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Occultation news

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31 December, 2013

Trick Mammoth: Floristry pre-orders

We're now taking orders for Trick Mammoth's Floristry and copies ordered now will start shipping next week. This is your chance to get your hands on it well before official release in late February and, when purchased from us, you get a CD thrown in, plus initial copies bought from us come with a gorgeous poster:
 We also have a number of other Fishrider titles in stock, including the Males album Run Run Run/MalesMalesMales (again, LP with CD included when bought from us) and The Prophet Hens' Popular People Do Popular People CD, which has been making quite a lot of "best of 2013" lists. Tomorrow we'll be announcing news of a special Occultation Sale which includes a special offer on buying all three of these together at a much-reduced price, along with bargains on items by The Wild Swans, The Distractions, Factory Star, The Granite Shore and The June Brides, amongst others.

07 December, 2013

Trick Mammoth - "Pinker Sea"

Here's Pinker Sea, from Trick Mammoth's Floristry LP, out on Fishrider/Occultation in February 2014, 180g LP/CD.

28 November, 2013

Wild Swans Super-Deluxe: ROTW orders

Just a quick note to thank everyone who ordered The Wild Swans The Coldest Winter For A Hundred Years Super-Deluxe Edition and hasn't yet received it for your patience. We're packing up all orders right now and they'll go out either tomorrow (Friday 29/11/13) or Monday at the latest. As they're all going by courier rather than by post, they should reach you fairly quickly - though it'll depend where in the world you are, of course. Thanks again for your support and your patience, this has been by far the biggest project we've ever undertaken and we hope you'll all agree it's been worth waiting for.

18 November, 2013

The Distractions: Parabolically Yours retrospective Pledge campaign

Below is a Pledge widget allowing you to download a free, previously unreleased track from the forthcoming Distractions retrospective Parabolically Yours, which is being released by our friends at Hidden Masters soon. There'll be more info on this to come shortly but sign up now, get that free download and you'll be kept informed of developments anyway...

27 October, 2013

Wild Swans orders: current status

We'd like to thank everyone who's already ordered our Wild Swans Coldest Winter vinyl editions. The Super-Deluxe is now sold-out, although we've held a few back in case of any issues and may be able to sell some of those in a few weeks' time. 

The thing that's now holding us up is that Incandescent has been delayed again. This is beyond our control, all the pressing plants are struggling to keep up with demand for vinyl as Christmas approaches and a lot of records on many labels are delayed. We expected to have both albums in August! We're talking to Vinyl180, the label releasing it, every day and they tell me both the Gatefold and Hardback editions will be here over the next week or two. 

As soon as we get them, all orders for the SDL will ship as quickly as we can get them packaged up. Thanks to everyone for their patience, it'll be worth it!

Orders for the Coldest Winter Deluxe and Standard editions only are shipping more or less immediately. We'd like to remind you that the Deluxe is a very lovely thing in its own right (see pictures below):
It's only available from us, if you buy from the usual retailers you'll only get the double LP, lovely though that is.

13 October, 2013

Wild Swans Coldest Winter Deluxe and Standard orders

We're now taking orders for the Deluxe and Standard editions of The Wild Swans Coldest Winter For A Hundred Years double vinyl LPs. The Standard edition is 2x180g LPs in a heavy-duty gatefold sleeve and inners, and it'll be on general release, though the Deluxe (pictured) is only available here. It comes in a specially-designed full-colour outer package containing 1) double LP, 2) shrinkwrapped CD in outer/inner sleeves 3) poster 4) postcard 5) badge 6) "Coldest Winter" insert. It's gorgeous and a Mr P. Simpson of Liverpool has declared himself "completely happy" for the first time ever.

We also have savings on Vinyl180's vinyl Incandescent if you buy both. There's a gatefold edition similar to Coldest Winter and a special hardback book version, we should have stock of both soon.

Some items are heavy and need to be sent by courier or other signed-for service so shipping is expensive. For orders from outside the UK and Europe Zone 1, we've negotiated lower courier prices for a limited period based on shipping all orders at the same time, but prices in some zones will rise in November. As most of the material is previously released, there's no download but if you buy the Super-Deluxe or Deluxe you get a CD anyway.

If anyone wants to buy any configurations not shown, or with other items from our shop, please e-mail us for a price.

