25 November 2009

Releases Ahoy!

Posted by Dave at 5:15 pm

Newness imminent from Records on Ribs!

All The Empires of the World


Yes! After their critically acclaimed ‘Last Rites EP’, All The Empires of the World will (very) shortly be releasing their full length debut Blessings with us. It sees them moving in a slightly more progressive direction, but without toning down any of their trademark stargazing sludge. A second version- featuring contributions from members of Astrohenge, The Exploits of Elaine, …And Stars Collide and others will be out sometime in the new year too. Bonus!

Spiral Jacobs


Mr Dominic Fox has just published an excellent book. It is worth quoting the blurb in full:

To live well in the world one must be able to enjoy it: to love, Freud says, and work. Dejection is the state of being in which such enjoyment is no longer possible. There is an aesthetic dimension to dejection, in which the world appears in a new light. In this book, the dark serenity of dejection is examined through a study of the poetry of Hopkins and Coleridge, and the music of ‘depressive’ black metal artists such as Burzum and Xasthur. The author then develops a theory of ‘militant dysphoria’ via an analysis of the writings of the Red Army Fraction’s activist-theoretician, Ulrike Meinhof. The book argues that the ‘cold world’ of dejection is one in which new creative and political possibilities, as well as dangers, can arise. It is not enough to live well in the world: one must also be able to affirm that another world is possible.

And we will be releasing his excellent companion album, Prolegomenon. Eight dysphoric tracks of hopeful alienation: International Socialist Ambient Black Metal for a cold world and for a better world. Cover art from Toby Price.

EL Heath

Fresh from touring Europe with epic45, EL Heath is putting the finishing touches to an album about the long clsoed Snailbeach Lead Mines, which are near his Shropshire home. Tracks evoke the eerieness of desolation whilst purveying a sense of the clatter that once must have filled these mines. Three tracks can be heard on his myspace, including Heath’s first venture into ‘conventional’ songwriting with the heartbreaking ‘Tragedy at George’s Shaft’. We will be actively seeking donations for this release, with all proceeds going to the Shropshire Mines Trust. The new year will also see Heath release his mini-album Shropshire Hill Country via Wayside and Woodland.



We’re just a little bit excited about this one. Ga’an are a Chicago band who blend the aesthetics of prog, kraut, ambient, post-punk and black metal to create something compellingly otherworldly. They’ve self-released two tapes thus far and we’re mind-blowingly excited to be able to re-release them. Vultures of the Horn II: Living Tribunal is one of my absolute favourite pieces of music right now.

Earth Defence Force

Last but by no means least, purveyors of the finest hardcore/punk/metal Earth Defence Force will be gracing Records On Ribs with their debut album once we sort album artwork out. Recorded by production genius Ian Boult at the marvellous Stuck On A Name Recordings, Nottingham. Imminent riffs.

6 November 2009

Music for Free

Posted by Dave at 1:55 pm

With straw-men, insults and shoddy evidence flying around on either side, the recent debates on filesharing and free music (sparked by Lily Allen’s now infamous blog post) exlempify our inability to approach an issue with an open mind and a positive argument.

Free Music Can Be Good For Musicians

Our artists evidently think so, or they wouldn’t have allowed us to distribute it.

I still believe that the primary reason most artists choose to make music is to get their music heard. Buying a guitar, amplifier and a few pedals will cost about £1000.  Practice rooms are about a tenner an hour. Transport to and from practice and gigs is expensive.

It takes time, too.  Months writing music; weeks practicing it; days playing it live and recording it. Hours of burning CD-Rs, printing labels, folding, stapling and assembling. For what? 100 CD-Rs sold (eventually) at £5 a pop? A profit of £300-£400, split between the band. There are easier ways to make money. Lily Allen says free music damages these ‘up and coming artists’. How? They each lose £80 after spending £2000-£3000?

Against that, you can distribute your music for free. EL Heath would not have sold almost 5,000 CD-Rs; but he’s had that number of downloads from RoR and our uploads on Legal Torrents. Indeed, he probably wouldn’t sell that many CDs/LPs if he had a deal with a reasonably sized indie label and some nice reviews in  The Wire. The musician has lost their £80, but they have gained 4,900 listeners.

Releasing music for free can be good for musicians.

Free Music Can Be Bad For Musicians

There are limits on what you can do if you release your music for free.

You can never quit your job to become a full-time musician. You cannot use expensive studios unless you are already rich. You will not even make back the money you spend making your music. It is financially exclusive. Whilst new technology means anyone can make a decent sounding album for not a lot of cash, it’s always going to be beyond the financial means of some people. Yet given that any cash injection from sales or a label would only come after some initial recording, it is difficult to see how people financially excluded from making music are included in the present system.

