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Thursday, 06 March 2008

THE KILLS - Midnight Boom, Domino Recording Co

THE KILLS

Midnight Boom

Domino Recording Co

Format_dot_cdCD // £4.99

INDIE / ALTERNATIVE

Cat. Number: WIGCD184

"The eagerly anticipated 'Midnight Boom' sees The Kills offering their most stunning album yet. Their first album, 'Keep On Your Mean Side', won widespread critical acclaim, and gained them their ever passionate and devoted cool cult following. When the band returned in 2005 with 'No Wow', they came armed with an edgier, sharper sound that pushed rock 'n' roll boundaries, whilst maintaining their strong ties to the art world. The production on new album 'Midnight Bloom', featuring beats and studio smarts from Spank Rock's producer Alex Epton aka Armani XXXchange, combined with Alison's confident… Read more
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THE KILLS - Midnight Boom, Domino Recording Co

Wednesday, 05 March 2008

RHYS CHATHAM - Guitar Trio Is My Life!, RADIUM

RHYS CHATHAM

Guitar Trio Is My Life!

RADIUM

Format_dot_cd3CD // £22.99

INDIE / ALTERNATIVE

Cat. Number: TOE813

The proclamation 'Guitar Trio Is My Life!" sounds like something Tom Cruise might announce whilst bouncing on Oprah's sofa, hardly befitting the kind of radical intensity Chatham has brought to the electric guitar in his large-form ensembles, or indeed within the context of smaller outfits, as explored on this essential insight into the career of one of noise rock's key players. Glancing across the line-up of artists who've queued up to appear on Chatham's work reads like a who's who of avant-garde guitar groups. On Chatham's works you'll find icons in their own right from bands like… Read more
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RHYS CHATHAM - Guitar Trio Is My Life!, RADIUM

Tuesday, 04 March 2008

POLE - Steingarten Remixes, Scape

POLE

Steingarten Remixes

Scape

Format_dot_cdCD // £11.49

TECHNO / HOUSE

Cat. Number: SC50CD

Back in stock. Brilliant remix set from Pole that includes all the tracks from the 12" series plus a whole host of contributions exclusive to this format. The CD opens with the awesome Shackleton remix, his remake of "Achterbahn" making use of all those archetypal Skull Disco signatures - that submerged chord sound, shifting strings and wonky edits of the source material, all underpinned by that uber-warm, ultra deep sub bassline. This is Shackleton at his most contemplative and heavy, the end result sounding more like Pole's own wondrous first eponymous album than anything you could describe a… Read more
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POLE - Steingarten Remixes, Scape

Monday, 03 March 2008

CHRIS SCHLARB - Twilight & Ghost Stories, Asthmatic Kitty

CHRIS SCHLARB

Twilight & Ghost Stories

Asthmatic Kitty

Format_dot_cdCD // £11.99

FOLK / ROOTS

Cat. Number: AKR404

New on Asthmatic Kitty subsidiary Unusual Animals comes the first album by Chris Schlarb to be recorded under his own name. Previously the Long Beach resident has authored solo guitar records as Xn and as part of various groups with dispositions toward jazz and the avant-garde. On Twilight & Ghost Stories Schlarb recruited an army of additional musicians (including Sufjan Stevens Bhob Rainey and members of The Mars Volta and Dirty Projectors) to supply their own contributions to what seems to be a stream of consciousness continuous mix. However sporadic and seemingly disparate some … Read more
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CHRIS SCHLARB - Twilight & Ghost Stories, Asthmatic Kitty

Thursday, 28 February 2008

LOREN CONNORS - Night Through - Singles And Collected Works 1976-2004, Family Vineyard
BACK IN STOCK! Loren Connors is a name which still may not be familiar to many of you despite a career that spans over 30 years in the sphere of the most tantalising and independent stripped down guitar music ever produced. Emerging from a rich musical background, Connors (his Grandmother's surname, replacing MazzaCane) originally started recording and pressing-up his own records in the late 70s - but it was only in the late 80s that he achieved anything resembling popularity. It was a re-discovery by Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore, Forced Exposure's Jimm… Read more
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LOREN CONNORS - Night Through - Singles And Collected Works 1976-2004, Family Vineyard

Monday, 25 February 2008

GOLDFRAPP - Seventh Tree, Mute

GOLDFRAPP

Seventh Tree

Mute

Format_dot_cdCD // £7.49

INDUSTRIAL / WAVE / ELECTRO

Cat. Number: CDSTUMM280

It's come to be expected of Goldfrapp that each album arrives with its own set of themes, its own identity and self-contained universe. Not to mention its own wardrobe for Alison. After the anthropomorphic psychosexual electro rock of Black Cherry came Supernature's 21st century glam, with both albums finding plenty of chart success for Goldfrapp and her cohort Will Gregory. Seventh Tree is a clear departure from all those uptempo pop songs, occupying itself instead with English psychedelia and a kind of cinematic folksy feel, not to mention a wealth of clown references: aside from the harlequin … Read more
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GOLDFRAPP - Seventh Tree, Mute
GOLDFRAPP - Seventh Tree, Mute

GOLDFRAPP

Seventh Tree

Mute

Format_dot_cdCD + DVD // £11.99

INDUSTRIAL / WAVE / ELECTRO

Cat. Number: LCDSTUMM280

*This limited edition CD and DVD edition features special packaging with a foldout poster, a booklet filled with lyrics and illustrations, plus a number of postcards. In addition to the CD album, you get a bonus DVD disc containing the 'A&E' video and a ten-minute film featuring interviews with Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory.* It's come to be expected of Goldfrapp that each album arrives with its own set of themes, its own identity and self-contained universe. Not to mention its own wardrobe for Alison. After the anthropomorphic psychosexual electro rock of Black Cherry came Supernature's 21st… Read more
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GOLDFRAPP - Seventh Tree, Mute
SUISHOU NO FUNE - Prayer For Chibi, Holy Mountain

