RTD Promonewsletter November 2016

Michael Nau


FTH272CD 2016-11-18



“His masterful instinct for arrangement, along with his reedy voice, earns Nau a place in the rock’n’roll underdogs’ Hall of Fame” – Pitchfork

Full Time Hobby are pleased to announce the signing of the Appalachian singer-songwriter Michael Nau, whose debut album ‘Mowing’, will be released on 18th November 2016.
Released in the US earlier this year to critical acclaim, the album will now be made available in the UK & Europe for the first time complete with new artwork, its 12 tracks augmented by a brand new single, ‘Love Survive’. The sumptuous, Lee Hazlewood-esque ‘Love Survive’, also released on 18th November 2016, features backing-vocals from Michael’s wife and bandmate Whitney McGraw.

‘Mowing’ was written whilst on the road, with tracks penned from Burlington, Vermont to Connecticut, to a back porch in Nashville, and others back in the tiny Appalachian city of Cumberland, Maryland, USA, which Michael Nau currently calls home.


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Michael Baker
Dust & Bone


KTTK003CD 2016-11-18



Michael Baker is a 27 yr old singer-songwriter from the south of England.

Fresh off the back of his critically acclaimed E.P. releases ‘Keys To The Kingdom’ and Caroline which garnered support from Clash, Mahogany. BBC Introducing London and Fresh Off The Net, Michael is releasing his debut album ‘Dust & Bone’
Dust & Bone has been two years in the making with Michael whittling down over 50 songs to 11 tracks that he can be proud of. The album has been Produced and Mixed by Bristol-based producer Dan Brown (Massive Attack, Phantom Limb) songs written with Dan Brown, Jim Lowe (Stereophonics, The Charlatans, Herbie Hancock) Peter Vettese (Carly Simon, Simple Minds) Ben Christophers (Bat For Lashes, Guy Garvey) along with long-time collaborators, Speakman Sound, Charlie Elwess, Ed Martin & Georgia Mason.
Pouring his heart and soul into every sinew of these songs, the feeling of sheer honesty, belonging and serenity that many say are Michael’s hallmark, are constantly demonstrated throughout this Album.
Clash Music Magazine ‘The simplest of things can be most effective. Michael’s music is sparse, skeletal yet often deeply moving.’
Leaving It All Video Mahogany Blog – http://bit.ly/1I6QKSb ‘Michael Baker’s music has a raw honesty that captivates you to listen; really, really listen, not only to the melody of his vocals but also the story to his lyrics.’ .
All this whilst living on the road in a camper van and busking to making a living.

Yussef Kamaal
Black Focus


BWOOD157CD 2016-11-11



The borders between London’s musical tribes have always been porous. For Yussef Kamaal, the sound of the capital – with its hum of jungle, grime and broken beat – has shaped a selftaught, UKtipped approach to playing jazz. In the states, the genre’s longrunning to-and-fro with hip hop – from Robert Glasper to Kamasi Washington – has reimagined it within US culture. On Black Focus, Yussef Kamaal frame jazz inside the basssaturated, pirate radio broadcasts of London.

Taking inspiration from the anything-goes spirit of ‘70s jazzfunk, on albums by Herbie Hancock or the Mahavishnu Orchestra, it’s a loose template with plenty of room to experiment. The pair, made up of Yussef Dayes and Kamaal Williams (aka Henry Wu), have had little in the way of formal training. Instead, their musical tastes – and approach to playing – are indebted to Thelonious Monk’s piano as much as the drum programming of Kaidi Tatham.

