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We are incredibly pleased to announce the release of ‘Lifetime Of Love’, the debut album by Moon Diagrams, the solo recording project of Deerhunter co-founder and drummer Moses John Archuleta. A co-release by Sonic Cathedral (UK/EU) and Geographic North (US/ROW), our version comes on limited-edition double vinyl — one red, one pink — pressed at 45rpm, a CD in a mini LP sleeve, plus a digital version available on all download and streaming services. It’s out on June 30, but pre-order links are below.

Pre-order double vinyl

Pre-order CD

Pre-order digital

The US/ROW version is available from Geographic North

‘Lifetime Of Love’ was recorded in Georgia (Atlanta and Athens) and New York (Manhattan’s East Village) and gradually pieced together over a ten-year period. It finds Archuleta processing various stages of love, loss and regeneration via forlorn outsider pop, minimal techno and warm, weightless experimentation.

Hymnal opener ‘Playground’ has echoes of Eno and Grouper; lengthy workouts such as ‘The Ghost And The Host’ recall long-lost Harmonia outtakes, or something from one of Warp’s ‘Artificial Intelligence’ compilations; the bitter pill pop of ‘End Of Heartache’ – now premiering on FACT Magazine – has the scratchy guitar of New Order circa ‘Brotherhood’ and the square pegness of ‘Dazzle Ships’-era OMD. Several songs are instrumental, while ‘Bodymaker’ features Sian Ahern (Eaux, Sian Alice Group).

Throughout the album’s eight tracks, Archuleta follows sudden fits of inspiration or moments of chance, letting the unknown happen naturally, while still confining himself to a set of boundaries. Samples were taken from thrift store-sourced LPs, removed from their sleeves and chosen at random to find loops and textures. Elsewhere, he would anonymise digital songs and files, erasing track names and re-recording new versions of the randomised mixes.

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‘Lifetime Of Love’ is actually the result of three extended fugue states, each marked by a specific moment of catharsis. In 2007, between the release of Deerhunter’s breakthrough album ‘Cryptograms’ and 2008’s ‘Microcastle’, Archuleta began his earliest solo experiments. The nascent exploration was enough to free himself and create sounds without inhibition. ‘Bodymaker’ and ‘Nightmoves’ are products of these first recording sessions, capturing Archuleta’s willingness to venture outside of the taut, mesmerising drone-rock of his main band. The chilling, ambient techno of ‘Nightmoves’ perfectly foils and compliments ‘Bodymaker’’s broodingly sullen but sincerely beautiful shuffle into the dark.

Between 2012 and 2015, Archuleta experienced a reset of sorts following the collapse of his marriage (a ten-year relationship). Tours in support of artists including Ariel Pink and James Ferraro led to a rekindled interest in his solo material and he began actively cutting himself off from a number of personal relationships and experimenting with various drugs in order to begin recording again. Locking himself in his practice space, Archuleta would use only the spare instruments he found lying around in recording sessions. This period yielded a disparate mix of sonic sketches, from eerily bucolic choir recordings (‘Playground’), to dusty art-pop (‘Moon Diagrams’) and infectiously jubilant dance pop (‘End Of Heartache’).

For the final period, Archuleta found inspiration following an extended stint in Berlin, after he had decided to fly out of the US on Christmas day, largely estranging himself from his friends and family. While holed up in the Michelberger Hotel, Archuleta fully intended to finish the album. Instead, he remained in a state of relative isolation, haunting the hotel and taking in the city’s dark energy. After three weeks, Archuleta returned home to Atlanta, without having made much headway. Feeling unproductive, depressed and disorientated by jet lag, Archuleta resolved to finish the LP, working in a three-day flurry of productivity that resulted in ‘Blue Ring’, ‘The Ghost And The Host’, ‘Magic Killer’ and the final album edits.

Subtly grandiose and quietly epic, ‘Lifetime Of Love’ really does live up to its title: a hopeful and curious beginning makes way for a morose middle before a bittersweet, optimistic end.

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We are incredibly pleased to announce a special, one-off reissue of Mojave 3’s debut album, ‘Ask Me Tomorrow’, limited to just 500 copies, pressed on seafoam green vinyl and with Vaughan Oliver and Chris Bigg’s artwork beautifully repurposed in a shiny gold mirror board sleeve.

