Valentine 078 – Shirokuma: Ojos De Gato

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Brand new Shirokuma LP out today! 12 new songs, including Cafe By The Bay (from the Valentine 060 compilation) – a fantastic new collection which picks up the gauntlet so firmly thrown down by Mark’s last effort – 2012′s razor-sharp Abandonware.

Guests this time include old friends/collaborators Caro C, Paul Henty (Lynskey) and Paul Millsopp (Reigns of Monty Carlo) alongside a host of new faces – including Ayça Yürük and Rose Niland

Valentine 078 can be streamed and downloaded here

To celebrate the released of the new LP, Mark will be performing as part of Psychedelic Turkish Delight, this Wednesday (October 8th) at the Zombie Shack (Oxford Road Manchester) – This is a free event – doors open at 8pm:

“There will be some truly splendid music from the rich 60s-70s Turkish/Funk/Soul/Psychedelic scenes and big screen projections of lots of beautiful visuals to match. Plus there will also be some brilliant live music from Turkish / UK crossover psychedelic electronica artist Uran from WILDEAST / Nu Park

Valentine 077 – Black Antlers – Lulu Variations

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In 2011 Lou Reed released what would turn out to be his final LP: Lulu a collaboration with veteran stadium thrashers Metallica that was both commercially and critically mauled at the time of release…

The album was based on two, slightly obscure Frank Wedekind plays Erdgeist (Earth Spirit, 1895) and Die Büchse der Pandora (Pandora’s Box, 1904) – collectively known as the Lulu plays…

Over the course of ten (in some cases VERY) lengthy tracks Lou and the Metallica ‘boys’ created a racket which succeeded in offending the vast majority of BOTH their fanbases -  Reed’s contingent couldn’t figure out why on earth he’d want to collaborate with a commercial juggernaut metal band, while Metallica fans were less than amused with either the experimental drones on offer or the ‘crazy old fool’ rambling over the top of *their* band’s music….

Add to this the punishing length of the tracks – plus such (unintentional) lyrical hilarity (e.g. Reed getting James Hetfield to sing ‘I am the Table’ repeatedly on the album’s lead off single) – Net result?  A serious contender for the accolade ‘worst album ever’

Spring 2014, as Babyslave were putting the finishing touches to the first of two new LPs (Kill For Dada) – Charlie and David of said band decided to take a weekend off to record to mess around in the studio. As one does…

Unfortunately, without Susi to counter-balance their activities, the intrepid duo embarked on a track-by-track interpretation of the ENTIRE Lulu album.  To make matters even more fun, Charlie (a lifelong Lou Reed fan) was banned from listening to the original LP in advance – instead being given just Lou’s complete (and extensive) lyrics to perform over David’s improvised instrumentals.

Net result?  A serious contender for the strangest album you’ll hear this year…   If not the best/worst.   Possibly all three

Many thanks to Mr Paul Millsopp (of Reigns of Monty Carlo infamy) for the pitch-perfect Hetfield impression on The View – we couldn’t have done it without you…

Valentine 077 – The Lulu Variations by Black Antlers can be downloaded here

Valentine 076 – Reigns of Monty Carlo – Smorgasbored!

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Right, this one has come from out of nowhere. Paul Millsopp – axe-wielder extraordinaire in countless bands (including Ten Eyed Man, The Prometheus Effect and Chalice as well as various sideline duties for Valentine-related projects including Shirokuma and I Lucifer) – has suddenly delivered us a full length ten track LP!   Which is nice…

Furthermore (and here’s the clever bit)….it’s an ABSOLUTE STORMER of a record – Diverse, experimental and John-Carpenter-soundtrack-esque in places, there’s also all manner of (slightly unhinged) songwriting, instrumentation and stylistic shifts on offer. Paul (as we know already) is a man who eats, drinks and breathes music – which positively flows from the speakers when you listen to this genuinely original debut…

Aside from his, frankly Deity-like skills on the guitar, the man also knows his way around a vocal melody. This album really is a bolt from the blue – his one-off single contribution to last year’s monthly series (The Sound Of Bombs/I Want You Back) is merely the tip of this Smorgastastic Iceberg. Hit it up – it really is something quite special.