“It’s all about the drums and the keys,” Williams says. “Not to take anything from anyone else, but that’s where it all originates from: the chords, the rhythm of the chords and the drums.” Born out of a oneoff live session to perform Williams’ solo material for Boiler Room, it soon became a project in its own right. Coming together as Yussef Kamaal, they played a series of live shows where little more than a chord progression would be planned before taking to the

Bringing that unspoken understanding to the recording sessions (engineered by Malcolm Catto of The Heliocentrics), the unplanned, telepathically spawned grooves retain the raw energy of their live shows. “It’s not so much about complete arrangement, it’s more about flow,” Dayes says. “A lot of the tracks are just made spontaneously – Henry will be playing two chords, I’ll fill in the groove and we’ll just leave the arrangement naturally.” Both hail from South East London, crossing paths in 2007 as teenagers playing their first pub gigs around Peckham and Camberwell. Dayes drums for cosmicallyinclined, afrobeat outfit United Vibrations, while Williams – on top of drumming and playing keys in different incarnations over the years – has made waves with his solo, synthdraped house 12"s for muchfêted labels like 22a and Rhythm Section.

Moving in the same circles but never playing together previously, rhythm underpins an innate musical understanding. As Williams explains, “The way we approach it is all about the energy and the feeling. We just get in there and we feel it out.” Drawing influence from all corners of London’s shapeshifting musical makeup, the sound of Black Focus is distilled – or focused – down to the core interlock between drums and keys.

Sam Roberts Band


PAPER106 2016-10-28



After locking themselves in studio for the month of March, the group’s time and spirit lead to the collection of songs that make up TERRAFORM.  Roberts explains, “Terraforming is the concept of going to another planet and making it viable and livable for humans. But in a sense, for this record it can be seen as planting the seeds for that sort of renewal in your own life – that regardless of how much you have broken the parts of your life along the way, there is always a chance to start over.”
TERRAFORM is the sixth full-length album release since 2015’s COUNTING THE DAYS EP and 2014’s album LO-FANTASY. Roberts believes the key to the band’s longevity is their steadfast enthusiasm to stick to their artistic guns and consistently work to make a better album each time.  Roberts emphasizes, “I think the challenge for our band is to still deliver the music with a sense of spontaneity, a sense of urgency and I think that when we go into a new record, we sort of loosen the grips of other people’s expectations and our own expectations.”
The lead single “If You Want It” is already a chart-climbing success currently in the top 5 at Alternative radio and counting.  The tune captures what Sam Roberts Band does best; creative instrumental melodies and memorable lyrics that allow their listeners to interpret their own meanings from the songs.  And in Sam’s own words: "It’s about a trip to Hell… And hopefully back…”
The acclaimed Montreal based five-piece band includes Sam Roberts (lead vocals, guitar), Dave Nugent (guitar), Eric Fares (keyboard, guitar), Josh Trager (drums), and James Hall (bass). 

Parekh & Singh


PFG180CD 2016-10-28



The fresh new sound of India from Kolkata dream-pop duo.

Parekh & Singh are a pop duo from Kolkata, India. Nischay Parekh sings, plays guitar, keyboards and synths. Jivraj Singh plays drums, drum machines and effects.

While their name might recall a small firm of accountants – by day Jivraj keeps books at the family hotel and Nischay keeps accounts for his father’s business – these office dreamers have conjured nine glowing tracks of cosmic pop that shimmer like an Indian sunset. The infectious and melodic opener I Love You Baby charts the agony and the ecstasy of uncertain young love and Me and You offers a carefree paean to youthful innocence rarely heard in these times. The swelling production of title track Ocean ebbs and flows between staying put or setting sail for open seas. Panda’s “forests of the night time” rekindles a childhood imagination fired by the poetry of William Blake. Animals populate their imaginations – they often think of themselves as street dogs – and the paintings of Yashasvi Mathis that grace the cover.

The sun casts dark shadows. While undeniably sun-kissed, a darkness lurks within that reflects the contradictory nature of this somewhat eccentric duo. Innocence is tempered by experience. The pill-popping oddity of Hill plays like a ‘B’ movie trailer. With the latter stealing a line from Annie Hall, a shared love of Woody Allen, David Lynch and Wes Anderson comes as no surprise. With Ghost’s loping drum and piano rhythms we wallow in delicious melancholy. Newbury Street sees the student Nischay struggle with homesickness under New England skies. As the words of Philosophize suggest – “a New York state of mind in Indian Standard Time” – while both have travelled they are always drawn inexorably back to the city they love, ‘the city that never wakes’, where our two dreamers can be found wandering Kolkata’s uncharted alleys in search of the urban pools (‘pukur‘) that dot through the perilously polluted metropolis like portals to peace and tranquility.

