14 February 2009


Posted by Dave at 2:38 pm

Hello there,

Very soon!

Very soon!

We’ve just taken delivery of our first professionally made release: Sweet Potato’s very very excellent album ‘Mash’. We’re doing it as a joint release with the lovely folks at Foetal Orange (run by Dom and Jack of Sweet Potato and Strap the Button) and expect it to be out within a week or two. The CDs have a four page liner booklet and are fully carbon neutral.

It’s an extraordinary record- quite unlike anything else we’ve heard. It’s somewhere between Ornette Coleman, Faith No More, Gentle Giant and post-Wyatt Soft Machine. Operatic vocals, free jazz wigouts, stonking riffs and curveballs aplenty.

20 January 2009

Isn’t it about time we released something?…

Posted by Dave at 1:21 pm



Thanks to all those who came to the show last night, a great success we feel. Uzi & Ari, Fists and Line all played stonking sets and much merriment was had.

12 January 2009

Pick of oh eight (Pt.2: Jell)

Posted by Jell at 10:13 pm

It’s the new year, which means best of lists, so here’s mine. 5 of my favourite albums released in twenty hundred and eight.

Lil Wayne – Tha Carter IIILil Wayne - Carter III

Lil Weezy doesn’t so much play with words as shoot at their feet to make them dance for him. The opening four tracks on ‘Tha Carter III’ are as good as any three consecutive tracks you’ll ever hear on a hip-hop album, and the Kanye West remix of ‘Lollipop’, is my track of the year, not least because it contains the best lines on safe sex ever written (see below). The rest of the album varies, (too much r&b), but Lil Wayne has made his own style, like a more musically-aware Old Dirty Bastard, and his inventiveness makes the whole record big fun. This was the biggest selling album of the US in 2008; gangsta rap with something to brag about.

“I’m in your, neighborhood, area, CD thing, tape deck, iPod, your girlfriend, and she say I got great sex, safe sex is great sex, better wear a latex’ cause you don’t want that late text That “I think I’m late,” text.”

TV on the Radio – Dear ScienceTV On The Radio - Dear Science

TVOTR strike that precarious balance between arty experimentalism and emotional accessibility. Dear Science sees them move on from the buzzing ruggedness of the amazing ‘Return to Cookie Mountain’ and embrace a more polished, but equally visionary and fully realised sound. This band have found their own creative space, where well-chosen words cascade evenly over a sound relentlessly modern but also fully poetic.

“What’s this dying for”? Asks the Stork that soars with the Owl, high above canyon’s mighty walls. Owl said “Death’s a door, that love walks through. In and out. In and out. Back and forth. Back and forth”.

Why? – AlopeciaWhy? - Alopecia

The latest record from Why? sees Yoni Wolf delivering his lines on death and relationships in his characteristic rap/whine over arrangements of piano, xylophone, bass, guitar and drums. I can see why this mightn’t sound appealing. But the arrangements are perfect. The chord progressions, melodies, beats and rhymes all come together like they’ve been lovingly crafted by skilled artisans. Yoni’s words are the centrepiece, his clever rhymes are more than just wordplay. The imagery is vivid and stays with you. It shows Yoni’s soul in all its anxious loves and toil.

“Even though I haven’t seen you in years, yours’ is a funeral I’d fly to from anywhere.”

Subtle – ExitingArmSubtle - ExitingARM

Set against Yoni Wolf’s sometimes uncomfortably raw personal monologues are (his old bandmate) Doseone’s abstract collage of characters and narrative. The sparkling production of pulsing synths, humming guitar and cracking beats give this epic tale a directness that nicely anchors the sprawling metaphysics of ‘HourHeroYes’. Doseone remains, for my money, the best rapper in the game. His game might be a little different to everyone else’s, but isn’t that the point? Subtle also win the prize for one of my favourite gigs of the year.

“When last we left HourHeroYes, he was one part endless, two parts death.”

The Field – The Sound of LightThe Field - The Sound Of Light

When I heard The Field’s 2007 debut ‘From Here We Go Sublime’, I was, like everyone else, mesmerized, but also slightly annoyed that I hadn’t come up with the idea first. It is, after all, a simple premise. Tiny, single-note size samples of records chopped and repeated over the pulse of kick drum and hi-hat. ‘The Sound of Light’ takes this imprint and stretches it out into 4 15 minute cycles. This is minimal techno as if made by Steve Reich, and totally engrossing.