Furthermore, we don’t believe it is the fault of free music that some people cannot afford to make music. It is a fault of the system. Our economics dictate that people are excluded from a number of activities. Free downloads can only be blamed for damaging DIY musicians from within the capitalist system.

Nevertheless, it is in a capitalist system that we find ourselves and this makes it difficult. Many of our dearest friends struggle to make music within that system and are finding it an ever greater struggle as people stop paying for their records because they believe music should be free.

Yet it is precisely because we are in a capitalist system that we will fight for something else. A system where people are not excluded from making music because they have no money. A system where people are not excluded from buying enough music to satisfy their desires because they have no money. Free music is a utopia, in the present; on behalf of the future…

Free Music can be Good for the World

We believe in things for themselves, not as market commodities. Hakim Bey laments the fact that the internet did not bring about the revolution it promised: he cannot find free carrots online. No, but he can now find free music. Perhaps our example will inspire others to think that they would like to share what they have produced with passion and love for others, for free. Perhaps if enough people did that money would be less important. A gift economy: from each according to their ability to each according to their interests. The prize carrot grower wants all to share her produce, and offers her carrots for free. Furthermore, she takes great pride in sharing her knowledge of how to grow such carrots.

In our utopia, all will be the property of all. The power of the commons will be restored to the people, and from the commons there will be land to farm, carrots to grow and music to listen to.

Free music is good for the world.

18 September 2009

The Stars come out tonight….

Posted by Tamsin at 11:57 am


To Leave A Mark, Les Étoiles’ homage to his home town of Brignorth, is released today, and will be launched in style at a party at Jam Cafe in Nottingham tonight. Come down from 8pm to watch Les Étoiles and El Heath perform, and listen to the ROR DJs spin some tunes whilst enjoying a delicious beer or two. If you can’t make it (and why not?), you’ll have to make do with downloading the album – it’s certainly one of my favourite records of the year so far.

8 September 2009


Posted by Dave at 8:29 pm

All The Empires of the World Announce New Album

We’re delighted to announce that AtEotW are continuing in the classic heavy metal tradition of announcing your retirement only to come back with new material. Thus spake main man Mark Thomas:

Finally! An album! We’ve decided to stop faffing around with EPs – they’re for squares: OFFICI. The provisional title is TITAN OF LIGHT

Yes. Exxxtreme slvdge kvlt epvic mvtvl. Provisional (again, because commitment is an unreliable frame of reference) track listing is as follows:

1. The Sands Of Saturn
2. Of The Father/Ghosts Of The Sargasso
3. [I Perceive Your Resonance]
4. ???? ?????
5. Titan Of Light
6. The Prophet I
7. The Prophet II: Soleil

If you’ve seen us live, you might have heard the first track – the rest are all BRAND FUCKIN NEW HOLMES. All tracks are, of course, 700 billion years long. Expect guest appearances from BARE MANS.

So now you know.

Meanwhile, the now inaccurately titled Last Rites continues to impress, making Sputnik Music’s recommended ‘Under the Radar’ releases of ’09 so far.

Leaving its Mark

Les Étoiles’ forthcoming album To Leave A Mark is more accurately titled though: a quite wonderful essay on its themes here (which we’re going to print as liner notes for physical copies) and a lovely review here. Both pieces really add worthwhile readings to this stunning album.

It is, of course, out on Friday the 18th September (as free download from here and a ltd.edition CD with photographs and lyric sheets from here and Norman Records), and we’re having a very special launch party at Jam Cafe in Nottingham to celebrate, with EL Heath and Les Étoiles playing live sets.

23 August 2009

Mailing List

Posted by Alex at 6:43 pm

We’ve had a mailing list for a while, but no easy way of getting your e-mail on it.

You can now sign up to it via the form on the right hand side of this and any page. Expect monthlyish updates on what we are up to straight to your inbox. Grand.

20 August 2009


Posted by Alex at 4:24 pm

I Don’t Know Where I Am, I Don’t Know What I’m Doing

You wait a year for a new release by Talk Less, Say More and like the proverbial bus, two come along at once. I Don’t Know Where I Am, I Don’t Know What I’m Doing is out today, the companion piece to last year’s Go Lucky, but a great record in its own right, the finest in pop music.

As some might have already noticed, we have a presence at SoundCloud. You can submit demos and that sort of thing via our DropBox. It is very well designed website indeed. Here is a track from the above for your delight.