Finally, we've just half a dozen of the very limited "Super-Deluxe" edition left, we'll be offering these to the public soon but you can still order by choosing your region here. There's a comparison table and a gallery for the different editions.

07 October, 2013

Last few Wild Swans Super-Deluxe boxes

Remaining copies of the Wild Swans Coldest Winter Super-Deluxe Edition are now in single figures. If you want one click here then choose your region. We'll be taking orders for the Deluxe and Standard editions, plus both versions of Incandescent in a few days' time.

17 September, 2013

Wild Swans "Coldest Winter" Deluxe edition

We've recently posted pictures of the top-of-the-range Super-Deluxe Edition (SDL) of our Wild Swans The Coldest Winter For A Hundred Years reissues. and it's a thing of staggering beauty and presence. However the Deluxe (DL) is also gorgeous and will cost around half as much. In addition to the Standard (SD) version, which is "just" (!) a double LP in a heavy-duty gatefold sleeve with inner sleeves, the Deluxe includes the following extras, which are pictured above:
1) A shrinkwrapped CD containing all 22 tracks
2) A poster
3) A postcard
4) A badge
5) A special insert with the lyrics to the title track
6) A specially-printed full-colour outer box.

The DL edition isn't quite as limited as the SDL - though it is limited and only available from us and a few selected partners - and we hope to have stock of the LPs over the next few days (there've been delays at the pressing plant, there's nothing we can do about this, technical hitches, we're told) and we'll then be ready to start shipping them. The SDL will take a little longer as we've had to commission special protective packaging for it, to make sure it arrives safely. 

The Standard 2xLP and CD editions will be available in shops in a couple of weeks' time.

14 September, 2013

Wild Swans "Coldest Winter" Super-Deluxe - latest

Yes, we know, it's all taken far longer than expected... The thing that's holding it all up is the actual double LP, there've been delays, totally beyond our control, at the pressing plant but we've been promised we'll have them in a week or so, and we'd hope to start shipping the "Super-Deluxe" edition around the official release date of 29/9/13. 

We now have almost all the other components and, to prove its existence, we thought you might like to see a few photos. First this is the box with most of what goes inside it, but minus the main letterpress insert and the double LP:
The letterpress insert has been printed but needs to be left to dry for a few days before it's sent to us, to make sure there's no smudging. The artist responsible has sent us this picture:

As we hope you can see, this is the work of a craftsman, not some mass-produced plastic tat. You don't really get a sense of how special the boxes are from these photos, but wait until you've got them in your hands.

Now this is the bit where you need to pay attention: those of you who put your names down for these will be getting an e-mail probably over the next week or so, with details on how to pay for the Super-Deluxe edition. You'll then have a limited time to place your order. We'll send the payment details out in the order in which people signed up to the list but it'll be first-come, first-served and we're unlikely to have enough for everyone. We're just waiting for confirmation of the cost of insured courier delivery and for special protective packaging to be custom-made as we want to make sure these reach you in perfect condition, wherever in the world you are. We're keeping prices down as far as we can and we're not charging for all the hours we've put into this, but they've been very expensive to produce as so much of it is custom-made and we've got to send them by insured courier delivery to be safe.

As soon as we get the LPs we'll also have the Deluxe and Standard editions available. We'll have news on those soon. 

Finally, as some of you will know, Paul Simpson will be making an in-store appearance at Rough Trade East on Friday 4th October, a few days after official release, any of you in the London area on that day are more than welcome to come along and say "hello", it'd be lovely to see you.

We're almost there and it really is going to be worth it, when the boxes arrived the other day we were absolutely stunned at how gorgeous they are.

31 August, 2013

Prophet Hens Spanish review

There's a review of the Prophet Hens album, which is available from the Occultation Shop, which you can see in the original Spanish here.

Alternately, you can read a rough translation of it below:

"The Prophet Hens are a group from Dunedin, New Zealand and they sound just as good as every other group from Dunedin, New Zealand. Their songs are full of the same hedonistic, melodic spirit as The Bats, those same nimble, lovable Flying Nun guitars that were such a key part of the indie-pop concept. If we follow the invisible threads that run through the history of pop, we’re whisked off on a trip from the wonderful 1980s in New Zealand then all the way back to the Antipodes, this time with The Prophet Hens, who could re-conquer the universe in a perfect, inexhaustible combo with Boomgates, Dick Diver or Pop Singles. Popular People Do Popular People, their first record, released on Fishrider Records, is made up of little songs for a world that feels enormous to them, and these are exactly the kind of songs the world needs.