4 January 2009

Gigs Imminent!

Posted by Dave at 7:57 pm

Uzi & Ari Poster

Hello you.

Exciting release news shortly. For now, a couple of gigs in Nottingham we’re helping to promote. Our very own EL Heath plays the second, with a little bit of help from me.

Clique Clack & recordsonribs.com present…
@ The Hand & Heart Gallery, Derby Road (just before Canning Circus if you’re coming from town), Monday 19th January. £4 (£3 NUS)

Like all great pop bands, Uzi&Ari marry instant and intuitive songwriting with the desire to experiment and push personal boundaries. Be it through texture, tone or structure, Uzi&Ari’s songs never miss the opportunity to explore their limits or pursue things to a natural or unnatural end. There is a great patience at play in the development of each song which is perhaps masked at first by its more immediate elements – great pop hooks, joyous melodies, boy/girl vocals. The instant gratification that is the essence of pop music is to be had in abundance; yet for the more careful listener, layers upon layers of sound and rhythm can be peeled away to your heart’s content. If a musical frame of reference is needed, think The Postal Service, To Rococo Rot, or a more urgent The Album Leaf.
Watch : www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJpCx6MIxks
Listen : www.myspace.com/benshepard
Read : www.clumsycongregation.com

Nottingham’s finest shambolic indie outfit, recalling early Pavement, Silver Jews, Cat Power, The Moldy Peaches, and a whole bunch of other music that fits in to the bracket of GOOD. Always unpredictable, always fun.

Until recently, LINE was an electronic sideline to Neil Wells’ main musical interests, including the bands Seachange (Matador), Savoy Grand (Pickled Egg/Glitterhouse) and Escapologists. Then he realised that sounding like a depressed Kraftwer= awesome. Line’s debut LP, ‘Hearts’, spins strands of lo-fi electro, acid, indie rock and techno into heartrending love songs and is scheduled for a February 9th, 2009 release on Uncharted Audio.

And then….

Records on Ribs, Drowned In Sound & Highsoc present…
@ Lee Rosy’s Tea, Broad Street. £not much

Returning to Lee Rosy’s for the third time following supports for Stars of the Lid, this show will see Glissando accompanied by The Fleeting Glimpse Ensemble: Paul Elam (guitar/percussion), Sophie Green (violin) and Lauren Smith (cello). Haunting ambience combined with songwriting that displays a wondrous gift for melody. Fans of Low, Dead Can Dance, Bat for Lashes and Stars of the Lid will find much to enjoy.

“it plays like a majestic dream. And it’s one you’ll never want to wake up from.”- NME (album review)

“This record completely took me over for the whole 70 minutes. I was hanging on every chord waiting for their next move.”
Comfort Comes 9/10

“Low meets Mogwai, only with fragments of Regina Spektor at her most restrained. Exceptional.”
RockFood 5/5

“the more sedate moments culled from Set Fire to Flames back catalogue are an underlying influence as are both the measured and mercurial montages cast into the public eye by early career Sigur Ros and Godspeed You Black Emperor”.
Losing Today

Sumptuous chamber-folk from Graham Jones of The Exploits of Elaine/The Good Anna. Haunted memories linger in the manner of Antony & the Johnsons, Sufjan Stevens or a low key The National.

EL Heath creates breathtakingly beautiful rural ambience inspired by Harmonia, Yann Tiersen, Stars of the Lid and the countryside around his Shropshire home. Heath will be playing his martenot and will be joined for this show by David Bell of The Exploits of Elaine.

3 January 2009

A Plea for Peeled Eyes & Generous Hearts

Posted by Dave at 1:59 pm

Hello there,

Our good friends Souvaris have had rather a lot of expensive gear nicked from their practice space in Nottingham.

Please keep an eye out, and maybe buy an album or two of theirs to help in some tiny, tiny, tiny way. They’re a mighty fine band- sprightly post-rock that’s full of joie de vivre and feeling. Fans of Tarentel, Neu! and Mogwai should most certainly investigate. We’ve listened to a lot of post-rock here at RoR HQ and most of it’s shit, but this most certainly is not and we unreservedly recommend it.

Here’s their missive…


Hello there,

Souvaris’ practice space was broken in to last night or the night before, and we lost some of our most precious (and expensive) gear.
Missing are the following:

* 1 x 1978 Fender Musicmaster

Natural wood finish with a black scratchplate. In a soft case bag. Serial number to follow. Looks a lot like picture 1.

