie machine with no time for boredom" -Thurston Moore For Arthur Magazine

"Japanther is one of the hardest f**king bands in Brooklyn right now. They sound like Iron Maiden, Throbbing Gristle, and Lightning Bolt gave birth to a squealing little baby with flaming guitars for arms. Their shows are chaotic and danger-charged lovefests and they are frighteningly dedicated to keeping it underground" - VICE

Fiat lux - Et facta est lux

Friday, February 13

Nancy Wallace - A shining star

As the voice of The Memory Band, Nancy Wallace will already be familiar to many. After two albums of effortless modern folk classics with The Memory Band Nancy has finally released her debut album through Southern imprint Midwich. Her debut solo release, the Young Hearts EP from 2005, saw Nancy's appeal reach a wider audience with its canny marrying of disco anthems to a folk sound. It won the hearts of everyone who heard it and tracks from the EP have been licensed to several compilation albums.

On Old Stories, traditional songs sit happily alongside Nancy's original compositions with a flow so effortless you forget which is which and the relaxed sound and simple yet rich arrangements compliment her voice perfectly. A charming modesty presides over the whole set but the one enduring thing you take away from listening to this album is that Nancy Wallace is a huge talent.

Nancy Wallace has already received some fantastic praise from the press and is going to be the cover star of the worldwide acclaimed magazine fROOTS this March (along with traditional folkie Ian King)

Here are some fine examples of the deserved praise:

"Long respected as one of the purest voices on the folk circuit, this recording, like her live work, fashions an amazing intimacy with her listener. A significant debut." 4/5 MOJO

"Old Stories, Nancy Wallace's debut album, is one of the first highlights of 2009. Time will tell if she becomes one of the great British voices, but with the level of emotion she conveys, she certainly has every right to be talked about in the same breath as some of the traditional music greats...Old Stories is a volume you'll return to time and again." BBC MUSIC REVIEWS

"The set should pave the way to wider recognition for Wallace, one of the finest folk vocals of her generation." MUSIC WEEK

"Her accomplished fare is likely to hit the spot with fans of the McGarrigles and Fairport Convention." TIME OUT

In other exciting news, Nancy Wallace has just confirmed residency at The Brittannia Pub (Victoria Park, London) every Wednesday in May where she will invite a different support act along each week.

Make sure you note these other dates in your diary for a chance to enjoy Nancy's engaging, alluring live performance as well as performances from some of the other rising stars on Midwich, not to mention Southern Records' favourite folk band The Owl Service.

Here are the dates:

Apr 8th - Norwich Arts Centre, Norwich

Apr 23rd - St George's Day Extravaganza at Cecil Sharpe House, London - (sponsored by fRoots)

Jul 25th - Union Chapel, London - (Daylight Music Festival)

Mar 13th - St Mary's Old Church, Stoke Newington, London
(Nancy Wallace + Jason Steel + Ellen Mary McGee)

Jun 28th - Leigh Folk Festival, Leigh-On-Sea
(The Owl Service + Nancy Wallace + Jason Steel + Straw Bear Band)

For more news about the upcoming releases on Midwich including the new album from the charming Ellen Mary McGee then please visit the Southern website.

Monday, February 9

Pelican sign to Southern Lord!!!

It is with immense reverence that Southern Lord Recordings announces the signing of Chicago heavy-rock instrumental icons Pelican. Their genre-defying sound and eagerness to explore new musical directions will fit right at home alongside similar bands on the label like Earth, Boris and sunn 0))). Pelican is currently at Red Room studios in Seattle, WA recording an EP that will be their first release on Southern Lord. The new material promises to be heavier, darker and very “riff-oriented” comments guitarist Trevor De Brauw. A very special guest guitarist who has been heavily influential to the band will be making a guest appearance more details to be revealed shortly!

In March Pelican will be touring alongside new label mates Wolves In The Throne Room (who are currently touring mainland Europe and are gearing up to release a brand new album Black Cascade, details of which can be found on the Southern website), including a triumphant return to the South By South West music fest in Austin, TX at the Southern Lord showcase. Upon returning home Pelican will focus their sights on their fourth full-length album.