Valentine 076 – Reigns of Monty Carlos – Smorgasbored is available here now

Neil Milton’s New Project…

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Since his last single released for Valentine (back in December of last year) Neil Milton (pictured third from the right) has been busying himself with a new project – The Frozen North – a self-styled Varsovian post-rock sextet – Despite only being in existence a matter of months, the band have already played at Cafe Kulturalna and Palladium in Warsaw and the Na Siano Sunrise festival in Kaszuby…

Neil’s own label, Too Many Fireworks have just released the band’s debut single – a double a-side stormer comprising Origin and Electric Mistress – you can download it from all good digital platforms now – For more details click here

Valentine 074 – Pope Innocent X!

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Started in 2008, completed in 2014. Not a bad (lost) weekend’s work…

Pope Innocent X - a twisted electro/blues/grind-house classic – filtered in single malt and a mid-life crisis of Grinderman proportions…

It is not a Shirokuma LP
It is not a Lucifer/Ladyboy LP
It’s not even a combination of the two

It’s something else entirely… Better late than never……..Another Round perchance?

Valentine 074 – Pope Innocent X is out now – you can listen and download here

Valentine 075 – Babyslave – Kill For Dada

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As promised, the fourth Babyslave LP Kill For Dada is now with us. 12 new tracks – including recent singles Grit In Your Oyster and Nordic Princess - the album also contains a diverse range of industrial/pop/electro/cabaret/jazz – as well as a full-choir version of John Denver’s classic Take Me Home (Country Roads)

Streaming soundclips below – with the full album available here



Valentine 073 – Babyslave – Nordic Princess EP

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Our first new release of 2014 – hopefully worth the wait (there will be several more to follow in the coming weeks/months)

Babyslave return with a trailer EP for their fourth album: Kill For Dada – due out in a fortnight’s time. The album features 12 new tracks (including the ‘a-side’ of this EP + a reworking of last year’s one-off single Grit In Your Oyster)

‘Other’ tracks this time around are a brand new piano version of All My Dead Friends (the original of which appeared way back on the bands second LP The Arc Delirium in 2009), a self-made remix of The Truth Will Out (from Kill For Dada) and a 6-minute motorik/krautrock live-jam – naturally entitled The Rise and Fall of Percy Grainger

You can listen to and download the new EP here

Meanwhile, Babyslave have just relaunched their website to coincide with the new album – including links to Soundcloud where you can preview both releases…

Site Relaunch, Desertshore and more…

desertshore flyerscaledWelcome back! This is the new, relaunched Valentine Records website (circa April 2014) – We figured it was a while since we last refreshed the site, so this time we’ve gone for a complete redesign – hope you like it!

First up, we’ve got several new releases on the way: including LPs by Babyslave and Shirokuma, as well as some brand new treats (scroll down for details). We’re also thrilled to announce that the fantastic Kurt Dirt will be releasing some new ‘product’ with us in the coming months.

On the live front, we can also unveil details of our new night: Desertshore – which kicks off at the Zombie Shack in Manchester on Saturday May 10th. Lots more details and advanced tickets can be found in the new Events section here.

Last but not least, we’ve updated all the artist pages (past and present), as well as uploading an extensive archive of images, video and info on past releases: ‘Sit right down and pour yourself a drink’…  Speaking of which, there’s a few interesting reissues on the way (a couple of past favourites that have been out of print for far too long)… More soon

Valentine 073: Pope Innocent X!

popeinnocentxOk, enough is enough. This little ‘artefact’ has been under lock and key for FAR too long.

Originally recorded in 2008 as a one-off collaboration between Messrs Lucifer and Shirokuma, the resulting LP was self-censored (Kubrick style) by the artists – in spite of the wonderful artwork – courtesy of the immensely talented Mia Hague

Make no mistake, this is not an album that pulls many (or indeed any) punches.  It’s grumpy, difficult and under the (probably deluded) impression it’s an  ‘Electro Grinderman’  record – two slightly bitter older gentlemen kicking against the proverbial pricks – Kind of Nick Cave meets The Normal.

Pope Innocent X are available for weddings, funerals, bar-mitzvahs and children’s parties of all ages.   Worst of all, now that this (jazz drenched) cat is finally out of the bag, they’re threatening to record a sequel…

Back to the present Pope Innocent X (the first LP) will be released through Valentine Records in May