* 1 x Korg Triton LE Keyboard

Looks like Photo 2, although very “well-travelled”. Couple of the knobs missing, a big fat scratch above the pitch bend, a cigarette burn over on the right hand side.

* 1 x Clavia Nord Lead

As per photo 3. Doesn’t even work properly unless you know how to coax it, and thus of almost no value to anyone but me.

Also stolen was a crappy Behringer 4 track mixer, 2 x guitar pedals (a boss overdrive and some ancient delay pedal made by god knows who) and a Gator keyboard case worth about £80 in its own right.

If you hear anything about any of this stuff, please let me know. Anything at all… we desperately need to get this stuff back. I’ve had my entire set up stolen, and have no idea how I would even begin to afford to replace it.

You can get me at ichbinsimmo at gmail dot com, or on 07807 221082. Please pass info about the stolen stuff on to anyone you can think of (especially musicians in and around the Nottingham area), and feel free to repost this on message boards, etc.

Thanks – we’re really upset about this, and would do anything to get this gear back.


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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

14 October 2008

An Open Letter To Formica

Posted by Dave at 8:19 am

I have just emailed the following to the Formica company after they forced our good friends My Formica Table to change their name:

Dear Formica,

So, you see fit to stop a group of people releasing music for free under the name ‘My Formica Table’ because you own the letters FRMOIAC when they’re put in a different order and you didn’t want them to use them. How grown up of you. In all honesty, I’m surprised that we – the people – hadn’t stopped them earlier. They were, after all, using the word ‘table’ with staggering impudence. Everytime I went to eat my tea in my dining room I found the whole eating experience very confusing. I put the food on the ‘table’- but this was not a table like My Formica Table the record label. It was a wooden one for putting food on. My miniscule brain really struggled to cope with these two uses of the word table. I can only imagine the trouble I would have been in had I had a Formica Table in my dining room.

Seriously: you bunch of staggeringly petty dullards. A group of people put a few years work into releasing music by DIY bands onto the internet for free (do you get that? making no profit), increasing the number of people who listen to this music by an enormous number. Having built a following, you tell them they have to change their name (which was meant reverently, because they’re fans of formica tables). You say their name causes “detriment” to the “distinctiveness” and “reputation” your trademark. I’ll tell you what causes ‘detriment’ to ‘reputations’- being petty killjoys. When you’ve got time, read Wilhelm Reich’s ‘Listen, Little Man’. You might recognise some of its insights.

All is not lost thankfully, because My Formica Table (that’s the record label, not the thing some people eat their tea off) is reborn as Foetal Orange, although how I’m going to cope eating my daily dose of citrus I do not know. The orange industry is surely bracing itself for a terminal decline to its reputation and distinctiveness.


Records on Ribs

16 September 2008

Much Lovve for Records on Ribs

Posted by Dave at 2:12 pm

Hi all. An exciting month here at Records on Ribs towers. Scroll down to be filled with  joyous news some good news and some now less good news (starting with the latter).

No Lovve

That news that was here before, it might not happen. You can probably guess why if you read what it was.

Radio, Live Transmission

We were very humbled to be designated ‘Website of the Week’ on BBC 6Music’s Tom Robinson show on Saturday. Some lovely things were said about this here label and Talk Less, Say More’s Song About a Dream About a Phonecall from ‘Go Lucky’ was flung out across the airwaves (and down fibre-optics) to listeners across the globe. To listen to the show, click here. We’re mentioned about 1hr20 in, but listen to the whole thing: it’s worth it.

We’ve also been picked up by the good people (and believe us, they really are good people) over at indiestreetradio. Many of our releases are featured- along with much other fine music- on this podcast and this podcast.

Last & Least

Some little titbits of tantalisation for your perusal and consideration. Firstly, we point you in the direction of re:press– a fine group of people who’re releasing some top notch philosophy/critical theory/fiction/poetry for free under Creative Commons via the internet (with the request that you ask your local library to stock them, or buy one yourself if you have the cash) – including works by philosopher de rigeur – Alain Badiou. And lastly, we leave you with the news that new releases from Talk Less, Say More and El Heath are in the pipeline of hope and we should have something from The Exploits of Elaine- those psychedelic dwellers of the folky subconscious- around the new year.