Pelican March/April 2009 tour:
*w/Tombs, Dredg
**w/Tombs, Wolves In The Throne Room

3/15/2009 The Picador - Iowa City IA *
3/16/2009 Riot Room - Kansas City, KS *
3/17/2009 The Marquee - Tulsa, OK *
3/18/2009 Scout Bar - San Antonio, TX * plus Tricky
3/19/2009 Vino’s - Little Rock, AR **
3/20/2009 Elmo’s - Austin, TX @ SXSW Southern Lord Showcase w/Eagle Twin, Black Cobra, Wolves In The Throne Room, Wino, etc.
3/22/2009 Red 7 - Austin, TX **
3/25/2009 The Sets - Tempe, AZ **
3/26/2009 The Casbah - San Diego, CA **
3/27/2009 The Troubadour - West Hollywood, CA **
3/28/2009 Slim’s - San Francisco, CA **
3/29/2009 Hawthorne Theatre - Portland, OR **
3/30/2009 Nightlight - Bellingham, WA **
3/31/2009 Neumo’s - Seattle , WA **
4/02/2009 Club Vegas - Salt Lake City, UT **
4/03/2009 The Marquis Theatre - Denver , CO **
4/05/2009 Empty Bottle - Chicago, IL **

Keep checking the Southern website for more information.

Subhumans resissuing back-catalogue

In the Trowbridge area of Wiltshire 1980, Dick, Bruce, Phil and Trotsky formed Subhumans, one of the most literate and musically athletic punk bands to come from the UK (alongside their contemporaries Crass, Conflict and Rudimentary Peni) Having previously played in other bands; The Mental and The Stupid Humans, Subhumans united and began to develop a trademark sound fusing political songcraft latent with meaning, wit and experimental warfare which would in turn bring them much success and recognition. They have also had an enormous influence on, and being a massive inspiration to the likes of Rancid, Operation Ivy to Queens Of The Stone Age. By 1985 Subhumans played 262 shows (including European and US tours) and Dick went on to form ska-punk-reggae band Culture Shock before re-uniting with Trotsky and Phil again in '89 to form Citizen Fish.

After releasing a total of five full length records on their own BLUURG label and six EPs (not to mention D.I.Y cassettes) the band are still going strong. Their most recent release Internal Riot received glowing reviews from the press and fanzines on a global scale, all acknowledging the strength of the Subhumans formula, which really has stood the test of time. Subhumans rage against the world and also (importantly) focus on trying to improve it!

Subhumans remain one of the most important UK punk bands and now, 17 years after their first LP was released, they are reissuing the back catalogue. The reissues are completely remastered and will be presented in deluxe packaging in CD in a digipack format complete with a poster and on 140g coloured vinyl. Both formats boast original artwork. This delve back into the treasure chest that is the Subhumans back catalogue will form a historical perspective of a legendary band who are still at the top of their game and will make great collectibles for any die-hard fan. Here are the planned reissues:

1982 - The Day The Country Died
Their first LP recorded in five days in June 1982 and first released in 1983 on Spiderleg Records before putting it out on their own label. With dystopian undertones it describes a world ravaged by war. An absolute classic.

1983 - From Cradle To Grave
Second full length album, this one a concept album about live and the transitions from life to death, loving and hating. Subhumans reveal a more mature side to their music without losing any intensity.

1983 - Time Flies/Rats
The band's third release, originally two EPs later combined to make one album. Delivering satirical blows left right and centre in a heavy manner, verging on hardcore punk stylings.

1985 - Worlds Apart
The fourth album by the Subhumans, combining elements of ska, reggae and punk. Hailed by many as their strongest album.

1986 - EP LP
A brutal compilation of early EPs. This is raw punk rock at its finest, lashing out at materialism, religion, animal testing, greed, corruption of the political system, and that is just the tip of the iceberg!

1987 - 29 29 Split Vision
Sixth full length and one of the bands more exploratory albums, all of the songs vary in some way to the next, which makes this album a special addition to any Subhumans fan's collection.

2004 - Unfinished Business
Seven songs, all rare tracks from crucial periods in the band's long career. Included are songs that were recorded live back in 1981, at Pickwick Studios in 1982, at Southern Studios in 1983, as well as some ancient songs re-recorded at bassist Phil's place in 1998.

All of these releases draw upon topical issues that are still in contention today therefore maintaining the relevancy of Dick's lyrical bashings and thus rendering these albums equally as intense as when they were originally released.

The entire back-catalogue is available through the Southern Records webshop and more information about these reissues can be found on the Southern website

Thursday, February 5

The brand new SUNN O))) album cometh

MAXIMUM VOLUME YIELDS MAXMUM RESULTS is a statement which perfectly encapsulates the essence of SUNN O))). The group have always revolved around the foundation of two heavily amplified and saturated electric guitars, and over the years the ensemble has grown and evolved in many ways.

This year, after ten years of existence, SUNN O))) are going to be releasing their seventh studio album Monoliths & Dimensions on Southern Lord (artwork by the eminent artist Richard Serra). This work spanned a year and a half and in the words of SUNN O))) "resulted in our most intense, mature and off-a-point-of-reference work to date."

On this new album they have worked with long time collaborators; Oren Ambarchi and vocalist Attila Csihar and have also enlisted a host of other incredible musicians. Eyvind Kang (who has worked with the likes of John Zorn, Marc Ribot and Bill Frisell) is one of these new collaborators and on this record SUNN O))) have worked with the notable composer on various acoustic ensembles in addition to the Helios fueled electric guitars and basses. The band are keen to stress "it is not "SUNN with strings" or "metal bands meets orchestra material" instead they "took an approach concentrating on more of allusion toward the timbre of feedback and the instruments involved, so the piece is really illusory, beautiful and not entirely linear."

Other collaborators include Julian Priester (who worked with Sun Ra in the 50s, was in John Coltrane’s African Brass band, and was in Herbie Hancock’s Sextant band) and Stuart Dempster (new music horn player who plays with Pauline Oliveros in Deep Listening band and had several Cage commissions over the years). There’s also an upright bass trio, French and English horns, harp and flute duo, piano, brass, reed and strings ensembles. And a Viennese woman’s choir led by Persian vocal savant Jessika Kenney. These guests amongst many notable others, none the least being slow music godfather Dylan Carlson.

Here is the track listing for the album:

1. Aghartha (17:34)
2. Big Church [megszentségteleníthetetlenségeskedéseitekért] (09:43)
3. Hunting & Gathering (Cydonia) (10:02)
4. Alice (16:21)

If like us you find all this news extremely exciting then keep your ears to the ground as they will be unleashing this beast in May. SUNN O))) are playing a few select dates across mainland Europe and have one show confirmed in the UK in London. The details for the latter are as follows.

Sunday February 22nd
7 pm. £12 advance / £15 OTD

Baba Yaga's Hut presents - SUNN O))) and Grumbling Fur at Corsica Studios in London

With honor, SUNN O))) is announcing one exclusive live performance in the United Kingdom to recognize the 10th anniversary of SUNN O)))’s creation, and to coincide with the recording of the first album…The GrimmRobe Demos. SUNN O))) will be playing material from GrimmRobes exclusively. It will be a return to their primal origins, and approach respecting a concept of shoshin (初心), the beginner’s mind, the yet undyed pure wool, the clarity in initiation upon the untraveled. The attitude of embodying the basics precisely, point by point, line by line, with an immovable faith in the teaching, experience and of beyond the possibility. Of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when approaching, even with much experience, just as a beginner would upon the initial impetus and thirst to seek the path. And so, with this mindset, they will be approaching these live concerts. Pure, raw, uninhibited invocations featuring O)))s core members: Stephen O’Malley and Greg Anderson ONLY. No guests, no vocals, no keyboards. We hope you will join us….
Support comes from Grumbling Fur featuring Alexander Tucker and Daniel O'Sullivan (Guapo, Mothlite)

Keep checking the Southern website for more news about the new album, confirmed shows and details of the bands back-catalogue which is available through the webshop.

Tuesday, February 3

Action Beat vinyl

Vinyl Packing Crew
Originally uploaded by Savage Pink
Last Friday the crew all gathered round some hot packing tables to hand-pack the vinyl for the Action Beat album on Truth Cult. 500 gorgeous slabs of deep blue vinyl were lovingly inserted into heavy poly bags, along with an insert and a sticker on the front. Don't they look great? We were happy. We reckon these will go quickly on the tour coming up. (They're also available in our mail order shop.)