The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website


Help PIAS Labels By Buying Today - 20 Suggestions
John Doran , August 9th, 2011 13:09

With independent labels facing massive financial loss thanks to last night's violence, 20 suggestions of digital purchases to help them out

[Editor's Note: I perhaps didn't make it clear enough that whether you buy MP3s online or head down to your local indie record store, the main point is to buy something put out by one of the many independent labels listed below.]

"Physical retail is still absolutely crucial to many in the independent sector and if – as seems quite likely – several smaller labels aren't covered by insurers, this could be the difference between survival and going out of business", Paul Scaife of Record Of The Day talking to The Guardian

As we reported earlier in the day, we're all buying MP3s from PIAS distributed labels today, we'd urge you to do likewise if you can spare the money. But of course if you can get to a local independent store, that would be helpful as well. We've put together a list of 20 records released on the affected labels that you might like to buy to help out these small businesses currently facing severe financial difficulties. For a full list of labels affected, see the end of this piece.

Alexander Tucker - Dorwytch

"Kent-born multi-instrumentalist Alexander Tucker has released a monumental album in Dorwytch. Even compared to 2005's Old Fog, this is a record that people should be talking about. Or rather, it's a record that should be making people shut up and listen. When we first played this in the office initially it was the tunes that we loved. A week of afternoons was brightened considerably by the insistent cello-folk of 'His Arm Has Grown Long'; the gentle fingerpicking of 'Red String'; the chiming lullaby of 'Matter'; the lightly sun dappled English prettiness of 'Hose'; and so on and so forth. But it was only when I got it home to a pair of monolithic 1970s stereo speakers that it transformed into a pool of potential deep listening. A relatively still surface daring you to dive in, its sharp, cold depth containing bindweed, or maybe worse... things that threaten to drag you under, away from surface beauty into a totally different, forbidding world." - John Doran

Read The Quietus review of Dorwytch

Buy Dorwytch MP3s direct from Thrill Jockey

Gyratory System - New Harmony

"If David Cronenberg had managed to create his own BBC Radiophonic Workshop to score his films, their music might have sounded something like Gyratory System. An underlying sense of unease simmers underneath their music, from the portamento heavy lead lines, to the atonal brass section which sound like a downsampled 8tth generation photocopy of a marching band. This is a group who march to the tune of their own beat – albeit one which has been meticulously programmed in Ableton first.

New Harmony – their second album (named after a 19th century American socialist commune) – is a remarkable beast indeed, retaining all of those degraded beeps, kazoo squeaks and clangs that make Gyratory System such a unique listen. It's as though they gathered up a bunch of records from artists such as Orbital and Aphex Twin, as well as the likes of Fela Kuti, played them to breaking point, and put the degraded remnants through a Commodore 64." Cay McDermott

Read The Quietus Review of New Harmony

Buy New Harmony MP3s direct from Angular

Amon Tobin - ISAM

"The extent to which Tobin can now get inside the very sound and remould it, is reflected by the vocals on the album. 'Wooden Toy' features a breathless performance by a young woman, a creepy sounding old lady loans her voice to 'Kitty Cat' and what sounds like a toyshop come to life forms a choir on 'Dropped From The Sky'. All of which are surprising fundamentally because they are all sung by Tobin himself." - John Doran

Read John Doran's essay on Amon Tobin and Tessa Farmer

Buy Amon Tobin MP3s directly from Ninja Tune

Various Artists - Invasion Of The Killer Mysteron Sounds I & II

"Friend of The Quietus and bass cone shredder, Mr Kevin Martin aka The Bug and Stuart Baker, the owner of one of the world's best reissue labels, Soul Jazz have laid down some electronic super dub science in 3-D. And as if these awesome comps which have been testing the structural integrity of Quietus Towers recently weren't enough on their own, there's a free graphic novel. BOOM!" John Doran

