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Blackest Ever Black

  • Af Ursin 'Aura Legato' - Cargo Records UK

    Blackest Ever Black

    Af Ursin 'Aura Legato'

    £11.99

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    Blackest Ever Black

    Af Ursin 'Aura Legato'

    £11.99

    Blackest Ever Black presents a new vinyl edition, and the first CD and digital editions, of Af Ursin’s 2005 masterpiece Aura Legato. Af Ursin is the alter ego of Finnish autodidact composer/improviser Timo van Luijk.

    His work is rooted in the use of acoustic instruments (wind, percussion, strings), but his special sensitivity to the timbral qualities of each instrument, and his deft blurring of them, results in a sound-world that is mysterious, amorphous and hallucinatory, full of suggestive shadows, creaks and whispers.

    Informed by years of intensive listening to various types of free music, exploratory drug use and especially the “irregular organic forms” of the Belgian countryside where he resides, van Luijk’s process begins always with pure improvisation: music played in an intuitive, sensual way, without the employment of conscious technique.

    He performs and overdubs each instrumental component himself, and out of this process micro-structures and loose arrangements emerge: the piece becomes an improvised composition. Over time he has evolved his own richly poetic musical language, full of allusions to drone, acid folk, classical, Musique concrète and jazz, but beholden to none.

    Aura Legato is one of van Luijk’s darker and more acutely psychedelic offerings: a work of profound interiority, but one that also conjures images of old Europe and fin-de-siècle decadence – dabblings in Thelema, the fog of the opium-den – and has earned comparisons to Third Ear Band, Nurse With Wound, Mirror and HNAS.

    Fully remastered and housed in die-cut sleeve with gold detailing and individually hand-glued labels.

    Tracklisting:
    1. Rêverie en mineur
    2. Capsule détachée
    3. Tableau fluide
    4. Aphanes
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  • Amateur Childbirth 'Your Afterlife Is Cancelled' Vinyl LP

    Blackest Ever Black

    Amateur Childbirth 'Your Afterlife Is Cancelled' Vinyl LP

    £16.99

    This is Amateur Childbirth’s Christian Rock album. The previous LP from Ivan Matthew David’s solo project, 2015’s Pripyat, concerned itself with the blighted belief systems of UFO worshippers, Your Afterlife Is Cancelled expands this compelling solo project’s field of enquiry to look at a wider array of “religious anomalies” – cults, for want of a better word.

    Each song is about a different such anomaly.To call Hicks’ vision apocalyptic would be to underplay its cruelty. The Bible’s rampant sadism pales in comparison. This is a world where faith – in a god or gods, in astrology, morality, or any meaning whatsoever – is merely a prelude to punishment. His lyrics are vivid glossaries of pain, abjection and indignity; the songs’ protagonists swim in blood, piss, shit and ejaculate.

    Eschatology and scatology are indivisible here. Drugs are rampantly abused, albeit to little benefit. There are scalpel-flashes of humour in David’s wordplay, rhyming and dour Brisbane diction – but this offers scant consolation for the songs’ embattled subjects, who wait, in vein, for salvation, while crows peck out their eyes, blood pours from their ears, and psoriasis ravages their skin.

    These words, for all their pessimism and body-horror, are cradled in minimalist, folk-rock arrangements that are quite dazzling in their beauty and grievously earned simplicity: Hicks’ monochord strum embellished with subtle violin, synthesizer and percussion shading.

    Amateur Childbirth’s caustic end-times worldview inevitably prompts comparisons with Current 93, but also a wider (non-)tradition of caustic and disturbed loner psych that includes Simon Finn, Patrik Fitzgerald, Robyn Hitchcock, Peter Jefferies and Roy Harper.

    Your Afterlife Is Cancelled is a depressive tour de force from one of the most crushingly eloquent voices in the Australian underground.

    Tracklisting:
    1. My Throat = Abyss Of Tar
    2. Emissary Of Light
    3. Alive With Desire
    4. Portents To Beauty
    5. Iridescent Effigy To Hades
    6. In Greenland, Alone
    7. Lithium Hangover / Ordinary Morphine
    8. High Calvinism
    9. All Doomed
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  • Ashtray Navigations 'To Make A Fool Ask, And You Are The First' - Cargo Records UK

    Blackest Ever Black

    Ashtray Navigations 'To Make A Fool Ask, And You Are The First' Vinyl 12"

    £9.99

    Blackest Ever Black presents To Make A Fool Ask, And You Are The First, the latest – and, for us, greatest – full-length entry in Ashtray Navigations’ uniquely important, uniquely sprawling – possibly sentient and self-multiplying – discography.

    It picks up where the nerve-damaged exotica of 2015’s A Shimmering Replica left off…acerbic “surf” guitar and synthetic salt-breeze fit for the Tropic of Yorkshire. Instant immersion in a potent, pungent psychedelia that feels equal parts cosmic and aquatic.

    What Todd wrenches out of his instrument these days is a language unto itself (perhaps it always was)… a helical, ecstatic, grieving howl…a (super)natural efflorescence, beyond earthly description or transcription…ur-rock and post-everything. But equal emphasis is given here to pulsating machine rhythms and lush keyboard textures, with killer contributions from longtime fellow traveller Mel O’Dubhshlaine.

    There were pre-echoes of all this in the recent(ish) Fluctuants and Aero Infinite: but To Make A Fool feels like the culmination, or the fullest expression, of something which was only glimpsed in those earlier works.

    The side-long ‘Spray Two’ – gently eddying string-pads gradually slashed to all f***k with fraught piano improvisations – is a masterpiece in its own right. At its delirious peak, the whole thing boils over into brooding, arpeggiated noir-techno – Michael Mann’s steadicam roaming Leeds’ B-roads, some kind of tangerine nightmare – before finally cooling into a bleary starfield of pure and sumptuous hypno-tone.

    This LP is a trip, in the most skull-splitting, soul-crinkling sense of the word, but it soothes and heals as well. A circular and transformative journey to the other side of the underneath and a landmark recording from one of the most adept and visionary nodes in Britain’s freakout underground.

    Tracklisting:
    1. (Another) Hour Of The Grubber
    2. A Crimson Coin
    3. Bellow Organs Spine
    4. Spray Two
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  • Barnett + Coloccia 'Weld' - Cargo Records UK

    Blackest Ever Black

    Barnett + Coloccia 'Weld' Vinyl LP

    £14.99

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    Blackest Ever Black

    Barnett + Coloccia 'Weld' Vinyl LP

    £14.99

    Faith Coloccia and Alex Barnett return to Blackest Ever Black with their second duo album, Weld; working with synthesizers, affected vocals, raw electrical noise, field recordings, EVP techniques, tape manipulation and drum machines to create a music at once lucid and mystic. Its songs embody various experiential philosophies and objectives: searching for the sacred in the forgotten and supposedly useless; exploring the meaning of “natural”; listening for the pulse of the ancient; using technology both to materialise memory and to dream a folklore for a future age.

    Coloccia and Barnett’s ambition is apparent early on in the stately, medievalist keyboard/choral poetics of ‘Truth Teller’, moving through the agitated wormhole techno of ‘Dreamsnake’, to the white light-emitting, near-symphonic plainchant of ‘Healer’. ‘Blight’’s zero-hour synth pulsations are first interrupted, then engulfed, by an extra-terrestrial broadcast of piercing bell and glass-tones; ‘AM Horizon’ is pitched bewitchingly between Prophet-5 pulp futurism and earthbound, atavistic dread; ‘Agate Cross’’s baroque harmonic sequence disintegrates at its very climax, cooling and dissipating into a deep starfield of pure tone.

    ‘Ash Grove’ and ‘Rose Eye’ are exhilarating exercises in contemporary musique concrète: complex timbral constructs in which Coloccia’s disembodied glossolalia, swooping strings and other nameless sonic spectra conspire to evoke extra-dimensional space and the highest spiritual drama.

    Weld speaks its own distinctive dream-language, but we would certainly recommend it to anyone enamoured of the brittle sci-fi synth-scapes in Caroline K’s Now Wait For Last Year, the amorphous electronics of Beatriz Ferreyra’s recent work, Conrad Schnitzler’s more gothic moments, and even the gravest metaphysical reckonings of a Stockhausen or a Rozmann.

    Tracklisting:
    1. Truth Teller
    2. Dreamsnake
    3. Healer
    4. Blight
    5. AM Horizon
    6. Rose Eye
    7. Agate Cross
    8. Ash Grove
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  • Beneath 'Cloudy' Vinyl 12

    Blackest Ever Black

    Beneath 'Cloudy' Vinyl 12"

    £8.49

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    Blackest Ever Black

    Beneath 'Cloudy' Vinyl 12"

    £8.49

    Duh-duh-duh-duh-duuuh-duuuh-duuuh-duuuuuh…two new productions from Beneath for A14, Blackest Ever Black's occasional series of hardboiled club weapons.

    Edition of 300.

    Tracklisting:
    Side A:
    Cloudy

    Side B:
    Outsource

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  • Black Rain 'Dark Pool' - Cargo Records UK

    Blackest Ever Black

    Black Rain 'Dark Pool'

    £11.99

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    Blackest Ever Black

    Black Rain 'Dark Pool'

    £11.99

    Dark Pool is the new studio album from Black Rain, the project’s first in 18 years. Produced in New York City by Stuart Argabright, Black Rain’s founder and figurehead, Dark Pool is a work of hard-edged sonic fiction rooted in cyberpunk's quintessential neo-noir cityscape/dataspace but projecting into a farther future of biotechnological advancement and alienation. Partly inspired by the writings of Philip K. Dick protégé K.W. Jeter (particularly 1996’s Edge Of Human, which picked up where Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner left off), and Paolo Bacigalupi’s 2009 novel The Windup Girl, a vision of 23rd century Thailand plagued by genetic and economic terrorism, Dark Pool’s humid dystopia is also acutely Ballardian in its vision of manmade and natural worlds encroaching upon each other: a vivid psychogeography of half-submerged high-rises and hidden jungle laboratories. Stuart Argabright first landed in New York in 1978.

    By day, he worked as a landscape gardener for the upscale likes of Rock Hudson and Bob Dylan, while at night involving himself in all manner of subcultural activity – the reverberations of which are still being felt today. He co-founded seminal no wave minimalists Ike Yard (whose early 1980s work has been cited as an influence by the likes of Kode9, Young Echo and Silent Servant), collaborated with the late Rammellzee in futurist hip-hop outfit Death Comet Crew (recently reactivated for an LP on Powell's Diagonal label) and as Dominatrix scored a bona fide club hit with the downtown electro classic ‘The Dominatrix Sleeps Tonight’ (1984).

    Black Rain was revived in the wake of 2011’s Now I’m Just A Number’s release and Argabright has toured extensively under the name and last year released an EP of live recordings, Protoplasm, on BEB. Three of the EP’s four tracks appear here on Dark Pool in radically revised and expanded form: the stuttering ribofunk of ‘Endourban’ is now anchored by ominous string pads faintly redolent of Argabright’s labelmates Raime, while ‘Data River’ revisits the accelerated beat-stream of Black Rain’s 1996 album Nanarchy, and the low-slung ‘Protoplasm’ has evolved into a sprawling, syncopated techno epic - the sound of red dawn rising on an illegal replicant rave.

    A further seven new productions feature. ‘Burst’, its title perhaps a nod to Sogo Ishii’s 1982 biker gang saga Burst City, harks back to the scrap-metal-banging brutalism of Black Rain mk.1; ‘Xibalba Road Metamorph’, the album's angry, anguished centrepiece, externalises the sadness and self-loathing of Jeter’s oppressed post-human workforce. ‘Night In New Chiang Saen’ reimagines dub as the viral product of one of AgriGen’s morally suspect scientific initiatives in The Windup Girl, before ‘Who Will Save The Tiger?’ calls upon spidery, Metalheadz-esque breakbeats and wailing guitar drones to summon a 23rd century Ark.

    Vocals (on 'Profusion' and 'Profusion II') from Zoe Zanias (Keluar), and a brief spoken intervention from Sean Young (who of course played Rachel in Blade Runner) are simply the most audible manifestations of a dejected feminine presence that haunts the entire album. For all its textual references, Dark Pool is a visceral and straight-talking affair: its bodyhammer rhythms and brooding sound design require no explanation for their impact to be felt.

    1. Dark Pool 
    2. Profusion I 
    3. Watering Hole 
    4. Endourban 
    5. Burst 
    6. Xibalba Road Metamorph 
    7. Data River 
    8. Night In New Chiang Saen 
    9. Protoplasm 
    10. Profusion II: Fallofthehouseofagodofbiomechanics 
    11. Who Will Save The Tiger?
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  • Bremen 'Eclipsed' - Cargo Records UK

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    Bremen 'Eclipsed' Vinyl 2xLP

    £19.99

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    Blackest Ever Black

    Bremen 'Eclipsed' Vinyl 2xLP

    £19.99

    A new double-LP of glacial electronics, strung-out drone-punk and smouldering space-rock minimalism from Bremen, the Swedish duo of Jonas Tiljander (Brainbombs) and Lanchy Orre (Brainbombs, Totalitär).

    The band's points of departure are specific: a particular organ sound from J.A. Seazer 1970s recordings, the squalid alien guitar tone of Chrome, the cranked, psychic roar-out riffage of Hawkwind, the melancholic mode of Swedish jazz pianist Jan Johansson, minimalism from La Monte Young to Eleh, “cold eighties electronic sound", and sloppy, lo-fi psychedelic rock from the likes of Pärson Sound and Träd Gräs och Stenar.

    Tiljander's icily poised synth/organ drones and the grieving cosmic howl of Lanchy's guitar dominate the landscape, but Bremen's instrumental palette has also expanded to include various percussion treatments, saxophone, strings, dissolved vocal fragments.

    Their exploratory jamming, overdubbing and dub-savvy mixing yield a music of unbelievable eloquence and physicality, and Eclipsed is another masterpiece of black-hole psychedelia from one of the greatest underground rock'n'roll units on the planet.

    Tracklisting:
    1. On Board
    2. Helmet
    3. Cold March
    4. Scorched Earth
    5. Through The Barrier
    6. The Art of Non-Existence
    7. Universal
    8. Events And Non-Events
    9. First Leap
    10. A Stumble Not A Fall
    11. A Glimpse At The Final Moment
    12. Sick City
    13. Lights Out
    14. Soaring With The Mountains

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  • Carla dal Forno 'The Garden' - Cargo Records UK

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    Carla dal Forno 'The Garden'

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    Blackest Ever Black

    Carla dal Forno 'The Garden'

    £11.99

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    An EP from Carla dal Forno containing four new, obliquely confessional dispatches from the edge zones of feeling. It marks both a refinement of the dub-damaged, inward-looking bedsit pop essayed on her 2016 debut album You Know What It’s Like, and an evolutionary leap.

    While there is warmth and intimacy to come, The Garden opens with a cold hard stare: ’We Shouldn’t Have To Wait’, an unexpectedly confrontational companion piece, or response, to her own 'Fast Moving Cars’. This is not a dazed reverie, but forceful, fatalistic, void-chasing drone-rock led by a stalking, venus-in-furs bassline that levels everything in its path. No longer gazing from afar at fast moving cars, but behind the wheel of one, driving pretty recklessly.

