John Dwyer has the sort of discography so deep and complicated that one suspects even he must have trouble keeping up with himself. As a consequence, it might be a mistake to try and divine paths and trends in career which his encompassed Coachwhips, Pink and Brown, Landed, Yikes, Burmese, The Hospitals, Zeigenbock Kopf and Sword + Sandals (according to Wikipedia, anyway, if I can emphasise my spotty knowledge any more) as well as Thee Oh Sees.


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A fairly eclectic selection here this week, including some great proto-Takoma guitarists from the 1920s, chamber music reimaginings of the Kompakt back catalogue, that lost Romanian kosmische record you’ve always been looking for, and Prince making a stoner jam out of “Let’s Go Crazy” (which you can hear below, along with a bunch of interesting other stuff).


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In haste, and listening to an unexpected return to music from Douglas Hart as I type. Twenty-one items on the playlist this week, mostly approved. Special attention here, I think, for the new Oh Sees album (that’s the sleeve above), which very much builds on “Purifiers II”. Increasingly keen on the James Blake, too, especially the RZA track.


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Three weeks and a few hours ago, I found myself on a small plane from Richmond, Virginia, to Washington DC. Most of the other passengers were members of the Harvard baseball team, who had spent the past three hours being harassed by schoolgirls making innumerable Harlem Shake videos. I, though, was sat next to a woman from Colorado, who was studying the use of horses in Gestalt therapy.


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Plenty to listen to here again this week, and less dubious content than there was in the 11th playlist. One off-the-scale stinker, though…


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On their fine "Light Up Gold" album from the end of last year, Parquet Courts often come across like a kind of self-mythologising, self-effacing Brooklynish hipster band, allbeit one who are, of course, a) disdainful of the term 'hipster'; b) focused on a rather old-fashioned hipster sound that, until they became hip, was probably too hip, or not hip enough, for hipsters; c) snarky about self-mythologising, self-effacing Brooklynish hipsters; d) probably reflexively quite snarky about themselves.


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Reading about the South By Southwest festival tends to produce, in me at least, a mix of empathetic fatigue and terrible envy, and last week’s bombardment of tweets, blogs, news stories was no different.


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The distraction of a Laura Marling blog yesterday has had the knock-on effect of making this week’s playlist longer than usual: 27 tracks/albums in all.


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It’s easy – and probably useful, sometimes – to lambast major labels for what looks from the outside like chronic short-termism. The climate is, understandably I guess, a neurotic one, and those days are long gone when labels would work long-term with a select group of trophy artists, whose usefulness to the company was more silvery and nebulous, more about cachet than quick profit.


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Rather a long time after the event, I thought it worthwhile posting my live review of Kraftwerk at the Tate Modern (it was published in Uncut's print edition a couple of weeks ago). It was Trans Europe Express night, by the way...


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Editor's Letter

The return of The Aphex Twin, and Caustic Window


Last year, Warp Records embarked on a campaign for Boards Of Canada's "Tomorrow's Harvest" comeback that was notable for its obtuseness. Unmarked 12-inches were hidden in record stores, strings of numbers and inexplicable broadcasts were strewn enigmatically across the internet. At one point, I...