This week: Anatolian trips, subversive oddities, drones and breakbeats

By in Features





Essential weekend listening.

This week’s rundown is by VF’s Kelly Doherty and Becky Rogers, alongside contributors Annabelle Van Dort, Emily Hill and James Hammond.


The Record



Three of contemporary indie’s brightest stars–Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus and Julien Baker–team up for their first album as boygenius. The Record is a generous release, offering each artist space to bring their strengths to the forefront. The interplay between Bridgers’ dark fascinations, Dacus’ warm, detailed story-telling and Baker’s witty doom creates a holistic perspective on the joy and pain of being a young queer woman. Affecting and self-aware, tender and unafraid to rock out, The Record is a timely landmark for the shifting rock genre.–KD

Matthew Herbert

The Wonder Original Soundtrack

(Accidental Records)


Matthew Herbert’s latest soundtrack comes in the form of The Wonder, a psychological period drama set in rural Ireland, 13 years after the Great Famine. His mesmerising score follows an English Nightingale nurse (Florence Pugh), called to examine a young girl claiming to not have eaten for four months, surviving on “manna from heaven”. Full of heightened cinematics and drone-charged thrills alike, Herbert brings the film’s tale of divine possession to life.–BR

La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela

31 VII 69 10:26 – 10:49 PM / 23 VIII 64 2:50:45 – 3:11 AM The Volga Delta LP

(Superior Viaduct)


Nicknamed The Black Record, this LP from La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela was originally released in 1969 at the start of their long-standing partnership. With one side featuring the duo’s voices alongside a sine wave drone and the other putting a gong to suitably abstract use, this LP provides an apt example of Young and Zazeela’s ability to meld extended durations, harmonic theory, distinct overtones and listening experience. An official reissue for a staple of the minimalist canon.–JH

Altın Gün




Altın Gün’s fifth album, Aşk, returns to what the Amsterdam-based sextet do best–Anatolian psych hits presented through reinterpretations of traditional Turkish folk songs. Now able to record live after producing their last two albums at home because of the pandemic, Aşk encapsulates the group’s live energy from the offset. Opener “Badi Sabah Olmadan” featured as a disco-tainted synth track on their previous record Âlem, but this space-rock revisit opens up a 10-track-long trip of snare whips, freakbeat breakdowns and all-around psych-richness. An exhilarating listen from start to finish, Aşk is a joyful return to Altın Gün’s beginnings while acknowledging the journey along the way.–BR

De Ambassade

The Fool

(Optimo Music)


For their Optimo label debut, Dutch Cold Wave experimentalists De Ambassade succumb to the darkness, crafting a haunting electronic record brimming with individuality. Ominous vocal samples overlay hypnotic drum loops, while trance-like basslines bubble beneath droning tapes. Described by the band as a mediation on greed and power, De Ambassade capture the darker aspects of human nature in their foreboding fusion of EBM, synth-wave and DIY aesthetics.–AVD


The Sequel



Metroplex, one of the most iconic and longest-running techno labels welcomes the multi-talented and multi-faceted DJ, curator and producer to present five funky breaks-infused tracks. OCB aka Driss Bennis, known for their own Casa Voyager imprint presents five tasty, dreamy, pad breakbeat-driven tracks for The Sequel. The A-side darts between robotic electronics and ethereal soundscapes, both club-ready in different states of mind. Combining past and present styles, it touches on Metroplex’s Detroit legacy on the B-side thanks to a classic Motor City techno cut before rounding things off with a chilled downtempo number.–EH

Alain Pierre

Des Morts (Of The Dead) Original Soundtrack

(Finders Keepers)


Finders Keepers return to the soundtrack work of Belgian experimentalist Alain Pierre with this reissue of his soundtrack to 1979 shockumentary Des Morts. One of the more peculiar soundtracks out there, the film’s subversive traces and morbid narrative colour the soundtrack, but it’s Pierre’s combined love of synths, musique concrete and instrument collecting that makes this an aural oddity in its own right.–JH

Pilgrims Of The Mind

What’s Your Shrine?

(Heels & Souls Recordings)


London DJ duo and Rinse FM residents, Heels and Souls welcome a stellar fourth reissue on their recording imprint, Pilgrims of The Mind. Previously released 25 years ago on Map Music as a special CD-only album, What’s Your Shine finally gets the vinyl pressing it deserves. Straight out of the buzzing ’90s Vancouver underground, it reverberates with various sonic styles across the downtempo electronic spectrum. From the depths of house music, ambient and progressive, it is a cosmic selection of delightful moods and energies, curating a perfect example of some of the best of the West Coast.–EH

A Certain Ratio




Now working into the fifth decade of their storied career, A Certain Ratio channel their punk-funk energies into incendiary dance-floor grooves. Helmed by Jez Kerr’s deep-rooted bass lines and Donald Johnson’s affixing rhythms, 1982 sees the band build upon a well-trodden formula of infectious and atmospheric post-punk jams. While the album’s strongest moments lie in the more instrumental heavy sections, charismatic features from Manchester rapper Chunky and guest vocalist Ellen Beth Abdi infuse the album with increased vitality.–AVD

The Hold Steady

The Price of Progress

(Positive Jams)


The Hold Steady return for their ninth album and, as we expect from the Minnesotan band, it’s a reliable collection of small-detail storytelling, smokey vocals and riffs-a-plenty. The Hold Steady often pay the price for being one of the most consistent bands in punk music; it’s unlikely that they’ll ever be viewed as a headline-grabbing act. Yet on The Price of Progress, they continue to perfect their craft, writing humanising odes to the outsiders and people who struggle to exist in this world. Observational, witty and packed with both thoughtful and witty moments, The Price Of Progress is another essential entry in The Hold Steady canon.–KD