Parekh & Singh’s easy way with each other and the dreamy languor that pervades their music belies the dedication of two talented musicians, both immersed in music from an early age. While many influences can be detected across its nine tracks – the cracked beauty of Secrets is dusted with a distinctly Americana feel for instance – Ocean is the fresh new sound of India.

A timeless pop masterpiece in the making.

Kelly Lee Owens


STS29912 2016-10-21



Without knowing it, you’ve probably heard Kelly Lee Owens’ work over the past few years: the 27-year-old London producer contributed vocals and writing to several tracks on fellow UK techno wizard Daniel Avery’s debut LP, 2014’s Drone Logic, and she’s made waves with a pair of limited-release 12" singles showcasing her gifts for spectral, hallucinatory pop. On Oleic, her debut release on Smalltown Supersound, Owens flexes her considerable muscle as a dance producer with four luscious, deeply satisfying slices of big-room electronic music.

If previous single “Arthur” tugged at the threads of expansive house music, then Oleic finds Owens fully immersed in cavernous bass, circuitous melodical phrasing, and intricately textured synths. “C.B.M.” wanders ominously through a thicket of rushed snares and distant synths, with Owens’ vocal incantations occasionally emerging through the fog. Oleic’s title track is ecstatic club fare, an endless loop doing swan dives around a patient, sturdy backbeat.

On the B-side, Owens’ remix of Norwegian avant-musician Jenny Hval’s “Kingsize” provides an experiment in the use of negative space, turning Hval’s original into a propulsive, handclap-dotted journey with a few synth squiggles here and there that provide jarring bursts of color.

Oleic closes with a throwback to the days of Midwestern acid with the aptly named “Elliptic,” all crisp drums and stuttering vocal samples with acid’s signature squelches just close enough to touch the elements around them. It’s a closer on an EP that showcases deep range and know-how when it comes to dance music’s past and present, and Oleic only draws further intrigue as to what the future holds for Owens.


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Dead Light
Dead Light


VGCD14 2016-10-21



Dead Light was created after Anna Rose Carter and Ed Hamilton moved from London to a quiet, remote space in the countryside. The migration out of the sprawling metropolis to their new rural refuge was a transition that significantly impacted them both, and one that continues to turn and shift under the ambivalence of change, loss, and new beginnings… 

The reality of this new setting is an apposition between the quaint and serene nature of their new life, and the dislocation from the lives, people, places, and culture that they left behind; two conflicting sentiments that co-exist in a somehow beautiful, bitter-sweet relationship. Dead Light is the tension between these two states, a textured and imperfect dream world.

Recorded at Pie Corner between September 2014 and May 2016, the eponymously titled debut album from Dead Light is a tender, ambient exploration of hope, escape, tension, and isolation. Rooted in traditional instrumentation and a hand made approach to effects and synthesis, Dead Light’s music draws upon classical, ambient, pop and electro-acoustic influences. Waves of melancholy stretch through every track, with slow, yet expressive melodies that sing from tape-looped cello motifs, and an old close-mic’d piano that Anna’s grandfather gave her, yet the feeling of hope never seems to be far away.  

Distant and reflective, yet intimate and emotive, Dead Light’s sound is characterised by a plethora of analogue artefacts ranging from tape delays (via daisy chained reel to reel machines), homemade synthesisers, old Russian microphones, 1950s tube pre-amps, as well as contact mics and hydrophones.