Buy Invasion Of The Killer Mysteron Sounds MP3s direct from Soul Jazz

Blanck Mass - Blanck Mass

"The natural evolution... of early post-rock acts has led to... Benjamin John Power's new project, Blanck Mass. There's plenty of guitar on this first solo offering from the man who also serves as half of electronic noise duo Fuck Buttons, but there aren't any riffs to speak of, let alone power chords. Power says that his work in Blanck Mass is "in thrall to Carl Sagan, Ennio Morricone and the infinity of nature, both universal and personal," which is all well and good, but still insufficient. It's not as though there's no sonic blueprint for the kind of shimmering pedalboard wizardry that Power serves up over the ten tracks on Blanck Mass. Sure, there's shades of Morricone soundtracks (especially his more avant-garde work on lesser-known films like The Working Class Goes To Heaven and Duck, You Sucker!), but the more direct points of reference are American ambient experimentalists Belong, Growing, and especially the immensely underrated and sadly now defunct Romance Of Young Tigers." Brad Sanders

Read The Quietus' review of Blanck Mass here

Buy Blanck Mass CDs and LPs direct from Rock Action here or order MP3s from Boomkat

Sarabeth Tucek - Get Well Soon

"If someone is really baring their soul on record, it should feel to some degree uncomfortable to listen to; if it's too easy, too pleasant, then either you're not really listening or the artist is faking it. With Get Well Soon, the temptation to wince away from the intimacy offered is reassuringly ever-present. Sarabeth's father suffered a fatal heart attack while out alone on a rowing boat on a lake; the cover of Get Well Soon is a painting of an empty rowboat floating on just such a lake. But the record itself is never a straight narrative or concept piece; rather, it builds itself obliquely around this ordinary tragedy, creating a flow of haunting images that almost but don't quite add up, steering you in a certain direction but refusing to surrender their story entirely." Ben Graham

Read The Quietus review of Get Well Soon here

Buy one of the few remaining physical copies of Sarabeth Tucek's album here

Destroyer - Kaputt

"From the glitchy, almost tactile opening bars of 'Chinatown', the first track from Dan Bejar's new record Kaputt, you can sense a sea change of sorts for Destroyer. In part it is the moulding of a radiantly new soundscape that borrows from a romantic art pop palette, referencing everyone from Roxy Music (especially the faraway sounding brass sections on so many of the songs) to Morrissey and his mournfully wry lyrics, with Bejar at times almost inhabiting the 'permanent figure of jacked up sorrow' writing poetry for himself that he sings of in 'Blue Eyes'." - Siobhán Kane

Read The Quietus review of Kaputt

Buy Destroyer MP3s direct from Dead Oceans

Joanna Newsom - Have One On Me

"It's the scope, not the size, of this record that's really the rub. The architecture of Ys, though intricate and arcane, was uniform, and the otherworld it implied, for all it bristled with life, seemed consistent and contained. By contrast, Have One On Me sprawls out, somehow both larger and stiller, less inhabited than haunted. For all the loving feel of the arrangements, this is often macabre terrain. Gone are the companion animals, the monkeys and bears, the epic voyages, the scenes of redemption in a cove, a wood, a castle. Here the wolf-spider, the tarantula, the daddy-long-legs, sidle quietly over the bodies of women caught in unfamiliar silks." Petra Davis

Read The Quietus' review of Have One On Me here

Buy Have One On Me MP3s direct from Drag City here

Oneida - Rated O

"Oneida's triple CD Rated O is the second installment of their 'Thank Your Parents' trilogy. A bold move, to be sure, the Brooklyn quartet have taken on the much-maligned template of prog and given it a 21st century update that stretches the imagination of both band and listener. Moreover, Oneida display a daring creativity that ensures that Rated O is far more than a straightforward passive experience. This is music that provokes and challenges and the rewards are handsomely rich." Julian Marszalek

Read The Quietus' review of Rated O here

Buy Rated O MP3s direct from Jagjaguwar here

Mogwai - Young Team

"Even twelve years after its original release, Young Team still stands as Mogwai's most viscerally affecting record. With 'Yes! I Am A Long Way From Home', 'Like Herod' and sixteen minute cosmic epic 'Mogwai Fear Satan' they helped lay the foundations for a sound that was endlessly watered down over the following decade. But though post-rock's star might have burned itself out a long time ago, Young Team remains an immersive and involving experience, and a reminder of the feral power of their earlier music. It was re-released in remastered deluxe form in 2008, alongside a wedge of other material from around the same time." Rory Gibb

Stuart Braithwaite and Ian Rankin in conversation here

Buy Young Team MP3s direct from Chemikal Underground here

Gemma Ray - Lights Out Zoltar!