    No particular destination in mind, but impatient to get there. ‘Clusters’, then, is the sound of (unexpected) arrival in something close to paradise, and slowing down the better to take it in: a bright, imagistic, electronic pop fantasy in the tradition of Stereolab, Broadcast or Saint Etienne, with lyrics plucked and rearranged from the pages of a National Geographic article.

    Dal Forno's voice, newly prominent and minimally accompanied, sounds close to contented, but also worldly-wise and not a little suspicious of her surroundings…the only problem with paradise is the people in it. ‘Make Up Talk’, written last summer in Melbourne, is a tense, awkward unpicking of a dysfunctional relationship (aren't they all), its murky sound design, thrift-store percussion and lyrical starkness pegging it as the closest relation to You Know What It’s Like, and perhaps also the closing of that particular chapter.

    The EP’s title track - and its clear climax - pays tribute to Einsturzende Neubauten’s song of the same name, but shifts the action to nighttime, and brings an acutely female perspective to bear on it: here the garden is a place of beauty and refuge, sure, but also one of hidden menace and threat…things that lurk. dal Forno has never sounded so emotionally eloquent, and at the same time 'The Garden' is without doubt her most subtly psychedelic production to date.

    Her glissando bassline and understated synth-work powerfully evoke the moonlight, the dew and the dark boughs, while her cut-glass vocals - still romantically inclined but freighted with adult self-knowledge, adult fear - summon the Tracey Thorn of Eden and Massive Attack’s Protection, but have their own character, occupy their own space in the aether. What makes The Garden so satisfying is how decisively it moves away from the post-punk/lo-fi sensibilities of You Know What Its Like, without vacating them entirely.

    You could still call this a DIY record - dal Forno wrote, played, arranged and recorded every note herself. And you could still call it a bedroom record - that’s where it all happened. But in calling it either, you’d be doing a disservice to the musical and technical accomplishments of dal Forno's flawless, fully-realised dream-pop.

    The Garden is a compact masterpiece from a remarkable artist who - frighteningly, excitingly - has only just begun to hit her stride.

    Tracklisting:
    1. You Shouldn't Have To Wait
    2. Clusters
    3. Make Up Talk
    4. The Garden

    Release Date: 06/10/2017
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  • Carla Dal Forno 'You Know What It’s Like' - Cargo Records UK

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    Carla Dal Forno 'You Know What It’s Like'

    £11.99

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    Blackest Ever Black

    Carla Dal Forno 'You Know What It’s Like'

    £11.99

    You Know What It’s Like is an album for inbetween days, and occupies inbetween states: plain-speaking pop, disorientated by dub. Psychedelic folk delivered with (post-)punk economy. Drifting in space while still tethered to the ground. Astral tones blurred with earth sounds: wood, bone, breath, skin, dirt. Ending and beginning, dying and becoming. Longing for adventure and an unquiet life. Struggling to get out of bed.

    This is Carla dal Forno’s debut solo album, following time in cult Melbourne group Mole House and an earlier association with Blackest Ever Black as a member of F ingers and Tarcar. Her voice is an extraordinary instrument: both disarmingly conversational and glacially detached. It has something of the bedsit urbanity of Anna Domino, Marine Girls, Antena, or Helen Johnstone - stoned and deadpan - but it can also summon a gothic intensity that Nico or Kendra Smith would approve of.

    This voice is the perfect embodiment of dal Forno's emotionally ambiguous songs: their lyrics rooted in the everyday, observing and exposing a series of uncomfortable truths. This voice asks difficult questions of singer, subject, and sung-to. And of course there are no simple answers.

    Singles ‘Fast Moving Cars’ and ‘What You Gonna Do Now?’ weigh up claustrophobia against loneliness, inertia against acceleration, doubling down versus taking off; the title track acknowledges the provisional nature of love and “real” intimacy, then decides to brave it anyway. By the time we arrive at the startlingly sparse ‘The Same Reply’, the impermanence of all things is something that can no longer be tolerated, and the sense of dejection is absolute.

    The vocal-led pieces are interspersed with richly evocative instrumentals, like Eno’s Another Green World reimagined in shades of brown and blue. Smothered in tape-hiss and reverb, the seasick synthesizer miniatures ‘Italian Cinema’ and ‘Dragon Breath’ channel the twilit DIY whimsy of Flaming Tunes and Call Back The Giants.

    ‘DB Rip''s drum machine and bassline are pure Chicago house, but then its dark choral drones nod to Dalis Car's dreams of blood-spattered Cornwall stone. ‘Dry The Rain’ drinks from a stream of eldritch, home-brewed moon musick that runs through Coil, In Gowan Ring, Third Ear Band, even the Raincoats’ Odyshape, and into the woods.