Elements of their textured sound can be attributed to their experimentation with treated tape (warped in various ways via prolonged exposure to sunlight, vinegar solutions, microwaves and washing machines), hydrophones (placed in ice trays and allowed to freeze and thaw) and most noticeably, piano preparations (hand-muting strings, screwdrivers, coins, felt, using the soundboard as a plate reverb etc). Other experimental techniques can be found in ‘Sleeper’, for example, which utilises the layering of looped and treated voice, or in ‘Broods and Waits’ which uses experimental timbres of stringed instruments, and drone-like backdrops.

‘Falling In’, the first track they wrote after their escape from London, is a great example of their sound – involving the textural exploration of Anna’s old piano, coupled with Ed’s emotive tape treatments and loops.

“ ‘Falling In’ is about beginnings, renewal, rebirth, travel – both metaphorically (escaping the city, learning a new collaborative language) and geographically. Technically it is the two of us establishing our sound […] A handmade approach to effects and electronics (multiple reel to reel machines rigged up as multi-head tape delays, using the piano soundboard as a natural plate reverb, etc.)” – Anna and Ed

11 tracks in total, the Dead Light LP is an exploration of ambivalence, a sonic ethnography that contemplates a personal narrative of transition and identity. Joining the likes of Matt Dunkley, Ben Chatwin, and John Matthias, Dead Light’s first album will be released on London-based Village Green in October, 2016.

Swet Shop Boys


CUSTCD001 2016-10-14



Swet Shop Boys (SSB) have arrived with Cashmere, the debut from Queens, New York’s Heems (Himanshu Suri, ex-Das Racist) and NW London’s Riz MC (Riz Ahmed). Both are prolific artists, actors and activists in their own right, now bringing their creative experience and the riches of their working class immigrant roots together. Rounding out the trio is British producer Redinho, providing the soundtrack for songs like their first single ‘T5’, where the emcees lament the discrimination they face as they amass frequent flyer miles while traveling the world for work.

Cashmere seems timely in a world where the US and UK look across the pond for different reasons: Trump and Brexit, trap and grime. From Heems poignant debut Eat, Pray Thug, to Riz’s acclaimed mixtape Englistan, the Trans-Atlantic, Indo-Pak duo have proudly fused their worlds together here. Musically, the palette draws from a gumbo of Qawwali hand claps, hype harmonium, Bollywood string drama, spiralling sitars, Western synths, and an arsenal of drums – from 808’s to tablas and tars, dholaks and doumbeks.

Production on the record from Redinho provides the heat for their melting pot. His debut solo album earned praise from Mark Ronson, Jessie Ware, and Hudson Mohawke who brought him out on tour in the last year. Heems started his career with Das Racist, and has kept busy since with his label Greedhead, a series of university lectures, and rapping from Macau to Malaysia. Riz MC’s debut ‘Post-9/11 Blues’ was banned from UK radio, and his music since has maintained that sharp social commentary as well as his acting career, which includes projects like Four Lions, Nightcrawler, HBO’s The Night Of and the new Stars Wars film. Cashmere is set for release on 14th October via their own new imprint, Customs.

Phil Kieran
Blinded By The Sun


HOTCCD7 2016-10-07



Blinded By The Sun’ see’s Belfast born Phil Kieran create a ten-track narrative inspired from over a decade in the electronic dance scene. Jamie Jones was blown away by the early demos and signed the album to Hot Creations. The album is testament to Phil’s talent and Jamie’s keen ear for exceptional music. Phil is a talent to take note of, the album takes you on a twisty road of eclectic genres and doesn’t disappoint.

Light and dark go hand in hand, and with all things beautiful there is a darker side. In dance music that is often drug use and the hedonistic after parties that can easily switch and become tainted with regrets, addictions and lost dreams. The hauntingly beautiful vocal of ‘Realities Forgotten’ and increased intensity of ‘I Can’t Help Myself’ nod to these lifestyle aspects, a spiralling swell in their rhythms?. Five tracks in and hope emerges, as the second half introduces tracks such as ‘?Don’t Give Up’ and ‘Let It Go A?way’, concluding in ‘Find Love’.