"Gemma Ray should, by rights, be a household name. It would be nice to think that it was only a mysterious bout of blood poisoning (from which she is fully recovered, thankfully) that prevented her from vaulting to success after the release of her last album The Leader. This is wishful thinking however; she’s far too good to get the kind of international acclaim she deserves." John Doran on the

Buy Gemma Ray MP3s directly from Bronzerat

James Holden - The Idiots Are Winning

"James Holden's Border Community label has established itself as home to a particular sort of sound: lush, melodic and subtly experimental takes on house and techno that work both on and off the dancefloor. So it's fitting that Holden's own The Idiots Are Winning is probably the label's definitive release - it veers between bleepy takes on the minimal sound that was owning clubs at the time of its 2006 release ('10101'), lurching electro house ('Corduroy') and indefinable, bizarre club bangers (wonky anthem 'Idiot'). Holden's great skill is in keeping textural detail in a constant state of flux, so even over the course of a single track no two sections sound quite the same - it lends his music a peculiarly organic quality often missing in such functional club music." Rory Gibb

Buy The Idiots Are Winning MP3s direct from Border Community here

FaltyDL - Make It Difficult/Jack Your Job

"FaltyDL's Make It Difficult might well be the most direct dancefloor record he's produced yet, but it's still torn to shreds by his usual dizzying work with percussion, flickering cymbals and stray snares giving the odd sensation of old school UK hardcore overlaid onto a cosmopolitan house track. 'Jack Your Job' is more straightforward (just), working established house tropes (the fervent preacher; the mid-range dance of garage drums) into a frantic whirl. Both are unsurprisingly brilliant." Rory Gibb

Read The Quietus' review of Make It Difficult/Jack Your Job here

Buy Make It Difficult/Jack Your Job MP3s from Bleep here

Snoretex - Strange Aeons

"Snoretex is the solo recording project from Sam Willis, one of half of Walls, the two-piece signed to Kompakt who released their debut album to a cluster of killer reviews. Mojo made it ‘Electronica Album Of The Year’, while the NME, iDJ and DJ magazine all garnered it with 9/10 ratings. Snoretex inhabits a similar world. Woozy, opaque layers and crystal melodies are skewered with fuzz and feedback over burbling midtempo drums and sequencers. ‘Imagine a world where Philip Glass, Harmonia and Mr Fingers intermingle in euphoric hamony,’ says Sam smiling." Buzzin Fly Records

Buy Snoretex MP3s direct from Buzzin' Fly

GAS - Nah Und Fern

"This elegant little box with a bleached midnight-blue close-up of tree foliage (from Konigsforst in Germany to be precise) contains four slabs of the most sublime, eerie, beguiling and beautiful electronica you are ever likely to hear. One word, written in white, raised- all you need to know: GAS. Electronica really is a misnomer, however. Wolfgang Voigt attempts to pull together various strands of Germanic cultural history - schlagen, polka and classical and indeed one way of trying to evoke how this music is to re-imagine it as a post-rave version of Casper David Friedrich’s painting From The Summit. “I try to reduce the material to its basic aesthetic structure by using different zoom, loop and alienation techniques in order to release it from its original meaning and context”. GAS is based on a love of pastoral myth and from former hippy days spent tripping in the above woods - a distorted connection with the past through the sound of the future with the cover art of hypnotically coloured photography (and additional photographs enclosed in the box) acting as a portal to the worlds within." jonny mugwump

Read The Quietus' review of Nah Und Fern here

Buy Nah Und Fern MP3s from Beatport here

[Editor's note. When this feature was written there was a lot of confusion over which labels were still distributed by PIAS. We have since found out that Kompakt has used SRD for the last 18 months but some of its distributed labels had stock damaged in the fire. We apologize if anyone feels they have been misled by this feature but we wrote it in good faith based on the information available.]