Pre-order ‘Ask Me Tomorrow’ from the Sonic Cathedral Shop now!
‘Ask Me Tomorrow’ has been unavailable on vinyl since its release on 4AD in October, 1995 and original copies now change hands for three-figure sums. The reissue is timely as it follows the recent announcement of Slowdive’s fourth album, and this could well have been that record, but after being dropped by Creation following the release of ‘Pygmalion’, the band – reduced to a three-piece of Neil Halstead, Rachel Goswell and Ian McCutcheon – rechristened themselves Mojave 3 and experimented with stripped-down, acoustic songs more in thrall to Leonard Cohen than LFO.

As a result, ‘Ask Me Tomorrow’ is essentially Slowdive Unplugged; a special record, with a unique, hushed grandeur all of its own.

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‘Ask Me Tomorrow’ is actually an album of demos. Neil Halstead had started recording at his flat above a carpet shop on the corner of Ladbroke Grove and Lancaster Road in west London – the very same place in which he conceived much of ‘Pygmalion’, which was inspired by his housemates Darren Seymour of Seefeel and Mark Van Hoen, who recorded electronica as Locust and Autocreation.

“I just wanted to try some songs, because ‘Pygmalion’ was so abstract,” explains Neil of this musical about-turn. “I wasn’t writing for a record at that point, just messing round on an acoustic and listening to a lot of Leonard Cohen and Nick Drake, Townes Van Zandt, Gram Parsons… This was even while ‘Pygmalion’ was being made, almost as a way to relax and change worlds.”

“I remember recording the vocals for ‘Love Songs On The Radio’ at Neil’s flat,” says Rachel Goswell. “We were also lucky to still have a publishing deal with EMI, so we were able to utilise their studio in central London for recording, too.”

Joined by Christopher Andrews on piano, they recorded a further three songs, live, during a one-day session. “We couldn’t separate the instruments, drums and vocals because the studio was so small,” explains Neil. “I think that’s why there is a lot of reverb over the tracks – everything bleeds into everything else. The only way to mix it was to push the room mics up and push the vocals up.”

With six songs completed they made some demo tapes, still marked with the name Slowdive, one of which was sent to Ivo Watts-Russell at 4AD, who initially ignored it for a couple weeks. “I thought, if they’d been dropped and 4AD wasn’t having a blazing success with anything, then what could we do that Creation couldn’t?” Ivo tells writer Martin Aston in his definitive 4AD history, ‘Facing The Other Way’. “But once I played the tape, I instantly adored it.” He wanted them to follow in the footsteps of the Red House Painters and make their demo their debut album.

However, Neil had since gone travelling in the Middle East, spending time in Jordan, Egypt and Israel: “I remember calling Rachel to check in and she said Ivo had heard the demo and loved it and that I should come back so we could record a few more tunes and put an album out on 4AD.”

On his return, they recorded three further songs in south London’s Blackwing Studios, with the assistance of former Chapterhouse guitarist (and future full-time Mojave member) Simon Rowe and, almost without trying, an album was complete.

“The thing I remember about working on ‘Ask Me Tomorrow’ is that the recordings came together pretty quickly and it all seemed so effortless,” says drummer Ian McCutcheon. “It was a really positive time, the complete antithesis to the final months of the Creation era.”

“I didn’t dream for a moment we would get picked up so quickly by another label and for it to be 4AD was just amazing,” reveals Rachel. “Creation to 4AD – the two greatest indie labels at that time.”

“The band name came while we were mastering the record,” explains Neil. “A friend of ours was at Abbey Road with us that day and 4AD were asking what we wanted to call the new project. She suggested Mojave because she thought the music had a wide-open, desert quality and so we thought, ‘Oh, maybe that could work…’ Of course, in true Spinal Tap tradition there was already a German band called Mojave, so we added the ‘3’ as we were a three-piece. That sort of became redundant later when we were six!”

But three was the magic number and, on October 16, 1995 – just 252 days after Slowdive’s swansong was released – the metamorphosis was complete and Mojave 3 were born. What happened next? Well, just ask me tomorrow…

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Neil Halstead’s classic solo album, ‘Palindrome Hunches’, is once again available on vinyl.

