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XAM Duo – the new outfit formed by Matthew Benn of Hookworms and Christopher Duffin of Deadwall – will launch their debut album with a special show at the Total Refreshment Centre in London on Saturday, November 5. They will be joined for a night of indoor aural fireworks by a very special secret guest and also London-based experimentalist Moon Gangs. Doors open at 7pm, the live music finishes at 11pm and there will be DJs until 1am.

>>>>> BUY TICKETS FOR THE XAM DUO ALBUM LAUNCH SHOW <<<<<

XAM Duo will also play a number of dates supporting The Early Years towards the end of November, plus hometown shows supporting Anna Meredith and Sealings. Here’s a full list:

October 14 – Leeds – Wharf Chambers (with Sealings)
November 1 – Leeds – Belgrave Music Hall (with Anna Meredith)
November 5 – London – Total Refreshment Centre (album launch)
November 24 – Leeds – Wharf Chambers (with The Early Years)
November 25 – Manchester – Aatma (with The Early Years)
November 26 – Newcastle – Cumberland Arms (with The Early Years)

‘XAM Duo’ is out on November 4. Its six tracks of improvised ambient beauty are both meditative and peaceful. It is astral jazz with an experimental kosmische undercurrent; modular synths meet saxophones; Cluster meets Terry Riley; Laurie Spiegel meets Pharoah Sanders; Ohr meets Impulse!. A warm, immersive and downright musical record, it rewards repeat listens. Watch the video for the edited version of ‘I Extend My Arms’:

Pre-order ‘XAM Duo’ on limited-edition gatefold double vinyl – smarturl.it/xamduovinyl

Pre-order ‘XAM Duo’ on CD – smarturl.it/xamduocd

Pre-order ‘XAM Duo’ on iTunes – smarturl.it/xamduoitunes

Pre-order ‘XAM Duo’ on Bandcamp – smarturl.it/xamduobandcamp

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Luna play their classic 1995 album ‘Penthouse’ in London tomorrow night (Friday, October 7). Sonic Cathedral has teamed up with Club The Mammoth and Academy Events to put on the show, which will see Dean Wareham, Sean Eden, Lee Wall and Britta Phillips run through Rolling Stone’s 99th best album of the ’90s in full.

Support comes from Drift and Luna bassist Britta Phillips, who released her debut solo album ‘Luck Or Magic’ earlier this year, plus a Sonic Cathedral DJ set between the bands. Doors are at 7pm, with an 11pm curfew.

>>>>> BUY TICKETS FOR LUNA PLAYING ‘PENTHOUSE’ IN FULL <<<<< 548768_264959366930718_415380694_n

In case you needed reminding just how good ‘Penthouse’ is…

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Following the long-awaited release of The Early Years’ new album ‘II’ last week, we are excited to reveal that we have licensed their self-titled debut album for a special 10th anniversary vinyl reissue.

‘The Early Years’ will be released on November 11 as a limited-edition pressing of just 300 copies on transparent orange wax. It’s a brand new vinyl cut by Noel Summerville, who has previously worked on a number of My Bloody Valentine and Warp archive reissues.

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Initial orders from the Sonic Cathedral Shop will come with a bonus CD replica of the band’s first demo, which they sent to us in 2005 and contains early versions of ‘All Ones And Zeros’, ‘Things’ and ‘High Times And Low Lives’.

***** Pre-order ‘The Early Years’ with bonus demos CD now *****

‘The Early Years’ was originally released on Beggars Banquet on September 25, 2006 and includes the singles ‘All Ones And Zeros’ and ‘So Far Gone’. It also features the live staple ‘Simple Solution’, which closed the band’s incendiary set at Liverpool International Festival Of Psychedelia last weekend.

On its release, it received glowing reviews from the likes of NME, Uncut, The Fly (RIP), The Independent (RIP) and the standard mid-noughties withering 6.4 from Pitchfork. But, rather than sounding “like Coldplay on muscle relaxers”, we think it’s an underrated classic that will appeal to fans of ‘Sowiesoso’ and Spiritualized alike. It also comes with the seal of approval of Brian Eno, The Horrors and Damo Suzuki, among others, and we are incredibly proud to be making it available on vinyl for the first time in a decade.



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The Early Years play the following tour dates in November:

Thursday, November 17 – London – MOTH Club – TICKETS – FACEBOOK EVENT
Thursday, November 24 – Leeds – Wharf Chambers – TICKETSFACEBOOK EVENT
Friday, November 25 – Manchester – Aatma – TICKETSFACEBOOK EVENT
Saturday, November 26 – Newcastle – Cumberland Arms – TICKETSFACEBOOK EVENT

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The wonderful Liverpool International Festival Of Psychedelia returns this weekend (September 23 and 24) and, among all the other incredible things on the line-up, there are four Sonic Cathedral bands playing as well as a DJ set from yours truly.