On the other side of the world

Over on the other side of the world, there’s a whole load of exciting bands who've been carrying on polishing pop music to a sheen for the last couple years or so. These are the heirs not just to the Dunedin Sound, but also the Sound of Young Scotland, The Triffids and The Go-Betweens and all the myriad C86 groups. As luck would have it, the current jangle pop revival comes at a time when the classics of the canon are merely being repeated over and over again, and its best and most brilliant groups seem to come from Australia and now from New Zealand. This is no coincidence because, back in the day a handful of key bands came from over there, explaining the sound of a generation which totally rejected synthesisers or stadium rock and instead went in for introspection, the sublimation of adolescent feeling and the melodies of The Byrds. This is where The Prophet Hens come from and it’s a background we’ve discussed many times before on these pages.

There’s a scene, and there’s a good reason for this conscious, constant acclaim for anything that comes from the other side of the world. These are nimble, magical hedonistic songs best heard behind the bedroom door. As Alex told you when he was talking about the first record by the equally wonderful Boomgates, The Prophet Hens are the kind of group everyone should discover in some forgotten corner of the Internet, on a cassette lost in a trunk full of souvenirs belonging to some friend or via an odd recommendation made during a conversation rooted in memory. This is a group who’ve turned the usual verse and chorus played with guitar, bass and drums into a raison d’ĂȘtre, and this is why all of the songs on Popular People Do Popular People drag me out away from telling the story of my own quiet yet deliciously dramatic everyday life; not in the same way as the everyday stories of Hospitality, whose second record we are awaiting with open arms, but more pop, younger and more carefree.

From everyday people to the same old faces

Even so, all this comes with an intense laconicism which distances them from other less common influences on the genre such as The Ocean Party, and reminds me a lot of the youthful emotion – both sad and happy at the same time - put across by the songs of Twerps or Pop Singles. However, when it comes to mentioning influences, we need to look at the very groups which put Dunedin on the international map: the harmonious, jangling melodies of The Bats along with the hint of artiness of The Verlaines live on in the songs of The Prophet Hens. They also mention The Chills, although we’d also refer you to the Submarine Bells, and The Clean, whose pop essence is splashed over many of the tracks on Popular People Do Popular People. The Prophet Hens have the virtues (and the faults, we mustn’t forget that this is still pop) of all of these, mixed together and shaken up into brilliant passages full of happiness and melancholy, as addictive and unusual as ‘Pretty’ or the fabulous ‘All Over The World’.

The opening four songs are unbeatable although the final stretch is a little on the repetitive side. The record isn’t round – bit of a surprise, that  - but since when did records matter in pop music? The important thing has always been the songs, and those of The Prophet Hens are surrounded by a halo of youthful mysticism which I’ve not found in any other group this year. I’ve fallen for them because they’re from Dunedin and they make the kind of music I’ve always fallen in love with, but I think everyone should try at least a mouthful of their cake. The Prophet Hens are all about going back to an age when nothing mattered too much, a time when every group seemed the most special in the universe and you could hear palpitations of pure childish ingenuity in the chords of their songs pealing in your ears."

06 August, 2013

Wild Swans news: In-Store appearance at Rough Trade East to promote reissues

We can announce that, on Friday 4th October 2013, there'll be a special in-store appearance at Rough Trade East in London to mark the reissues of two Wild Swans albums on vinyl. These are The Coldest Winter For A Hundred Years and Incandescent, both making their first appearance in 2xLP format. Further details will follow nearer the time.

28 July, 2013

Wild Swans "Coldest Winter" reissue update

Deluxe edition, artist's impression, above.
Work-in-progress photo of Super-Deluxe edition, above.