>>> BUY THE REPRESS OF ‘PALINDROME HUNCHES’ <<<

We originally released the Slowdive and Mojave 3 man’s third solo effort in late-2012, and there were only 300 copies pressed for the European market (Neil’s US label Brushfire pressed up another 500 copies). Not surprisingly, it hasn’t been readily available since.

We have now released 300 copies on beautiful transparent ochre vinyl, so grab a copy before they’re just an expensive memory on Discogs yet again. All copies come with a free Bandcamp download. Just in case you need reminding how incredible ‘Palindrome Hunches’ is, here’s the opening track ‘Digging Shelters’ and you can listen to the whole thing on Spotify below.

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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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Mexican duo Lorelle Meets The Obsolete return with their fourth album, ‘Balance’, which is released on September 16 via Captcha Records and Sonic Cathedral. It goes so far beyond mere psychedelic rock as to defy categorisation. It’s a real step forward: nine songs of complex synthetic and analogue fusion recorded by the band at their home studio, before being mixed by Cooper Crain (Cave, Bitchin Bajas) at MINBAL in Chicago and mastered in Melbourne by Mikey Young (Total Control, Eddy Current Suppression Ring).

Pre-order ‘Balance’ on limited-edition transparent blue or clear vinyl – smarturl.it/lmtobalancelp

Pre-order ‘Balance’ on CD – smarturl.it/lmtobalancecd

Pre-order ‘Balance’ on iTunes with an instant download of ‘La Distinción’ – smarturl.it/lmtobalanceitunes

Following 2014’s critically acclaimed third album ‘Chambers’, which was followed by extensive tours of both the US and Europe, the duo of Lorena Quintanilla and Alberto González returned to their home city of Ensenada to relax and refine their sound. They recorded a cover of Spectres’ ‘The Sky Of All Places’ for ours and Howling Owl’s infamous ‘Record Store Day Is Dying’ single, and an amazing version of ‘Fourth Of July’ for a Galaxie 500 tribute album. Then they set about the new album.

“We were able to fully focus on the music,” explains Lorena. “Living in a quiet part of town and without a day job stealing energy from us, we had enough mental space to act merely as conductors or tools for the songs to unfold freely.”

“We had reached a good state of emotional and physical strength when we finally decided to record the new album,” continues Alberto. “It was an opportunity to set aside personal and general preoccupations in order to explore and enjoy every path the process of the album would take us down.”

And some of those paths are very interesting. The opener, and title track, blows away the layers of dusty psych from the previous album for a sparse and spare sound, embellished with new wave keyboards that wouldn’t sound out of place on one of the early Magazine albums; ‘The Sound Of All Things’ is a mini-epic, opening with a two-and-a-half-minute soundscape, before roaring into life; first single ‘La Distinción’ (available on streaming services now) is a driving drone-rocker, not dissimilar to the classic ‘What’s Holding You?’ from ‘Chambers’, but with the addition of a surprisingly soulful chorus and breakdown.

“Spanish and English are intertwined in most of the lyrics and song titles and the album title also works the same way in both languages,” says Alberto, as he explains how the album really does live up to its title. “In fact, there’s some kind of duality throughout the album. Most of the songs are second versions of the original idea. Like refuting arguments in a dialogue.”

He goes on to point out the songs ‘Waves Over Shadows’ and ‘Waves Under Shadows’ – both of which have the same discordant motifs and sounds repeating and twisting themselves inside out – as the most obvious example of this. Alberto says that the inspiration for this wasn’t necessarily a musical one, but something more Lynchian: “In some song structures we also experimented with reverse as a backbone element, similar to The Man From Another Place character in ‘Twin Peaks’.”

Lorelle Meets The Obsolete count Robert Smith, Mani and Sonic Boom among their fans, but the most enthusiastic is Henry Rollins. Here’s what he said about ‘Balance’: “To put on the dreaded critic’s cap for just a moment, ‘Balance’ lives up to its name by achieving a balance between fuzz and clarity, nuance and throttle. The mix, which is incredible, utilises the brilliance of the component parts of each song, with a subtlety and dexterity that is not nearly as frequent in the albums that came before. It feels more like there was such an accumulation of captured dreams and their interpretation, that eventually it filled an album.”

He’s right, too. With their fourth album, Lorelle Meets The Obsolete have found the perfect ‘Balance’.

Tour dates will be announced soon, but the band will be playing at Liverpool International Festival Of Psychedelia on Friday, September 23.

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