    Tracklisting:
    1. Italian Cinema
    2. Fast Moving Cars
    3. DB Rip
    4. What You Gonna Do Now?
    5. Dry In The Rain
    6. You Know What It's Like
    7. Dragon Breath
    8. The Same Reply
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  • Cut Hands 'Festival Of The Dead' - Cargo Records UK

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    Cut Hands 'Festival Of The Dead'

    £11.99

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    Blackest Ever Black

    Cut Hands 'Festival Of The Dead'

    £19.99

    It is said that the gods of the dead demand you ritualistically commit to each intensely hot beat of the ceremonial drum. Now, here, is the music for their celebration of death, music to dance together with, to oblivion, a music both spectacular and ecstatic where, like never before, the spirits of santería and vaudou mix with raw electricity into burning diabolical polyrhythms. We here present Cut Hands and Festival Of The Dead.

    This is Cut Hands' third album to date: the acclaimed Afro Noise I introduced the project in 2011, and 2012's Black Mamba expanded its feverish vision, preceded by a single of the same name on Blackest Ever Black. 2013 saw the release of the similarly fiery 'Madwoman' and 'Damballah 58' 12"s (on Downwards and BEB respectively).

    Festival of The Dead is without doubt the most potent distillation yet of Cut Hands' malign percussive energy, with pieces like 'The Claw' and 'Vaudou Take Me High' leading the irresistible polyrhythmic assault, in pursuit of one thing: a final rapturous celebration of oblivion.

    Written and produced by William Bennett. Original veve artwork by Mimsy DeBlois. Mastered by Noel Summerville. 2xLP (BLACKESTLP010) housed in high gloss gatefold sleeve.

    Tracklisting:
    Side A:
    1. The Claw
    2. I Know What I Must Do
    3. Damballah 58

    Side B:
    1. Parataxic Distortion
    2. Festival Of The Dead
    3. Belladonna Theme

    Side C:
    1. Vaudou Take Me High
    2. Inlightenment
    3. None Of Your Bones Are Broken

    Side D:
    1. Madwoman (Festival Mix)
    2. Fruit Is Ripe
    3. Fire Ends The Day
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  • Dalhous 'An Ambassador For Laing' - Cargo Records UK

    Blackest Ever Black

    Dalhous 'An Ambassador For Laing'

    £11.99

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    Blackest Ever Black

    Dalhous 'An Ambassador For Laing'

    £11.99

    An Ambassador For Laing is the debut album by Dalhous. Arriving in the wake of their recent 10", Mitchell Heisman, it's due to be released by Blackest Ever Black in May 2013.

    The Edinburgh-based duo of Marc Dall and Alex Ander work with intricately stacked percussion, dubwise bass and a rich harmonic tapestry of processed voices, keys, harp, vibraphone, guitar, woodwind, strings and synthesiser - every sound re-sampled to the nth degree then subjected to subtle automation and rigorously fine-tuned over a period of many months.

    From the mesmerised pastoral drift of 'Anger Sees Red' and 'Dwelling By The Meadow' to agitated arabesques like 'The Physical Body' and the self-titled 'Dalhous', the resulting pieces explore dreamlike but treacherous terrain. Eleven questions in a world of blue.

    Tracklisting:
    1. He Was Human And Belonged With Humans
    2. The Physical Body
    3. Anger Sees Red
    4. Bolder And Lighter Than The Beat From A Wing
    5. Who's Here, You're Here, I'm Here...
    6. Dalhous
    7. The Cruel Practice Of Art
    8. Dwelling By The Meadow
    9. Eros, Love And Lies
    10. A White, White Day
    11. Dreamers Of Decadence

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  • Dalhous 'The Composite Moods Collection Vol.1: House Number 44' - Cargo Records UK

    Blackest Ever Black

    Dalhous 'The Composite Moods Collection Vol.1: House Number 44' Vinyl 2xLP

    £15.99

    House Number 44 is the first volume of The Composite Moods Collection, a new cycle of Dalhous recordings that examines the relationship between two individuals co-habiting in the same confined space – their interactions, their sense of self and of each other, and the pregnant space between.

    The title of The Composite Moods Collection nods to the world of film and library cues, riffing on the utilitarian idea of music “to suit the mood” and the appealing if archaic notion that a “mood” can be a discrete or fixed thing, a unit of feeling.

    Longtime followers of Dalhous will observe that House Number 44 contains some of their sparsest, most malevolent-sounding electronic music to date (see especially the brooding synthesizer throb of ‘Response To Stimuli’ and ‘End Of Each Analysis’) but some of their most disarmingly beautiful too, with indelible melodies and atmospheres as deep as thought: ‘Methods of Élan’, ‘On A Level’, the elegiac ‘Lines To Border’.

    Marc Dall’s enduring affection for neo-noir film scores of the ‘80s and early ‘90s, with their gleaming electronics and submerged existential torment, is more palpable here than ever, and you may hear echoes too of Klaus Schulze, Pete Namlook, or Eno’s The Shutov Assembly – but Dalhous continue to plot their own course, obsessively and meticulously, oblivious to contemporary trends and unconstrained by historical influence; driven, indeed, by their own demons.
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  • Dalhous 'Visibility Is A Trap' - Cargo Records UK

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    Dalhous 'Visibility Is A Trap' Vinyl LP

    £8.99

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    Dalhous 'Visibility Is A Trap' Vinyl LP

    £8.99

    Visibility Is A Trap is the new EP by Dalhous, comprised of four originals together with a masterfully understated Regis remix of ‘He Was Human And Belonged With Humans’. The EP heralds the arrival of the Edinburgh-based project's sophomore album, Will To Be Well, due out on Blackest Ever Black in early Summer 2014.

