Scene of some devastation this morning, as we’re surrounded by crates, packing for a move to new offices on the floor below. In haste, then: this has been the soundtrack for throwing out a load of old shit these past few days. Special attention, please, to the tremendous new Pye Corner Audio business…


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Sometimes great songs fall by the wayside, for whatever reason, and over the past year or so it’s felt that Hiss Golden Messenger’s “Brother, Do You Know the Road?” might unfortunately be one of those.


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So much good here this time out, after missing a playlist last week for various reasons. Where to start?


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A month or so back, I sent Lee Bains III a few questions for a Q&A to run alongside my review of the Glory Fires’ “Dereconstructed” in Uncut. Bains’ answers turned out to be more thoughtful, interesting and extensive than pretty much any email interview I’ve previously conducted, so I’m pleased to run them in their entirety here…


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About ten years ago, I had a series of conversations with some people preparing a new edition of Harry Smith’s Anthology Of American Music. Their aim, it seemed, was to take the 84 tracks originally compiled from Smith’s collection of 78s, and subject them to a vigorous digital clean-up. How much better would these songs sound, was their reasoning, if all the grit and static was removed, leaving the performances unsullied and sharp?


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Beyond the Ebay landfill mountains of luminous “Ghostbusters” singles, there were a weird few days this week when it seemed as if no-one had actually located a copy of Neil Young’s “A Letter Home” on Record Store Day. After everything, did it actually exist? Had Neil, in his current capricious mood, personally had it removed it from the stockrooms of record stores on Friday night?


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One of the books I’ve enjoyed most in the past couple of years is “Pulphead”, a collection of John Jeremiah Sullivan’s longform, creative and not always entirely reliable journalism.


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Bit of a rush in the face of deadlines this morning, but a strange list – not all of it recommended, really – with a notable discovery in Mike Cooper, whose early ‘70s albums work well as companion pieces to those of Michael Chapman. Anyone who knows his work, and knows more, drop me a line.


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To be a fan of Gillian Welch, as many Uncut readers will appreciate, requires an uncommon degree of faithfulness and patience. In 18 years, she has released just five albums; given that the gap between the last one (2011’s The Harrow And The Harvest) and its predecessor (2003’s Soul Journey) ran to eight years, a follow-up may still be some way off.


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Some highlights to see/hear this week: Neil Young playing “Thrasher” for the first time (technically, second time I think) in 36 years; well over an hour of amazing Can footage from 1970; the new Jack White track; and Olga Bell’s album, which seems to suggest that I prefer the Dirty Projectors, or at least their spin-offs, when the singing is in Russian.


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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...