Commemorating 40 years of their eponymous debut album, The Raincoats reissue their classic record as a limited edition transparent marbled gold vinyl pressing of 1000 copies.

In 2019, the band’s songs hold more relevance than ever, and sound as innovative in sound as they did 40 years earlier, with DIY ethic and multi-instrumental layering that took the definition of punk beyond its boundaries.

Songs such as ‘No Side To Fall In’, ‘Off Duty Trip’ and ‘The Void’ summarise the band’s many faces of sound, harnessing the ideals and emotion of punk whilst reinventing the genre through further tonal experimentation.

Their ’60s influences are also evident in their cover of The Kinks’ ‘Lola’ and the Velvet Underground sounding ‘In Love’, which complete the record as an artifact of its time – this is a collector’s must!

‘The Raincoats’ is available now on special edition vinyl and digitally.

© Ayisha Khan.



To mark 40 years since the original 1979 release, The Pop Group have remastered and cut at half-speed their acclaimed debut album, ‘Y’, and released it as an anniversary edition, including as a limited pressings vinyl boxset.

The album features three versions of the original tracklist: remastered; early recordings from the album ‘Alien Blood’ and live recordings taken at multiple locations from ‘Y Live’. The band’s debut single, ‘She’s Beyond Good & Evil’ is also reissued as a bonus 12″ alongside its B-side ‘3.38’.

‘Y’ was a revolutionary album of its time due to pushing the boundaries of contemporary experimentation while incorportaing traditional elements of punk, dub, funk, free jazz and avante-garde, a wave of creativity that was harnessed by album producer Dennis Bovell.

‘Y: Definitive Edition’ is available now on CD, vinyl and digitally.

© Ayisha Khan.



The band’s anthology is a 39-song tracklist of their greatest hits from a 40+ year history, containing some of their earliest releases in the way of 2017 remastered recordings of ‘New Rose’, ‘Neat Neat Neat’ and songs from their debut album ‘Damned Damned Damned’.

The record also includes Jefferson Airplane cover ‘White Rabbit’ and a few rarities, such as a reworked version of 1991 single ‘Fun Factory’, which was released while the band were on hiatus after being shelved for nine years.

Towards the end of the album, the tracklist features The Damned’s newest songs, single ‘Standing On The Edge Of Tomorrow’ from last year’s studio album ‘Evil Spirits’ and a brand new single ‘Black Is The Night’, which ends the record.

‘Black Is The Night: The Definitive Anthology’ is available now on CD, vinyl and digitally.

© Ayisha Khan.



Following band founder and lead singer Michael Gira’s decision to dissolve the 2010-17 lineup of the band, Swans is now formed of revolving musicians, with the new record being the first to represent this interpretation of the band. The lineup features the likes of drummer and percussionist Larry Mullins (Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds) and Anna and Maria von Hausswolff (backing vocals).

This, the band’s 15th studio album, ‘Leaving Meaning’ is split into two discs of six tracks each; the first quietly reawakens with opening songs ‘Hums’ and ‘Annaline’, which are subsequently contrasted by 10-minute track ‘The Hanging Man’; Gira’s shouty vocals bellowing out over the repetitive rhythmic background.

Disc two has an early track called ‘The Nub’; it begins with some eerie glittery sound effects before the main vocals enter the song, those of Dutch artist Baby Dee with Fay Christen and Ida Albertje Michels and Jennifer Gira, accompanied by Australian experimentalists The Necks, who also feature on the album’s title track, ‘Leaving Meaning’. Although the song is not themed on such, it sounds spookily like its being reeled out by a witches’ coven and is quite brilliant.

This is followed by song ‘It’s Coming Real’, which also stands out from the rest of the record, featuring the von Hausswolff sisters on backing vocals; it’s more melodic and uplifting than the rest of the album and is hence chosen as the single. Not all of the album catches on as much but there are some masterful pieces that Gira has put together to evoke his current outlook on this new chapter of the band.

‘Leaving Meaning’ is available now on CD, vinyl and digitally.

© Ayisha Khan.



A collection of remastered classics by the Israeli/Dutch ’80s post-punks, the album mixes the band’s live material and studio recordings, overseen by Colin Newman’s (Wire) immaculate production skills.

The album begins on live track ‘Statik Dancin”, with its catchy chorus and ricocheting dance beat. The beginning of ‘Nada’ has a whiff of Magazine’s ‘Feed The Enemy’ about it, whilst ‘Raging Souls’ is strongly reminiscent of Graham Lewis’ vocals in Wire.

‘My Will’ sees Malka Spiegal on vocals; it features a melodic chiming guitar riff. ‘The Well’ follows, incorporating elements of middle eastern music that the band is well known for against beating basslines – the best track on the record – and a brand new recording ends the release with ‘Holy Roller’, a club orientated track.

