My Bloody Valentine’s Kevin Shields starts his own record label (unfortunately, it’s not called Loud As Balls Records like I’d hoped)

My Bloody Valentine's Kevin Shields starts his own record label (unfortunately, it's not called Loud As Balls Records like I'd hoped)

Shoegaze master craftsman and guitar effects wizard Kevin Shields doesn’t pop up in the news pages too often, and I like to assume it’s because he’d completed the final stage of his evolution and found some hyper-advanced way to ditch his corporeal body entirely, converting his base matter to pure energy, and make himself part of the grid for all time. You know, like that Job guy did in that unarguably fantastic 90s movie The Lawnmower Man. But… then he shows up somewhere like in NME to announce that he’s launched a new record label with his buddy or whatever, and the whole fantasy is totally blown. This had better be important, Kevin!

So let’s see here… looks like he’s set up a new imprint, and it’s called Pickpocket. Okay, so far it sounds like he could have done this from beyond the bounds of space and time. Let’s read on: blah, blah, blah, he set it up with his friend Charlotte Manionneau for the initial purpose of putting out a new EP by her band Le Volume Courbe. It was initially planned to be released by another label until, as Shields told NME, “I was like ‘I’ll just get rid of a few pedals that I’ve had lying around for ten years and we’ll start a label.’” Oh well, I guess if he’s still real enough to physically own some solid gold guitar pedals, he’s probably not out on the astral plane surfing the neuralnet yet. Shucks.

As for the prospect of new MBV music, Shields said that there’s no plans to use the label to release anything like that, although apparently he and Manionneau have recently collaborated on a new track that may see the light of day on the label. “It’s ten minutes of noise,” she said. “We thought we could put it out as a 10-inch.” Meanwhile, her band’s EP — entitled Theodaurus Rex — has been given the far-more concrete release date of November 14. Hey, while you wait, here’s the last 10 minutes of Lawnmower Man. Enjoy!

• My Bloody Valentine:
• Kevin Shields:
• Le Volume Courbe:

James Blake readying another EP for December, starting to come around on Skrillex

Ever since our crack team of audio researchers were unable to find a single flaw with James Blake’s debut album back in January (one writer thought he found one halfway through “I Mind,” and after being proven wrong he was slashed in the face with a 180 gram vinyl copy of Arthur Russell’s World of Echo), Mr. Blake has let his youthful exuberance run wild — touring the world with the same hoodie every night, collaborating with a squeaking drum, and releasing the follow-up EP Enough Thunder. Well, the exuberance is still glowing ruby red, because Blake is releasing yet another EP on December 11 for R&S. Or maybe it’s just a single since there’s only three tracks? I don’t know, but I opted for “EP” in the headline since that sounds more exciting and might generate enough page views to bump me into the 1%.

So this EP/single. The A-side is “Love What Happened Here,” and the B-side is a twofer — “At Birth” and “Curbside,” inspired by The Tree of Life and American History X, respectively. R&S previously released Blake’s 2010 breakout EPs, CMYK and Klavierwerke, so the pressure’s on to sample the right Kelis snippet this time around. Good luck James, we’re still rooting for ya.

Love What Happened Here tracklisting:

A. Love What Happened Here
B1. At Birth
B2. Curbside

• James Blake:
• R&S:

The Antlers to release (together) EP and play Webster Hall; e.e. cummings writes a poem about it

a new
            The Antlers
(out November 22)
            alternate takes

——over 10 artists

December 10
show in New York City (Webster Hall)


01. Parentheses (PVT remix)
02. Tongue Tied
03. French Exit (SNRF version)
04. I Don’t Want Love (Peter’s version)
05. VCR (The xx cover)
06. Hounds (with Nicole Atkins)
07. Rolled Together (with Neon Indian)
08. Parentheses (with Bear In Heaven)

• The Antlers:
• Frenchkiss:

Built to Spill bring back the spirit of 97 by preparing new record

Ugh, I wish it was 1997. Everyone wishes it was 1997. Disregard if you hated 1997, be it through personal tragedy or simply a soggy year. For Built to Spill, though, 1997 was a very crisp year. Riding high on their third (and best maybe?) record Perfect From Now On, Built to Spill spent the year becoming the most critically acclaimed and popular band in the entire world! I have never heard of Radiohead.

We all miss these salad days, but every time Built to Spill puts out a new record, it brings us back to that time. Unless it brings us back to 1993, 1994, 1999, 2001, 2006, or 2009 instead. Regardless, the fine folks at Prefix Mag state that Doug Martsch and crew will be returning us to those days soon… ish. Built to Spill are currently working on a new release, but Martsch has stated that the new album might not make it out until 2013. Granted, every ‘might not’ has a ‘might’ on the other side. Welcome to symmetry. By the way, other info on the new record is as follows: none.

• Built to Spill:

Gonjasufi emerges from his own dreadlocks to release mini album on Warp

Relatively fresh off the release of A Sufi and a Killer back in March of last year, and presumably when he wasn’t busy teaching enthusiastic female pupils the art of faithfully performing the downward-facing dog, the intimately psychedelic and soulful Gonjasufi a.k.a. Sumach Ecks has apparently been putting in due time working on his newest “mini album” MU.ZZ.LE, due out January 24 on Warp. An announcement on the Warp website warns potential listeners not to mistake the album’s length (just under 30 minutes) for lack of depth: “It’s a lonely journey that will take you through the innermost thoughts of Gonjasufi’s darkest hours. He recorded and mixed it on his own in his home studio surrounded by his family and the stark contrast of the Mohave [sic] desert. The end product is his outlet and realization for who he is, a way for him to feel comfortable in his own skin again.”

A lonely journey indeed. While A Sufi and a Killer featured contributions from Flying Lotus, The Gaslamp Killer and Mainframe, this album had Gonjasufi taking over the whole of the production duties. This could indicate a rather noticeable change in sound and style, perhaps explaining the release of a “mini” and not a “maxi” album — a testing the waters sort of scenario similar to the purpose of some EPs. Speaking of which, there really should be some kind of distinct, shorthand term for these mini albums, which seem (from my perspective or my imagination) to be increasingly common, and which are apparently destined to forever occupy the vague purgatory in-between the LP and the EP.

…What? You didn’t expect me to think of one, did you?

MU.ZZ.LE tracklisting:

01. White Picket Fence
02. Feedin’ Birds
03. Nikels and Dimes
04. Rubberband
05. Venom
06. Timeout
07. Skin
08. The Blame
09. Blaksuit
10. Sniffin’

• Gonjasufi:
• Warp:

Zomes album #3 coming in January on Thrill Jockey ZOMG

Alright, time for a SparkNotes version of Zomes history: back in the day, Asa Osborne played guitar for Lungfish, a post-hardcore/semi emo outfit that’s now defunct. Got that? Cool. Over the past few years Osborne has taken a more reflective, elemental direction with his solo project, Zomes. So far, he’s released two LPs — Zomes in 2008 on Holy Mountain and Earth Grid (TMT Review) earlier this year on Thrill Jockey.

Fast-forward to January 24 and you’ll see him releasing yet another album, this one called Improvisations. According to Thrill Jockey, “it consists of three primordial cosmic transmissions that phase in and out of a thick drone filled ether.” In other words, new evidence for extraterrestrial life.

Improvisations tracklisting:

01. No. 1
02. No. 2
03. No. 3

• Zomes:
• Thrill Jockey: