Our 10 favourite new vinyl releases this week (20th August)

By in Features





Woozy pop, tense techno, and music for the soul.

This week’s rundown is by VF’s Will Pritchard and Lazlo Rugoff, alongside Alice Whittington, Emily Hill, and James Hammond.


Li Yilei

之 / OF

(Métron Records)


London-based performance and sound artist Li Yilei explores time via analogue synths, field recordings, ambient, and string instruments on new album 之 / OF. While they began working on the album pre-COVID, the heightened importance and anxieties surrounding time that the pandemic brought to the surface unavoidably seeps into the record. And yet, while Yilei taps into themes of grief and emptiness, the metaphysical musings of 之 / OF are ultimately a reminder that time is not solely a constrictive force, but something far more fluid and organic. – LR

Cleo Sol


(Forever Living Originals)


The UK has been enjoying a purple patch of neo-soul output, and that’s thanks in no small part to the contributions of Cleo Sol. Last year’s Rose In The Dark, as well as work with the critically-adored SAULT, has cemented Sol at the apex of this encapsulating amalgamation of soul, gospel, jazz, and hip-hop. New converts should seek out ‘Spirit’ – Mother’s perfectly-sculpted closer — for the ideal introduction. – WP

Aurita Y Su Conjunto




It’s easy to get caught up in the fact that Aurita Castillo, the singer fronting this endlessly moving collection of cumbias and porros, was just six years old when these recordings were made back in the ’60s. But there’s nothing juvenile about these tracks: Castillo’s expertly-backed performances pack emotional depth and subtle inflections that even the most experienced singers might struggle to reach. — WP

Jeff Mills

Waveform Transmission Vol. 3



Having branched out from his initial work with Underground Resistance, Jeff Mills’ two efforts for the Waveform Transmission series are staples of early ’90s Detroit techno and surefire entry points into the more punishing side of Mills’ vast discography. Hitting as an instant injection of momentum, Volume 3 served as a launch point for further experimentation and the growth of a sound palette that has continued to expand up until the present day. A timely repress for a highly influential record. – JH

Deux Filles

Silence & Wisdom / Double Happiness

(Dark Entries)


Gemini Forque and Claudine Coule, aka Deux Filles, lived a short yet mysterious life filled with grief and despair — which came to an untimely end in 1984, when they disappeared whilst travelling in Algiers. Except they didn’t. The pair are, as it happens, a fictional creation of arthouse duo Colin Lloyd Tucker and Simon Fisher Turner; but their invented story provides an apt frame for this tender, emotive music. DIY vocal samples, from a child talking, to abstract flashes of colour, are juxtaposed with soft piano and sweeping guitars to create diverse, cinematic melodies. First released in 1982, this is another example of a forgotten treasure brought to new ears by the excellent Dark Entries imprint, whose exceptional taste and pursuit of music continues to inspire. – EH

Awkward Corners

Amateur Dramatics

(Shapes of Rhythms)


Following a string of EPs and singles, longtime NTS radio host Chris Menist presents his debut album as Awkward Corners. Menist is a heavy collector of South and South East Asian vinyl (so heavy that his shelves collapsed not long ago), and the influence of his far-reaching taste is evident in this fascinating take on library music – featuring elements of jazz, as well as traditional instruments from Africa and Asia. The drone of the shahi baaja stringed instrument, often associated with Pakistani devotional qawwali music, imparts a mystical and spiritual atmosphere, while on other tracks the clicking of a vintage drum machine provides structure for Menist and his guest performers, including Tamar Osborn (Collocutor, Maisha) on saxophone and clarinet. – AW

A Guy Called Gerald

Trip City

(Velocity Press)


Few people can say that A Guy Called Gerald created a soundtrack to accompany their book. Trevor Miller is one of them. His account of London clubbing subculture in the ’80s is regularly referred to as the definitive acid house novel. Originally released in 1989, the book is getting a reprint along with all five accompanying tracks on vinyl for the first time. It’s classic acid Gerald at his best, coming out shortly after his seminal ‘Voodoo Ray’ single swept the scene. The book and the LP come together, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in a piece of clubbing history. – AW


Solar Power



Having already shared the song of the summer in the form of title track ‘Solar Power’, Lorde’s new album is finally here. Working with a woozier, more acoustic guitar-driven sound than her earlier, emotionally taut records, Solar Power is saturated with a sense of freedom: of just being ‘over it’. While occasionally Lorde slips into cringeworthy territory — “It’s strange to see you smoking marijuana / You used to do the most cocaine / Of anyone I’d ever met” — the album is one to be approached with generosity: emotional honesty is best not met with derision. – LR


Omar S & Andre Foxxe

The First One Hundred



Joining forces with Parliament-Funkadelic’s Andre Foxxe, Omar S’ latest single for his FXHE imprint is an assuredly funky affair. With its mix of drum loops, guitar and brass, ‘The First 100’ stakes out some upbeat grooves on the A-side, which are then doubled down on by the ebullience of ‘Dance Your Blues Away’ on the reverse. Accompanied by Amp Fiddler’s keys, the flipside ups the P-funk and Prince vibes a step further and comes as a wholehearted call to take the title literally. – JH

Cera Khin

Demons To Some Angels To Others



Lazy Tapes head honcho and techno wizard Cera Khin makes her production debut with a heavyweight four-tracker that channels the furious, sometimes menacing edge of her full-throttle DJ sets. Diving straight in with piercing synths and a heavy electronic kick drum, you’re immediately holding on for dear life as you plunge into these frantically exciting depths. Khin’s zesty finisher, the title track, is a peak-time classic balancing the bombast of big-room with touches of more melodic techno. – EH