RR73492 2016-10-07



Experimental synth quartet S U R V I V E ’ s sophomore full-length and Relapse debut is a dark, sweeping exercise in analog synth mastery. The pulsating, 9-song instrumental release showcases immense diversity between tracks - RR7349’s compositions range from grim tom-tom thunder to space-age epics, pairing tense plodding grooves with meditative ambience and driving, rhythmic beats. Inspired by IDM and horror scores alike, RR7349 is simultaneously ominous and hopeful; tense and relaxed; percussive and melodic. Additionally, two of the group’s members also recently scored the soundtrack for the hit new sci-fi / horror show Stranger Things on Netflix. RR7349 is a unique addition to the Relapse discography, and unquestionably S U R V I V E ’ s best work to date.

For Fans Of:  The Haxan Cloak, Zombi, Perturbator, John Carpenter, Trent Reznor, Legowelt, Raime, Boards Of Canada

The Mysterious Band Behind The Epic ‘Stranger Things’ Score

Formed in 2009, the prolific Austin, TX experimental synth quartet S U R V I V E have released two full-lengths and numerous EPs / singles since their inception, including recent contributions to the soundtrack for the acclaimed indie horror film The Guest. Additionally, two of the group’s members recently scored the soundtrack for the new hit sci-fi / horror show Stranger Things starring Winona Ryder on Netflix. S U R V I V E have appeared at numerous esteemed festivals across the US including Moogfest, Levitation Fest, Fun Fun Fun, Beserktown, Day in The Desert, Decibel, etc. and have played alongside acts like Goblin, John Maus, Tame Impala, Lightning Bolt, This Will Destroy You, A Place To Bury Strangers, Max Cooper, and many others; Noisey even called their live show “transcendental.”

Now, S U R V I V E have completed self-recording their second full-length via their home studios, which will see a September 30 via Relapse. The synth quartet’s sophomore full-length and Relapse debut is a dark, sweeping exercise in analog synth mastery. The pulsating, 9-song instrumental release showcases immense diversity between tracks – RR7349’s compositions range from grim tom-tom thunder to space-age epics, pairing tense plodding grooves with meditative ambience and driving, rhythmic beats. Inspired by IDM and horror scores alike, RR7349 is simultaneously ominous and hopeful; tense and relaxed; percussive and melodic. A unique addition to the Relapse discography, and unquestionably S U R V I V E ‘ s best work to date.

S U R V I V E are: Adam Jones / Kyle Dixon / Mark Donica / Michael Stein




LM035CD 2016-10-14



NAKED are Agnes Gryczkowska and Alexander Johnston and their debut album ZONE is a brutal and distorted experimental pop vision out September 30th worldwide.

Reflecting a disenchanted youth’s masochism of digital-overloading, the young band explore themes of human isolation and the contorted nature of sex and physicality. ZONE is our sensory system heightened – a raw, overwhelming and beautiful experience.

The album is co-produced with Paul Corley – the engineer and composer renowned for his work with Oneohtrix Point Never, Ben Frost and Anohni – and follows ‘Youth Mode’ EP released in 2015. In the last year they debuted at SXSW, produced Mykki Blanco’s ‘Moshin In The Front’, and the film score to ‘A Silent Man’ directed by Charlotte Colbert, starring Sophie Kennedy Clark.

“…macabre take on pop. Backlit and smoky, the group blasted the audience with as much white noise as lush melodies… Naked are not for the faint hearted but it’s not a case of emperor’s new clothes.” – The Guardian, March 2016

The video for the opening track of the album, also named ‘ZONE’, is a collaboration between the band, LuckyMe Studio, Hendrik Schneider & Andrew Grüne (Primitive London) – renowned film and image makers for fashion brands Cottweiler and Nasir Mazhar.

CD in Jewel Case / 1LP in 3mm wide sleeve, printed inners/printed inside sleeve, download card insert


Arab Strap
Arab Strap


CHEM244CD 2016-09-30



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Colt Silvers


DRR018CD 2016-09-30



Without the handful of songs which, now open up to us, this third album by the Colt Silvers would not exist.