    Dalhous first announced its existence in 2012 with the Mitchell Heisman 10”, and last year released its debut full-length: An Ambassador For Laing.

    Both Visibility Is A Trap and the upcoming Will To Be Well LP reflect writer-producer Marc Dall's continued interest in the language and imagery of self-help, R.D. Laing and the anti-psychiatry movement. Though recorded after Will To Be Well, the tracks on Visibility Is A Trap at first appear to have more in common with the blue ethereal drift of Ambassador.

    While ‘Information Is Forever’ and ‘A Change Of Attitude’ are firmly in the ambient mode, ‘Active Discovering’ fizzes with arpeggiated energy, and a battery of percussion disrupts the calm surface of ‘Sight Of Hirta’. Something is up. All is not as it seems.

    The Regis remix of Ambassador highlight ‘He Was A Human And Belonged With Humans’ finds Karl O’Connor in unusually pensive mood. In fact this near-beatless, dubwise version is unlike anything he has put his name to before.

    Discarding the rhythmic skeleton of Dalhous’s original, he gives their weeping saxophone more space to roam and resonate, adding off-beat, sleep-deprived keys, murmured vocal fragments and swells of sub-bass pressure.


    It could be construed as a love letter to his former home in West Berlin; certainly it evokes and effortlessly updates the drugsick grandeur of later Neubauten or Low side 2.

    Tracklisting:
    1. Active Discovering
    2. Information Is Forever
    3. Sight Of Hirta
    4. A Change Of Attitude
    5. He Was Human And Belonged With Humans (Regis Version)

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  • Dalhous 'Will To Be Well' - Cargo Records UK

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    Dalhous 'Will To Be Well'

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    Blackest Ever Black

    Dalhous 'Will To Be Well'

    £18.99

    Will To Be Well is the new studio album by Dalhous, their second for Blackest Ever Black. This double-LP reflects writer-producer Marc Dall’s continued interest in the life and arcana of R.D. Laing, but also alludes to more universal and enduring mysteries: the relationships between body and mind, illness and wellness, the physical and the metaphysical.

    The fifteen tracks assembled here also showcase the maturation of a uniquely gifted and expressive composer: Dall’s stirring, efflorescent melodies and stately harmonic architectures, with their grievously honed simplicity, are a delight: lucid, lyrical, immediate.

    For all the modernity of Dalhous’s approach, the album recalls a bygone era in synthesized and sample-based music, a time when its practitioners were not just set-designers but storytellers too. Will To Be Well arrives just one year on from the Edinburgh-based project’s tenebrous debut, An Ambassador For Laing, which was released to widespread acclaim in Spring 2013: The Wire praised "a frequently beautiful music, whose often calm surface belies the powerful currents moving beneath it", while FACT called the LP a “wonderfully compelling head-scratcher…opaque, elusive – and fascinating.”

    Nonetheless, a notable shift in tone has occurred in the fourteen months that have elapsed. If Ambassador was a tussle between darkness and light that ended in stalemate, with Will To Be Will it seems the light might just be winning. Pieces like ‘Transference’ and ‘Her Mind Was A Blank’ project a rapturous psychedelic intensity; ‘To Be Universal You Must Be Specific’ and ‘Entertain The Idea’ adopt the serene ambient register of recent Dalhous EP Visibility Is A Trap; while ‘Sensitised To This Area’ goes about its business with an almost Balearic swagger.

    But light too can be oppressive: the sun that gives life can also burn, and bleach, and blind. And even amid the endorphin rush of the album’s most ebullient passages, there is the sense of a greater melancholy, an intractable doubt, lurking beneath the surface.

    Dalhous’s music is suitably paradoxical, managing to sound at once futuristic and folkloric, both technologically advanced and avowedly pastoral. The elegiac repetitions of ‘A Communion With These People’ and the pagan drones of ‘Lovers Of The Highlands’ speak of Dall and his studio partner Alex Ander’s deep connection to the rugged contours of their native Scottish landscape, while on ‘Four Daughters By Four Women’ and ‘Thoughts Out Of Season’ convulsive post-rave rhythms are employed to evoke ancient natural cycles.

    Though Will To Be Well is a less obviously eerie album than its predecessor, Dalhous’s nose for the uncanny remains. A defining album from a major young artist.jT

    Tracklisting:
    1. First Page From Justine
    2. A Communion With These People
    3. Function Curve
    4. Sensitised To This Area
    5. Lovers Of The Highlands
    6. Four Daughters By Four Women
    7. Her Mind Was A Blank
    8. Transference
    9. To Be Universal You Must Be Specific
    10. Someone Secure
    11. Entertain The Idea
    12. Abyssal Plane
    13. Thoughts Out Of Season
    14. DSM-III
    15. Masquerading As Love
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  • Dickon Hinchcliffe 'Red Riding: In The Year Of Our Lord 1980' - Cargo Records UK

    Blackest Ever Black

    Dickon Hinchcliffe 'Red Riding: In The Year Of Our Lord 1980' Vinyl LP

    £16.99

    Blackest Ever Black presents the first vinyl edition of Dickon Hinchliffe's original score for 1980 - the second part of Channel 4 and Revolution Films' Red Riding trilogy, adapted by Tony Grisoni from David Peace's quartet of novels and first screened in 2009. Each film in the Red Riding trilogy, a landmark achievement in British television history, was helmed by a different director and had its own distinctive look, sound and feel.

