26 December 2008

RoR’s Best of ’08 (Pt.1: Dave)

Posted by Dave at 9:46 pm

Exactly what it says above, really. Alex might do one too if you ask him nicely.

Considering I run a Creative Commons label, it’s perhaps a little odd that none of these were released on something similar (of course, RoR releases would feature heavily in this list)- and the lack of links to similar projects is one of the key weaknesses of RoR, and something we hope to rectify soon (yup, that links section might even be done).

Anyway, without further ado here’s what I’ve enjoyed this year…


Evangelista- Hello, Voyagers
Oh yes! A dark, buzzing, deliciously hysterical (hysteria= madness of the womb) album from Carla Bozulich and co that sounds like nothing else I’ve ever heard. Fucked-up jazz, clattering improv, heavy metal skronk and the most incredible vocal performance of the year. A startlingly personal- and startlingly political album that, when you listen carefully, calls for something radically different, radically better. Hysteria as the motor for political change. An album that’s truly changed me.

Four Tet- Ringer
Alex always does the writing about electronic releases on RoR because I haven’t got a clue where to start. This is techno, right (cos of the bpm, yeah?), but it’s also trance (at least, it’s trance-inducing). Whatever- it’s got the art of euprohic, 4/4 minimalism down to a treat.

Valerio Cosi- Heavy Electronic Pacific Rock
Saxophone ragas, motorik opuses, free jazz wig outs and electronic manipulation par excellence. A sense of beatific delirium underpins the whole album. Cosi’s only 24 as well. Remarkable!

Religious Knives- The Door
Strident psych/art-rock with Nico-esque vocals and much underlying darkness. I’ve only listened to it twice- neither time carefully- so I can’t write too much, but it’s really grabbed me.

Thee Silver Mt.Zion Memorial Orchestra- 13 Blues for 13 Moons
Abandons the sacred harp singing, Jewish folk and chamber music influences and goes for a full on rock hoedown. Achieves the old ASMZ trick of being beautiful, desperate, sad and hopeful all at the same time: a tiny beacon of hope permeating through to the darkest times.

Philip Jeck- Sand
Haunt-o-logical. The finest album of vinyl manipulation I’ve heard (and nowhere near as cold as that descriptor implies).


Lovvers- Think EP
Snotty, abrasive punk but with a great ear for a melody and a nicely terrible 60s psych/surf production. You’ll be humming bits all day. Lovvers related release to come on RoR in 2009!

July Skies- The Weather Clock
Inspired by postwar utopianism (New Towns, The Festival of Britain), personal memories (holidays to Wales by Train) and Slowdive’s Pygmalion. Beautifully haunting, and my favourite artwork of the year.

Eric Chenaux- Sloppy Ground
Gentle, woozy psych-folk with some excellent guitar wig outs and lovely lyrics.

Teenage Panzerkorps- Games for Slaves
Lofi, teutonic post-punk from San Francisco. Everything I like about The Fall without everything I don’t like about The Fall. Dark and at once repulsive and seductive like an East German block of flats.

The Bug- London Zoo
Dystopian anger, massive bass and a supreme example of how to use space to make a track sound massive.


Portishead- Third
Cloudland Canyon- Lie In Light
High Places- The Storm
Lords- Everything Is People
So’eza- 7 Obstacles
Hercules & Love Affair- ST
Antony & the Johnsons- Another World EP
Final- Dead Air
Why?- Alopecia
Deerhunter- Microcastle
M83- Saturdays=Youth


Mercury Rev- Snowflake Midnight
Wilderness (k)no(w)here
Fuck Buttons- Street Horrsing
British Sea Power- Do You Like Rock Music?