‘Creation Is Perfect’ is available now on CD, vinyl and digitally.

© Ayisha Khan.



Following the release of this expanded soundtrack last year to coincide with the 2018 remake of the 1978 classic, John Carpenter’s ‘Halloween’ is now available on special limited edition vinyl, featuring new Michael Myers cover artwork and several spooky colour themed vinyl.

The expanded 45-track edition includes previously unreleased pieces, beginning with ‘Aaron Meets Michael’, which contains spidery keys, lazer flashes of synth and an eerie electronic thudding that grows louder and louder towards the end of the track. The main ‘Halloween Theme’, played out on keyboard, then follows.

The 34-second ‘Michael Kills’ is brutal, with its clattering stealth beats and percussion, it quickly comes to an inevitable bloody end. ‘Michael Kills Again’ is a longer track, which adds droning guitars and heavy drumbeats that signify the chase.

Carpenter, who worked on the soundtrack with son Cody and godson Daniel Davies, honours the original soundtrack and its multi-instrumentals include Dave Smith OB-6, bowed guitar, Roland Juno, Moog, Roland System 1, Roland System 8, different guitar pedals, mellotron, and piano, perfectly evoking the sounds and emotions required by director David Gordon Green.

‘Halloween’ (2018) expanded edition is available now on CD, coloured vinyl and digitally.

© Ayisha Khan.



In the 40th year since their formation, Factory records pioneers A Certain Ratio release ‘ACR:BOX’: a 54-track compilation featuring demos, both finished and unfinished, alternative mixes, edits and unreleased material. It displays the band through a spectrum of all its musical faces – a band like no other.

The album begins on ACR’s early post-punk phase, which evoked the melancholy Mancunian landscapes of the late 70s; namely ‘All Night Party’ (Factory’s first-ever single artist release), ‘The Thin Boys’ and ‘Son And Heir’, a reminder that the band’s heritage is not lost on them despite their expansion into other genres.

On the other hand, ACR’s carnival and funk is also brought across early on, seen in ‘Sommadub’ and the 12-inch versions of ‘Guess Who?’ and ‘Knife Slits Water’. The band’s music, ever genre defying, encompasses multiple sounds of the late ’70s and early ’80s – from the disco dancefloor vibes of ‘Life’s A Scream’ to the samba tones of ‘Si Fermir O Grido’; the Curesque post-punk of ‘The Runner’ to the techno electronic of ‘The Planet’.

Two demo versions of ‘Houses In Motion’ are also included, the second a dub-like instrumental. The first should be a single in its own right; it surpasses the Talking Heads original even without Grace Jones’ vocals (who never made it back to the studio). Towards the end of the album there are a several dance and electronic mixes, such as ‘BTTW 90’ and ‘Spirit Dance’, with the record ending on a brand new ‘W.S.L.U’; a stripped down acoustic version of ‘The Big E’ (a demo of which is also featured on this release).

‘ACR: BOX’ is a shining release for the band’s fourth decade; it leaves you in awe of their ability to produce impressionable rhythms and constantly reinvent themselves, keeping things refreshingly contemporary so many years on.

‘ACR:BOX’ is available now on CD, coloured vinyl and digitally.

© Ayisha Khan.



Folk-punks The Mekons release their first studio album in three years. It opens on their new single, ‘Lawrence Of California’; a loud battlecry waged against the harsh and inhospitable environment in which the band found itself when it spent time in Joshua Tree National Park in Yucca Valley, seeking inspiration for the new record. The nomadic biopic continues with ‘Harar 1883’, picturing Lawrence Of Arabia shielding himself from the “beating sun”; a tale of defiant survival against the elements.

The contrastingly reflective ‘How Many Stars’, sung by Tom Greenhalgh, shows the equally contrasting view of the desert by night removed from the heat. Throughout the album the band utilise different sonic textures, both rough and soft, loud and quiet, displaying their multi-instrumental abilities, raging emotions and various outdoor experiences which also represent the “vastness and weirdness of the desert”. ‘Weimar Vending Machine – Priest?’ is a darker mess with a sardonic finish, featuring lyrics from Kurt Weill’s much covered ‘Alabama Song’. The album finishes on ‘After The Rain’, which, as with the single, the band produced a video for. It contains Susie Honeyman’s dreamlike strings and befits the band’s message of sheer determination, like the desert’s transformation after the rain. And just like the desert, The Mekons invite you to return to see them again in seven years in which time no doubt they would have transformed themselves once more.

‘Deserted’ is available now on CD and digitally.

© Ayisha Khan.