Shackleton - fabric.55

"[Shackleton's] contribution to the Fabric mix series, as well as providing a document of his totally immersive, intensely danceable live set, also works as a formidable consolidation of everything he's put together so far. As with both Omar-S and Ricardo Villalobos' Fabric mixes, it consists of entirely his own material. But unlike those discs' relatively straightforward construction, where each individual track is given space to breathe, at the root of Shackleton's mix lie the strange, claustrophobic things that happen when several collide at once and stack upon one another. Indeed, what makes fabric.55 so special, and the finest addition to the series so far, is that it transcends the limits of a typical mix CD. By slicing his tracks into tiny individual pieces - lithe strands of percussion, distant, dissonant string drones, the downpitched incantations of 'Hypno Angel' – Shackleton is able to maintain a single motif throughout long stretches, lose it among the percussive fray then resurrect it later on during an entirely separate track." Rory Gibb

Read The Quietus' review of fabric.55 here

Buy fabric.55 MP3s from Boomkat here

Bo Ningen - Bo Ningen

"The opening crashes of cymbals and dizzying wall of fuzz that begins Bo Ningen's debut album is much like the immediate spectacle of the live experience. Here, the energy of their exhilarating gigs is successfully transferred onto tape, as the Japanese four-piece wrench damaged shards of delayed feedback out of their battered instruments." Ritchie Troughton

Read The Quietus' review of Bo Ningen here

Buy Bo Ningen MP3s direct from Stolen here

Bjork - Homogenic

It's not like any of Bjork's records fall beneath the lofty bracket of 'essential', but Homogenic might just be the point at which she reached her pinnacle, simply by virtue of its ability to seamlessly meld every aspect of her music. So it finds her by turns at her frostiest ('Hunter'), most intimate ('All Is Full Of Love', 'Unravel') and most restless ('Pluto'). Plus it includes the most beautiful song she's yet committed to tape, 'Joga'.

Read The Quietus interview with Bjork here

Buy Homogenic MP3s from Amazon here

Various Artists - Pomegranates: Persian Pop, Funk & Psych of the 60s and 70s

"This 16-track compilation of Persian psych, Farsi funk and Gulf folk of the 60s and 70s is not only a hellaciously boogieful album but is in a way a postcard from a different society and way of life altogether. These rich love songs which represent a clash of various Persian traditions and a modern Western influence that was rapidly flooding Iran under the guiding hand of the Shah, speak of happier times; they certainly suggest an enviable musical culture which no longer exists. It’s all killer but I’ve never left ‘Helelyos’ by Zia out of the DJ box since first hearing it." John Doran

Read The Quietus' feature on Finders Keepers here

Buy Pomegranates MP3s from Boomkat here

Orange Juice - Coals To Newcastle

"The prevailing doxa vis-a-vis Orange Juice is that they mediated a certain form of insular dissatisfaction with the dour personal/political hypochondria of their post-punk forerunners and peers. Indeed, they are intermittently feted as having presciently tapped into a stream of hitherto unexplored and, at the time, resolutely unfashionable longing for a smidgen of a pre year-zero remystyification of the pop formulae. A beguiling legacy perhaps for a suburban group of Velvet Underground acolytes, but one which served as a subsequent litmus test of the twin aesthetic and ideological victories and failures of both the mutated punk and new pop. Edwyn Collins' early propensity for employing reassuringly subversive anti-machismo amid the deceptive conventionality of actual love songs imbued Orange Juice with an entirely syncretic musical language, eventually redolent of the most gloriously stilted of white boy punk-funk. Tenderness, innocence and feyness abounded." Daniel Baker