We thought we should let you know what's happening with the Wild Swans' Coldest Winter reissue. The original idea was simply to reissue the album on vinyl but it quickly gathered momentum and grew into by far the most complicated thing we've ever done, with several editions, LPs and CDs plus boxes, postcards, posters, other special inserts, etc. All this has to be designed, approved and manufactured, then it has to be delivered to us so we can assemble it (by hand!) then put it some proper protective packaging and send it all over the world by insured courier delivery. We expect to have stock of all the components well before the end of August, but until we've got a more definite idea we're not going to take anyone's money. The whole thing's been a lot of work and has taken far longer than expected, but we're confident that it'll be worth it.
The Super-Deluxe edition is now fully-subscribed, but we have a reserve list in case anyone drops out or we have any copies left over, if we do it'll be a handful at the most. You can sign up for the reserve list here.
The Deluxe edition, which is almost as spectacular, will be available only from us and perhaps a few of our partners. Again it'll be limited to a few hundred.
The Standard edition will be available from us hopefully in August or in shops at the end of September.
The vinyl Incandescent has also been delayed and we've been told it'll probably be ready in September. We should stress that this is being released by our friends at Vinyl180 rather than on Occultation, but we'll be getting copies and there'll be a discount for anyone who's bought the CW vinyl reissue from us.

In the meantime, we'll keep you informed.

Thanks for your patience, it will be rewarded...

06 July, 2013

Wild Swans Super-Deluxe edition list

Our list for the Super-Deluxe edition of The Wild Swans' The Coldest Winter For A Hundred Years is now complete. It's not going to be practical to make any more of these but we will now be opening a "reserve list" so that if anyone from the main list drops out or we find we've got any spare copies at the end of the process the people on it will get the first chance to buy them. You can sign up for the reserve list on the same page as before.

04 July, 2013

The Wild Swans Super-Deluxe, work-in-progress pictures

Above are a couple of photographs showing work-in-progress on the Super-Deluxe edition of the forthcoming Wild Swans vinyl reissue. The SD is now almost fully-subscribed, only a couple of places on our list left, though we'll then have a reserve list in case anyone drops out, we've already doubled our planned limited edition of this and we simply can't make any more as it's a huge amount of work. The sign-up page is here, first-come, first-served.

As you can see, they're very high-quality boxes, they'll be laser-engraved and then backed with a material to produce the final effect. The SD will also come with a few extras that won't be included in the Deluxe edition, whereas the Standard will be just a double LP, although it'll come on 180g vinyl in a high-quality gatefold sleeve with inner sleeves.

More information will follow, we're a little behind schedule on this but we should be ready to start taking orders soon, once we've worked out final costs.

17 February, 2013

Wild Swans reissues coming in 2013

As some eagle-eyed fans have already spotted, we're planning a 2LP reissue of The Wild Swans' The Coldest Winter For A Hundred Years in a few months' time. A lot of people have shown an interest in a vinyl edition so we'd like your input before taking any definite decisions. We're suggesting a double LP on 180g vinyl, with the original album on the first LP and all non-album Occultation tracks collected on the second, including the Tracks In Snow EP, featuring three tracks only officially available on a limited CD that sold out over a year ago. Like the album, these tracks have never been out on vinyl. 
If enough people want it, we'd consider doing an even more limited "super-deluxe" version, but we want to know what you'd like to see. If you click on the image above or here you'll be taken to a short questionnaire which'll help give us an idea of numbers and how you'd like us to go about it. 

If that weren't enough, we're also working with partners on a 2x180g reissue of the classic Incandescent compilation .We're aiming to release both at the same time which'd mean we'd be able to offer special pricing to anyone who buys both together. Again, most of this material has never been on vinyl and the original CD is long out of print. There are even plans for a truly spectacular deluxe hardback book format version.

More? Well, the band's classic debut single, The Revolutionary Spirit, has recently been chosen as the opening track on Cherry Red's huge Scared To Get Happy boxed set, due out in a few months. The box has further Occultation connections as it features Blue Orchids' Dumb Magician and The June Brides' Every Conversation.

2013 will also see a Distractions retrospective released - with Occultation involvement - by our friends at Hidden Masters, including everything the original band released and more. 

In other news, work will be getting underway soon on the Granite Shore album and, after the success of Moon / Cloud, we're hoping to coax The June Brides back into a studio too. As The End Of The Pier has done so well, there are radical plans NOT to wait 32 years before a third Distractions LP, although we'll have to see... We still have a few copies of the limited version of the 180g LP including a free poster when ordered from The Occultation Shop.

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