Our 10 favourite new vinyl releases this week (15th July)

By in Features





Broken dembows, off-world atmospheres, and post-punk via techno.

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

Working Men’s Club

Fear Fear

(Heavenly Recordings)


On their anticipated sophomore effort, Fear Fear, Working Men’s Club find catharsis on the dancefloor. Claustrophobic and entropic with underlying angst, Fear Fear captures the total surrealness of the COVID-19 lockdown period in which it was composed. Across 10 addictive tracks, Working Men’s Club perfect their hybrid of post-punk and proto-techno. Densely layered synths squelch and wail like sirens; dynamic drum patterns reverberate with rhythmic intensity. With his acerbic lyricism and distortion-heavy, deadpan delivery, bandleader Syd Minsky-Sargent emerges as a spiritual successor to James Murphy – brimming with self-aware observations that chance straight onto the zeitgeist. – AVD

Kali Malone

Living Torch

(Portraits GRM)


With Living Torch, Kali Malone temporarily steps aside from the pipe organ, instead finding her meticulous form of polyphony in a pooling of modular synthesizer, trombone, bass clarinet and the hurdy-gurdy-like boîte à bourdin. Setting intricate foundations within the tuning ratios of just intonation, and originally designed for a live concert that diffused these sounds across the GRM’s acousmonium speaker array, as a humble record these two compositions lose none of their lustre or mesmeric powers as timbres converge in seamless passages of undulation and breath-like drone. – JH

Lil Silva

Yesterday Is Heavy

(Nowhere Music Ltd.)


Lil Silva’s long-time-coming debut album, Yesterday Is Heavy, finally arrives this week, courtesy of Nowhere Music Ltd. Over a decade in the making. Exploring concepts of home, the album features appearances from Little Dragon, serpentwithfeet, Sampha, BADBADNOTGOOD and more. The Vinyl Factory is also releasing a limited edition 200g vinyl version of the album, featuring a hand-numbered sleeve. – LR

Krikor Kouchian

Biceps Brachii / Epicranial Aponeurosis

(Soul Jazz)


Stepping up to the plate for the latest Soul Jazz offering is French producer Krikor Kouchian, who debuted on the imprint during for the Wave series and offers up two equally off-kilter wobblers here with ‘Biceps Brachii’ and ‘Epicranial’. The long-admired producer is known for his versatility, flexing his own brand of mutant dancehall bass on one side before taking a synth-ier route on the flip side. – EH

Kid D


(AP Life)


In Kid D, Bok Bok calls up a grime veteran to contribute to his nascent AP Life imprint. The results are a tight balance of old-school grime grit and contemporary drill – all injected with a dancefloor-ready edge, moody strut, and the kind of futuristic sonics that wouldn’t have sounded out of place on early Night Slugs releases. A welcome re-emergence from one of the UK’s most overlooked producers. – WP

black midi


(Rough Trade)


Avant-rock darlings black midi return with a tantalising new record which sees the band cover unexpected territory. Sinuous narratives of damnation and sin abound, spat out rapid as gunfire by frontman Geordie Greep, whose tongue-in-cheek theatrics live up to the absurdist antics of 2019’s Schlagenheim and 2021’s Calvacade. However, within this hellfire, the band find glimmers of hope. Tenderness is not an adjective typically associated with burning pits of hell – nor black midi for that matter – but it’s in these moments of lightness that Hellfire finds its footing. The luscious orchestral flourishes and hazy Americana-style guitar on album standout ‘Still’ show the band accessing a new emotional bandwidth, and a vulnerability absent in their previous efforts. – AVD



(Superior Viaduct)


Following their contribution to 1978’s seminal No New York compilation, James Chance & The Contortions returned with Buy, a full LP’s worth of abrasive skronk that doubled down on the group’s ability to make adrenalised music at the frontiers of abandon and musicality. Pushing the James Brown blueprint out into a confrontational collision of genre and grab-by-the-lapels punk mentality, Buy still stands as a No Wave classic. Given the small edition reissues and multiple label vagaries of much of the Chance/Contortions back catalogue, this edition from Superior Viaduct does its part in ensuring this vital and undervalued work lands on vinyl once again. – JH

Anthony Naples & DJ Python

Air Texture VIII

(Air Texture)


Sultry summer slumpers are the order of the day on this expertly-curated comp from two TK stalwarts, Anthony Naples and DJ Python. Broken dembows, TKs, and TKs abound, alongside driftier, crackling, more experimental offerings from the likes of Meitei and 5am. Check Mr. Curtains and the curators’ own additions for some highlights, then dig deeper. – WP





Hyperdub honcho Kode9 returns to his own label for his first new album in seven years with Escapology. Originally created as the soundtrack to his ongoing Astro-Darien project, which began as a two-week A/V installation at London’s Corsica Studios last year, Escapology “reconfigures Astro-Darien’s tense, off-world atmospheres into slices of high-definition, asymmetric club rhythms.” – LR


The Algorithm Don’t Like My Freak

(Apron Records)


Music holds the power to make us dance, but also to manifest a mood, create a story and transport us along for the ride. Quaid proves the latter on his latest release for Apron Records, The Algorithm Don’t Like My Freek. Taking inspiration from sci-fi hits of the last 40 years such as Robocop, Total Recall and Running Man, it enhances that crisp ‘80s aesthetic with a contemporary twist. The cherry on top of this futuristic lounge sound is the collaboration with Shepherd on lead single ‘SHE’ as his effortlessly soulful voice glides against the melody. – EH