    While Julian Jarrold's 1977 and Anand Tucker's 1983 were both marvellous, well-rounded pictures, James Marsh's1980 - photographed by Igor Martinovic on 35mm - somehow seemed to penetrate deeper, hit harder, and linger longer and more vividly in the memory. Described by Tony Grisoni as "an elegant steely trap", 1980's tragic arc is all the more devastating for the glimpses of lightness and redemption with which it taunts its hero - policeman Peter Hunter, played with astonishing grace and nuance by Paddy Considine. Warren Clarke, Maxine Peake, Peter Mullan, Tony Pitts, Jim Carter, David Morrissey, Sean Harris, Shaun Dooley and Lesley Sharp also figure in what surely ranks as one of the finest British ensemble casts ever assembled.

    So yes, the acting, writing and direction are all first-rate, but crucial to the mesmeric, elegiac and ultimately pincering, punishing effect of 1980 is its music, composed by Dickon Hinchliffe and performed by a small string ensemble augmented with bass, piano, guitar and percussion. A founder member of Tindersticks, Hinchliffe has played a major role in the band's scores for the films of Claire Denis (including Vendredi Soir,Trouble Every Day and Nénette Et Boni), and since flying the roost has established himself as an arthouse and Hollywood composer of considerable renown, with credits including Forty Shades Of Blue, Project Nim, Winter's Bone and Rampart.

    Even more eloquently than Paddy Considine's note-perfect performance, Hinchliffe's music for 1980 articulates Hunter's journey from righteousness to ruin, his optimism gradually consumed by dread and paranoia. Even at its most tender, its most hopeful, its most soaringly romantic, the stench of death is all over it.

    Tracklisting:
    1. The Ripper 
    2. Your Answer 
    3. The Moors 
    4. The Karachi Club 
    5. The Ridings 
    6. Ripper In The Belly 
    7. The Confession 
    8. Christmas 
    9. Hall's House 
    10. To Fitzwilliam 
    11. Five Men, Five Guns 
    12. The Karachi Club Shooting 
    13. Peace At Last
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  • Exploring Jezebel 'On A Business Trip To London' - Cargo Records UK

    Blackest Ever Black

    Exploring Jezebel 'On A Business Trip To London'

    £11.99

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    Blackest Ever Black

    Exploring Jezebel 'On A Business Trip To London'

    £16.99

    On A Business Trip To London is an album of curious electronics and sissy dance conceived under the shadow of Big Ben by Vivid Extreme. Initial research carried out at Ibis City Hotel, London; purple nail polish applied in Berlin and New York City.

    The result is the perfect and perhaps overdue meeting of emasculated P.E, limp-wristed ornamental industrial, sickly minimal synth and cheap suntanned trollop techno. What’s more, its tinny rhythmic ringtone cycles of humiliation and debasement evince an unlikely humanity: there is yearning behind the red ballgag and loud make-up cake; Duck’s piggy eyes betray an implacable melancholy.

    Indeed, despite the sexually explicit nature of its content, On A Business Trip To London is a highly accessible and often disarmingly pretty work which will appeal to the belissima ballerina in all working men.

    Required listening for all who admire those qualities most fascinating in a woman: allure, magnetism, power and dominance. Exploring Jezebel has been active since 2008’s Locking Up The Husband’s Penis Is Not Slavery, But Rather The Greatest Act Of Kindness Given To A Man and Attending UCLA Lecture On Forced Feminization, and notable releases since include the 12-hour, 8-cassette set Penis Torture Chamber (2010) and 2014’s Performs For Her And Her Bulls (all Hospital Productions).

    On A Business Trip To London is Exploring Jezebel’s first vinyl offering, and is presented in a full colour gatefold sleeve with two printed inserts; the album will also be issued on CD and digital formats.

    This release is for ADULTS ONLY. It contains uncensored sexually explicit material unsuitable for minors. You must be at least 18 to purchase this item. Access and/or ownership may be prohibited in certain states/countries.