Fennesz- The Black Sea
The Dead Science- Villainaire
David Byrne & Brian Eno- Everything That Happens Will Happen Today
The Lindstrom album
Nomo- Ghost Rock
Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy- Lie Down In The Light (well, I’ve only listened to it once so I can’t pass judgement yet)
Gang Gang Dance- Saint Dymphna
Atlas Sound- Let The Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel
Metronomy- Nights Out
School of the Seven Bells- Alpinisms
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds- Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!
Advisory Circle – Other Channel

21 December 2008

How We Run This Website – Ribcage

Posted by Alex at 11:48 pm


One of the things we say in our manifesto is that anyone could do what we are doing. This post (below the fold) describes the technical nuts and bolts of how this site works so you can maybe do the same. In particular it describes the genesis of the software that runs this site – Ribcage. We get a fair bit of e-mail about it, which I am always very pleased to answer.

Myself and The Fabulous Mr Eric Lee are going to host the first annual ROR hackathon in January – the intention being twofold. First to expand Ribcage beyond its current parameters – to interface with Last.fm and Musicbrainz properly, to add details of gigs for our various artists, to allow users to be informed of updates more easily. Secondly and more vitally, it is also to make Ribcage a WordPress plugin that anyone can install and use. The implication is, we hope, obvious: anyone who can run a blog will be able to run a download label. With the new WordPress 2.7 allowing plugins to be installed direct from the repository without messing around with FTP and the like, this means that you could go from a standard blog to a label blog in less than five minutes – imagine the possibilities!

Photo by flickring.

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16 December 2008

It’s All Gone Quiet Over Here

Posted by Dave at 5:02 pm

But it’ll get much louder soon!

We’ve got new albums from artists old and new – including our first international release – in the pipeline for early 2009. We hope to have the first of these out in mid-January, and further details will be posted shortly. This includes a new album from Les Étoiles, which we are all very excited about.

EL Heath Goes OfflineEric's Installation

Fear not! Cardeston’s favourite martenot pioneer remains a Records on Ribs Recording Artist, but he’s one of five young Shropshire artists whose work is being showcased as part of an exhibition at The Hive gallery in Shrewsbury. The exhibition is called Vintage and celebrates five years of youth arts service at this location. All artists have naturally participated in the centre’s work during its lifetime. Eric has contributed a series of photographs of gorgeous idylls and supplied wind-up radios re-wired to play extracts from his Dusk Dappled Fall EP. It’s open until the 23rd of December, so get down there quick!

Talk Less, Say More – Go Lucky Lyrics

Talk Less, Say More has been kind enough to put together a lyric sheet for his critically acclaimed album Go Lucky.

Records On Ribs Fresher Compilation

Our friends at The Mic and High Society were kind enough to ask us to produce sampler CDs for their new membership. Each CD contains a track from each of our released records, plus a couple of preview tracks of forthcoming releases.

In classic Records On Ribs style, with a total disregard for sensible logistics and thinking we would save money, we decided to print the 300 odd CDs we required by hand. Actually this is a lie – we originally intended to do 600-800, but we didn’t have time. It took all night, and involved much weeping and gnashing of teeth from one half of the team who lay on the floor hoping that the damned guillotine would work.

For your amusement here are some photos below the fold.

For the curious, here is the track listing.

  1. Talk Less, Say More – Vs 29 of Eugene Onegin *
  2. EL Heath – Cloud Sculptures
  3. Les Étoiles – Idyllic
  4. The Exploits of Elaine – Laputa *
  5. Talk Less, Say More and Coruschord – Sensurroundsound
  6. Strap the Button – Paperclipbeard The Pirate
  7. Gay Death Probe – Last One In Is A Yearbook Editor
  8. Sweet Potato – Hidden Variables *
  9. EL Heath – The Brook At The Bottom Of My Garden (Talk Less, Say More Reedit) *
  10. Elapse-O – Golden Ships
  11. The Butterfly – The Fate of the Entire Village Is In Your Hands *
  12. Gay Death Probe – Pancakes Or Waffles
  13. Strap The Button – Gusset Bastard Grip
  14. Talk Less, Say More – Sensations Spring
  15. EL Heath – Electric Storm
  16. We Show Up On RadaR – Hold The Fort

* previously unreleased.

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