Talk Less, Say More – You Were Right About Me by Records On Ribs

15 August 2009

It’s About Now

Posted by Alex at 2:18 pm

‘It’s About Time’ is now out and you are able to download it. Please do. It’s a really clever record, filled with inventive beats and smart rhymes and is certainly more than worth some of your, ahem, time.

14 August 2009

Militant Dysphoria

Posted by Alex at 6:03 pm

Dominic Fox is the author of the frankly brilliant Cold World that is forthcoming from the marvelous Zero Books. Via Hopkins and Coleridge as well as Ulrike Meinhof, it is a work that considers the positive political aspects of sadness, seeing dejection as a force capable of unhooking someone from the world in order to think a better one.

In celebration of the book’s release we are pleased to be putting out a record by Spiral Jacobs, one of Dominic’s music projects, entitled Prolegomenon, which will serve, indeed, as a musical prolegomenon to the work. The following video gives a hint of what to expect when it arrives in late September: spiralling blackened ambience drifting through withered forests, investigating ‘unholy minimalism’, an attempt to use the techniques of minimalist composers like Arvo Pärt but with disharmony and in the spirit of Burzum and Xasthur. Fascinatingly bleak and utterly unlike anything we have put out before.

Don’t forget, ‘It’s About Time’ by Talk Less, Say More comes out tomorrow.

7 August 2009

Polly Put The Kettle On

Posted by Dave at 1:38 pm

Calling the Kettle Blacksmith

We’re delighted to announce that we’ll be putting out the debut album by Kettle Blacksmith before too long. 97/100 people will think it’s plain stupid, 2/100 will think it’s hilarious when they’re zoned out at 3 in the morning and 1/100 will think it’s the most incredible work of genius they’ve heard this year. A lot of the time we’re in that 97/100, sometimes we’re in the 2/100 and occasionally we’re in that 1/100. Suffice to say it’s a rather surreal/stupid trip. If you imagine Peter Cook was a tramp who recorded a record with Chris Corsano you’ll be along the right lines.

Not Records on Ribs, but almost as good

In All The Empty Houses

As well as the rather spiffing new single from We Show Up On RadaR, we highly recommend you part with your cash to purchase epic45’s beautiful new mini-album In All The Empty Houses. The title track will most certainly be accompanying me to Broadcasting House when Radio 4 rectify their overlooking of me for Desert Island Discs thus far, and RoR spotters will be pleased to note that EL Heath of this parish plays on the album. He’ll be buggering off round the UK and Europe as support for their tour in the autumn too (as well as playing in their live band).


If you’re after something a little more raucous then we recommend our good friends Lovvers’ debut album OCD GO GO GO GIRLS which comes out this Monday (the 10th) on Wichita. Catchy guitar punk like what they know how to make on the other side of the Atlantic, but with some definite UK influences too.

And finally, if you’re after something a little cheaper (freer, indeed!)- but just as good- we cannot recommend Scarr & Burd’s free-to-download release ‘Mantile 12’ enough. Johnny Scarr is a legend in the Nottingham underground music scene: a finely moustache’d purveyor of top quality gigs (under the ‘Mantile’ moniker). Quite frankly I’ve no idea who this Burd person is, but together with Johnny (s)he has produced one of my favourite releases of the year so far: two long tracks of ghostly industrial ambience far far better than anything Emeralds/Oneohtrix Point Never has put out (good though those bands are). It can be downloaded for free: a physical release will be available soon and we’ll be sure to keep you in the loop. An accompanying solo release from Mr.Scarr is also available for free, although I’m yet to get round to listening to it.

6 August 2009

Pink Vinyl Rules Okay

Posted by Alex at 11:03 am

We Show Up On RadaR

Indie pop geniuses wot-we-were-very-pleased-to-put-their-album-out We Show Up On RadaR have a delicious new record in the pipeline, put out by the excellent Hello Thor Records who are also home to the marvelous Fists. It’s a double A-side single on limited-edition perfect pink vinyl featuring two ditties, Mountain Top and A Spider On A Thread, and is out on the 17th of August. The former features a Speak & Spell, which always marks a work out for my attention and is a song which captures the difficulties of getting someone to fall in love (with you) brilliantly. It is highly lickable and can be pre-purchased via the Hello Thor website.

If you go down to Nottingham Central Library on the 15th of August you are sure for a big surprise, as We Show On RadaR will be cranking out their tunes among the stacks of books – wine and cake will also be in evidence. Could get cakey, worth a punt, RSVP on Facebook.