Read The Quietus' review of Coals To Newcastle here

Buy Coals To Newcastle direct from Domino here

The labels affected are: [PIAS] Recordings, [PIAS] Recordings Belgium, 4AD, A Camp, Absynthe Minded, Accidental, AEI Music, Air Recordings, ALC Music, Alsation, Ambush Reality, Ancient & Modern, Angular Recording Corporation, Arcady Records, Ark Recordings, Asthmatic Kitty Records, Atlantic Jaxx Recordings, Bad Magic, Balling The Jack, Banquet Records, Battered Ornaments Records, Beggars Banquet, Best Before, Big Brother, Big Dada, Bird Records, blackmaps, Bloody Chamber, Blowout Music, Blue Chopsticks, Border Community, Borstal Beats, Boysnoize Records, BPM, Brainfeeder, Brassland, Bright Star Recordings, Brille, Broken Sound Music, Bronzerat, Brothers and Sisters, Brownswood Recordings, Buzzin' Fly, Cache Cache, Cadenza Records, Celluloid Records, Chalkmark / IE, Chemikal Underground Records, Cocoon, Control Tower, Counter Records, Dance To The Radio, Dead Oceans, Deceptive, Defenders Ent UK, DESOLAT, Dessous, Different, Dirtee Stank, Divine Comedy Records, Domino Records, Double Six Records, Drag City, Dreambrother, Drive Thru Records, Drowned In Sound, Dummy Records, Duophonic, Eat Sleep Records, Fabric Worldwide, Fake Diamonds, FantasyTrashcan, Fatcat Records, Fence, Feraltone, Finders Keepers Records, Flock Music, Flying Circus, Freerange Records, Friends Vs Records, Full Pupp, Full Time Hobby, Gang Of Four Recordings, Geographic, Ghost Ship, Glaze Recordings, Groenland Records, G-Unit, Hardly Art, Hassle Records, Helpless, Hem Hem Records, HFN Music, Immune, Independiente, Infant, Infectious, Jagjaguwar, Kartel, Kitchenware, Kitsune, KMS Records / Fabric, Laughing Stock, Lex Records, Lipservice, Little Sister Recordings, LO-MAX Records, Loose Music, Lovepump United, Low life Records, Lucky Number Music, Lucky Seven Records, Mantra, Matador, Memphis Industries, Merok, Metric Music International, Metroline Limited, Model Citizen, Moikai, Motion Audio, MyMajorLabel Ltd, Nation, Ninja Tune, No Quarter, NovaMute, Nusic Sounds, One Four Seven Records Ltd, One Little Indian, Organs, Outcaste, OVNI, P.I.L., Peartree Records, PeMa, People In The Sky, People Tree, Pirates Blend Records Inc, Planet Function, Play It Again Sam, Playlouder, Poker Flat, Polyvinyl Records, Poseidon Records, Post Present, Pschent, Raw Canvas, Red Cord Records, REK'D, Rekids, Rekords Rekords, Renaissance, Reveal Records, Riverman Records, Rock Action Records, Roots Records, Rough Trade Records, Rubyworks, Sea Note, Search and Destroy, Secretly Canadian, Setanta, Shape, SideOneDummy Records, Silva Screen, Slam Dunk Records, Smekkleysa, Soma, Sonic Cathedral, Soul Jazz Records, South Paw, Southern Fried Records, Stereo Bang Media, Stolen Recordings, Stranger Records, Streamline, Sub Pop, Suicide Squeeze, Sunday Best, Thrill Jockey, Tirk, Too Pure, Torque Records, Touch & Go Records, Transmission Recordings, Tri Tone, Trouble Records, True Panther, Try Harder, Turnstile, Twisted Nerve Recordings, Universal Sound, Victory Records, Wagram, Wall of Sound, WARP, Watergate, We Love You, Wiiija, Willkommen Records Ltd, Wonderfulsound, XL, Xtra Mile Recordings, Yaala Yaala, Young Turks