Here’s the times and information for all the Sonic Cathedral related activity:

Friday, September 23
Lorelle Meets The Obsolete – Furnace – 17:00

Saturday, September 24
Yeti Lane – Camp – 14:30
Sonic Cathedral DJ set – District – 23:00
The Early Years – District – 00:45
Spectres – District – 02:00

For the full line-up visit the website and for day or weekend tickets click here.

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Sonic Cathedral will release the self-titled debut album by XAM Duo – the new outfit formed by Matthew Benn of Hookworms and Christopher Duffin of Deadwall – on November 4. Its six tracks of improvised ambient beauty are both meditative and peaceful. It is astral jazz with an experimental kosmische undercurrent; modular synths meet saxophones; Cluster meets Terry Riley; Laurie Spiegel meets Pharoah Sanders; Ohr meets Impulse!. A warm, immersive and downright musical record, it rewards repeat listens.

Pre-order ‘XAM Duo’ on limited-edition gatefold double vinyl – smarturl.it/xamduovinyl

Pre-order ‘XAM Duo’ on CD – smarturl.it/xamduocd

Pre-order ‘XAM Duo’ on iTunes – smarturl.it/xamduoitunes

Pre-order ‘XAM Duo’ on Bandcamp – smarturl.it/xamduobandcamp

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Photograph by Jed Skinner

XAM was originally Matthew’s solo project, the name borrowed from the closing song of latter-day Dusseldorf-via-Detroit cult classic ‘Subway II’. He recorded a number of tracks at home between Hookworms albums in 2014 which were released last year as the ‘Tone Systems’ EP on Deep Distance. Following the EP’s release, there were offers to play live, solo, for the first time.

“It was all very daunting,” Matthew explains. “I found travelling to and playing shows by myself quite a lonely experience after having been in bands for the last 10 years, so I began thinking about collaboration.” Inspired to mix his electronics with saxophone, Rhodes piano and other acoustic instrumentation after playing live shows alongside the likes of Sun Araw and Bitchin Bajas, he began his search for collaborators.

Fortuitously, Christopher had just recorded with Matthew’s Hookworms bandmate MJ, who put the two in touch. The magic was there right from the off. “I’d been looking for an outlet for a while to play more saxophone and focus on electronics,” says Christopher. “So MJ gave Matthew my details and the first time we ever played together was in Suburban Home Studio, and that totally improvised session makes up about half of the record.”

“It felt like we really clicked musically,” adds Matthew. “I think it’s amazing that people will be able to hear literally the first time we ever played music together on this album, the first exploratory moments of us tip-toeing round each other and trying to settle on our sound and work each other out. In some ways it might sound like an extension of Hookworms: lots of repetition and easy to zone out to. But in other ways this is my outlet for exploring my love of more self-indulgent, extended electronic music.”

“Deadwall are very much a song and arrangement based band,” says Christopher, who sees XAM Duo as a reaction to his day job. “It was really nice to spend some time slowing things down and concentrating on vibe, feel and the immediacy of improvisation.”

“We like to record as many practices and shows as we can,” reveals Matthew. “You never know when one of those magic moments will happen, and you may never be able to recreate it.”

Christopher says he approaches each song as a “mini-soundtrack to an imaginary film that doesn’t exist yet” and reveals that, while he was practising at home, he played along to clips of ‘There Will Be Blood’, ‘Mulholland Drive’ and ‘Synecdoche, New York’ to get the requisite atmosphere. Live sets are also completely improvised, meaning no two shows are ever the same.

“I appreciate that improvised music isn’t for everyone, but it’s something I love doing,” Matthew concludes. “And, more often than not, Chris and I create something beautiful together.”

The full tracklisting of ‘XAM Duo’ is:

1. Proem
2. Pine Barrens
3. I Extend My Arms Pt I & II
4. Ashtanga
5. The Test Dream
6. René

XAM Duo play the following live dates:

September 27 – Leeds – Brudenell Social Club (with Michael Rother)
October 14 – Leeds – Wharf Chambers (with Sealings)
November 1 – Leeds – Belgrave Music Hall (with Anna Meredith)
November 24 – Leeds – Wharf Chambers (with The Early Years)
November 25 – Manchester – Aatma (with The Early Years)
November 26 – Newcastle – Cumberland Arms (with The Early Years)

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