    Tracklisting:
    1. Luckily I was allowed to get dressed when I left the house
    2. I am made to greet each guest with a limp-wristed handshake
    3. Only Carla
    4. She is pretty strange, the way she dresses, that punky hair. God knows what she gets up to
    5. Jack The Damned
    6. Since I am on a strict 500 calorie a day diet with extensive exercise and no alcohol, I have the shape of a petite little woman, and my wife has paid for breast implants and facial surgery to make me more acceptable
    7. Duck shall not have the audacity to request release himself. Duck shall not gripe or complain about the duration of his confinement, the length of which will be solely determined by mistress
    8. He might be able to earn a meal of slop if he does dangerous work (for instance: crash test dummy). THUNDERSKINS
    9. To compensate, while the average lifespan of a male will be about 70 years, medical advancements will make the average lifespan of a woman to be about 750 years
    10. When Thanksgiving approaches, I’m usually in my third week without release
    11. My breasts were pierced, so red ball ornaments were placed through each nipple. Additionally, each ear was pierced, so a red ball ornament was placed in each earring hole. My nipples were protruding through a hole for each in the silk red top of the ensemble. It had red and green fur around it, and I was tied from head to toe with beautiful tinsel garland. Bows were placed all over my body, and a giant bow was placed in my femininely prepared hair. Of course, I had bright Christmas-type make-up on and the bright red ball gag ornament in my mouth. And don’t forget the jingle bells, which were sewed all over my outfit. This was a sort of security system to keep me still and in position. Don’t forget the lights either, which were very, very hot against my skin – she used outdoor lights, which were sheer torture (CD Only)
    12. Thunderskins London Dungeon
    13. The grad student turned her eyes toward the closet where she had made him hide. THUNDERSKINS
    14. Drugs. Alan, I don’t believe it but somebody saw her shooting up in the restroom
    15. Only Tease
    16. Tennis has always been my life since I was a small boy in Mexico City. My father was the head gardener at an estate owned by a very important man and he used to take me with him so I could hit the balls on the court
    17. Wild Spectrum
    18. Credits
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  • F Ingers 'Awkwardly Blissing out' Vinyl LP - Cargo Records UK

    Blackest Ever Black

    F Ingers 'Awkwardly Blissing out' Vinyl LP

    £16.99

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    Blackest Ever Black

    F Ingers 'Awkwardly Blissing out' Vinyl LP

    £16.99

    Recorded in Melbourne and Berlin 2015-17 by Samuel Karmel, Carla dal Forno and Tarquin Manek, its title is instructive…the spiky eldritch song-spells of previous album Hide Before Dinner have become more dubwise, immersive and potently psychedelic. Euphoric even, but paranoid and laden with self-doubt. Projecting onto strangers, watching not participating, turning ever inwards. The cosmos explored from behind closed doors, under the bedclothes, alone.

    Whereas Hide evoked the thrill, and casual cruelty, of unsupervised childhood summers – a suburban gothic of grazed knees, hide-and-seek, nettle-stings – this is an album of more adult anxieties and metamorphoses. The ghouls in your neighbour’s garden are still there, but have come to represent something else. Something more mundane and empirically real but no less terrifying. Struggles with time, distance, isolation, communication, commitment. Your memories have a heaviness now.You can hear aspects of ferric post-punk and hauntological/DIY electronics in Awkwardly‘s musical make-up…

    Flying Lizards’ Secret Dub Life or Brigitte Fontaine’s Comme a la Radio…not to mention two generations of Oz/NZ underground experimentation /introspection/ dereliction..but now, more than ever, F ingers’ highly evolved but naturalistic sound-world is difficult to precisely place or unpick: a mildewy drug-dazed dub-scape, teeming but minimalist, framed by lonesome guitar strum, Manek’s supple percussive reverberating basslines and Karmel’s painterly synth washes, over which dal Forno exploits her voice for its pure tonal character – whether diffracting light across the loping, uncanny techno rhythms of ‘All Rolled Up’ and the waterlogged psych-folk of ‘Off Silently’, or sliced and looped into disorienting patterns of abstract glossolalia on ‘Time Passes’ and the time-dilating 9-minute title track.Awkwardly Blissing Out is a landmark recording from one of the Southern hemisphere’s most extraordinary, visionary freak units; a deep and sensuous trip that nonetheless prompts some uncomfortable – or at any rate bittersweet – reflection on what we are, what we were, and what we might have been.

    Tracklisting:
    1. My Body Next To Yours
    2. All Rolled Up
    3. Awkwardly Blissing Out
    4. Time Passes
    5. You’re Confused
    6. Off Silently
    7. My Body Next To Yours
    8. All Rolled Up
    9. Awkwardly Blissing Out
    10. Time Passes
    11. You’re Confused
    12. Off Silently
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  • F ingers 'Hide Before Dinner' - Cargo Records UK

    Blackest Ever Black

    F ingers 'Hide Before Dinner'

    £16.99

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    Blackest Ever Black

    F ingers 'Hide Before Dinner'

    £16.99

    Extraordinary new LP from a group comprising Carla dal Forno (Tarcar), Samuel Karmel and Tarquin Manek (Tarcar, LST).

    Deeply drugged, synth-daubed death-folk and DIY electronics: acutely psychedelic, inscrutable but emotional, sunken but prone to soaring, with flashes of horror too.

    Beautifully conjures the mirth and murk of childhood summers...a relatable surburban gothic...grazed knees, hide-and-seek, nettle-stings. Trampled flowerbeds and failing light. Ghouls in your neighbour's garden.

    Think Nico meets Dome or Alison Statton wandering The Pickle Factory after dark...If you dream you die, you die.

    Tracklisting:
    1. Escape Into The Bushes
    2. Mum's Caress After Trip
    3. Tantrum Time
    4. Blissfull Cubby House
    5. Useless Treasure
    6. Under The House Hard To Breathe
    7. Hide Before Dinner
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