Unexpectedly, the very experience of its recording in New York appears silently, as it is what nourished the genesis of SWORDS. The dream of America has become an ordeal, carrying its protagonists beyond themselves until they cling to what was left after everything had been shattered: the decisive desire to « make an album » from songs reduced to their essence.

As authentic as ever, Colt Silvers appears in a new light and, freed from the benevolent hands of production, has now made the choice to embrace a generous fragility which transcends savoir-faire.

Here then are these songs, now finished, eroded and fed by the surf, emancipated from their expectations, sung freely, available but carefully ordered in defiance of all the random readings in a disc which one might treat as an autumn-winter collection.

They are immediate, sometimes devious, they become stuck to your day to day and without your consent, influence your thoughts to make you dream of elsewhere. They deploy the electro-electric into a poly-rhythmic catchiness. They are part of the song of the time, whispering loudly or freeing themselves from the wall of sound to glide in the air. They harmonize the dreamy ruptures and make closed eyes dance… Pay attention to the songs of SWORDS ; They are for you.


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Secret City - 10th Anniversary (2CD+MP3+Poster)


SCR58CD 2016-09-23



Deluxe 10th anniversary package from Montreal-based label Secret City Records. Features 34 tracks representing a decade of releases and curated by each individual artist, sequenced chronologically over two CDs. Includes one exclusive 9.5” x 14” poster and an MP3 download code with 5 bonus tracks by Patrick Watson, The Barr Brothers, Plants and Animals, Suuns, and Thus Owls.

Departed Glories


STS281CD 2016-09-23



It’s easy to forget that Norway shares a short stretch of frontier with Russia, right at the northernmost tip of the country. That region is where Geir Jenssen, the Norwegian electronic producer behind Biosphere, comes from, and where he has been composing his austere, disturbing and deeply textured ambience since the early 1980s.

Biosphere has released many albums to date including Substrata, voted the greatest ambient album of all time on the Hyperreal website, and has collaborated with Arne Nordheim, Higher Intelligence Agency, Deathprod, Pete Namlook and Bel Canto.

His 12th album Departed Glories is his first in almost five years and marks a new deal with the Oslo independent label Smalltown Supersound. On the cover is a photo of the Russian landscape taken more than a hundred years ago. It’s part of an incredible cache of recently discovered images by the photographer Sergei Prokudin-Gorsky, who pioneered a form of colour photography using three sheets of glass, and left us with a collection of hauntingly beautiful pictures of a vanished world that could have been taken on an iPhone.

These are one of the inspirations for Jenssen’s latest project, which he began working on this project around five years ago, while he was based temporarily in Krakow, Poland. Living near the Wolski forest, his daily walk took him past sites – beautiful and at the same time terrible – where Poles had been executed during the second world war. After researching the area he discovered that a Polish medieval queen Bronislawa, had hidden among the trees with some nuns in the 13th century to escape the invading Tartar hordes, and that a monument to her memory had been built and then destroyed by invading Austrians in the 19th.

It made him speculate about what kind of music someone like Bronislawa might have heard while trembling among the trees? Not real music, surely, but something the fears in the mind might conjure up. He went in search of local folk music, from Poland and Ukraine, and began to work with that material to transform it into something reflecting psychological trauma.

Around the same time he stumbled on Prokudin-Gorsky’s photographs and was immediately struck by the way they brought history, with its long departed souls, a little bit nearer. One image in particular, of an Armenian woman in a forest in what is now Turkey, especially got under his skin. ‘The crystal clear yet haunting atmosphere fascinated me,’ he says.

All of these inspirational elements came together to provide the necessary propulsion to make Departed Glories, an album that sets the back of the neck hairs quivering in just the same way. It’s almost entirely constructed from hundreds of snippets of Eastern European And Russian folk music recordings, melted together to transform them into 17 unsettling and occasionally blindingly radiant beatless tracks. Each sample fragment is like a sliver of glass plate, and like the photos, it has left a music that is radiant, ghostly and unforgettable.