SUISHOU NO FUNE

Prayer For Chibi

Holy Mountain

Format_dot_cd2CD // £15.99

DARK AMBIENT / DRONE / METAL

Cat. Number: HOLY2957

You may recall this Japanese electric guitar duo from their recent release on Important Records, The Shining Star, which captured their spectacularly raw astral blues sound in all its live fury. This new double disc release is the most sprawling, unedited representation of Suishou No Fune's sound yet, with twenty-minute slices of audio presenting different angles on the Piako and Kageo's psychotropic scrawl. On the one hand, 'Cherry' on the second disc starts out like a Loren Connors-influenced ditty, with echoing threads of blues reverb cascading over contemplative arpeggios. 'Resurrec… Read more
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SUISHOU NO FUNE - Prayer For Chibi, Holy Mountain
QUINN HARRIS / THE MASTERMINDS - All In The Soul, Undercover Brother

QUINN HARRIS / THE MASTERMINDS

All In The Soul

Undercover Brother

Format_dot_cdCD // £11.49

DISCO / BOOGIE / FUNK

Cat. Number: UB-1201

Under the directorial supervision of Quinn Harris, The Masterminds romp through a host of soul/funk permutations on this 1970 LP, here reissued on CD with bonus tracks in the form of 7" versions of key tracks 'Stop! Telling Me Lies' and 'We Got To Get Together'. In addition to the musicians of The Masterminds themselves, Harris plays sax, flute, piano and organ on the recordings, weaving a lightly jazzy element into proceedings. Some pieces benefit from a vocal presence, most notably the almost operatic, soaring tones of Lady Bianca, which are especially essential to those 7… Read more
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QUINN HARRIS / THE MASTERMINDS - All In The Soul, Undercover Brother
RAOUL SINIER - Huge Samurai Radish, Ad Noiseam

RAOUL SINIER

Huge Samurai Radish

Ad Noiseam

Format_dot_cdCD // £11.99

INDUSTRIAL / WAVE / ELECTRO

Cat. Number: ADN89

Raoul Sinier used to go by the name Ra, but that moniker is no more and the producer has opted to stick with his real life full name. The thinking behind such steps tends to be connected with a renewed or consolidated approach to making music, and Huge Samurai Radish finds the veteran of Planet Mu and Sublight darting through various electronic music sub-genres, from the sample warping breakcore of 'Bring It On' to the post-IDM hip hop tendencies of the title track, and 'Solid Flesh (Part 2)'s melodic distortion, there's a great breadth of material on show here, something only compounde… Read more
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RAOUL SINIER - Huge Samurai Radish, Ad Noiseam
MURCOF - Cosmos, The Leaf Label
Featured CD

MURCOF

Cosmos

The Leaf Label

Format_dot_cdCD // £12.99

MODERN CLASSICAL / AMBIENT

Cat. Number: BAY59CD

It's safe to say that Mexican ex-pat Fernando Corona started a whole movement of classically-influenced electronic music when he dropped his incredible debut album 'Martes' back in 2002. With clipped and perfectly manipulated glitchy beats to rival anything emerging from the Mille Plateaux or Raster Noton stables and the kind of strings you'd expect to hear on a Kieslowski movie, Corona introduced many electronic music fans to the sounds of orchestral bliss and a subgenre was born. Before long we heard the textural explorations of Marsen Jules, the Badalamenti-inspired hum of Deaf Center and the post-clas… Read more
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MURCOF - Cosmos, The Leaf Label

Thursday, 21 February 2008

GARY NUMAN + TUBEWAY ARMY - Replicas Redux (Expanded 2008 Tour Edition), Beggars Banquet
Almost thirty years on since its original release Gary Numan & Tubeway Army's landmark Replicas album gets a double disc deluxe reissue treatment timed to coincide with Numan's imminent touring of the album. Replicas was the first British album to really find commercial success with synthesizer-based music, charting at the top slot in the UK album charts while single 'Are 'Friends' Electric?' was a number one hit single. While Kraftwerk were pioneering exclusively electronic music, Numan and co. were integrating synthesis into an already established rock… Read more
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GARY NUMAN + TUBEWAY ARMY - Replicas Redux (Expanded 2008 Tour Edition), Beggars Banquet
THE AUTUMN DEFENSE - The Autumn Defense, Broken Horse

THE AUTUMN DEFENSE

The Autumn Defense

Broken Horse

Format_dot_cdCD // £10.99

INDIE / ALTERNATIVE

Cat. Number: BKH-CD013

A group comprised of Wilco band members John Stirratt and Pat Sansone, The Autumn Defense are openly besotted with old-fashioned soft rock, which is hardly the sort of thing most bands would find themselves boasting about, but these guys know how to make MOR sound appealing. On the Paul Simon styled opener 'Canyon Arrow' you might find yourself thinking you are actually listening to Wilco, the combination of Stirratt and Sansone's voices oddly making for a decent approximation of Jeff Tweedy's. The spectre of Wilco inevitably hovers over the entirety of this record, with that band'… Read more
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THE AUTUMN DEFENSE - The Autumn Defense, Broken Horse

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

ANTONIO CARLOS JOBIM - Wave, Lilith

ANTONIO CARLOS JOBIM

Wave

Lilith

Format_dot_cdCD // £14.99

EARLY ELECTRONIC / SOUNDTRACKS

Cat. Number: LR143

"By the time this album was released, Antonio Carlos Jobim was already an international superstar. Having recently won a Grammy (1965) for 'The Girl From Ipanema,' by 1967 all the big name stars from up north were breaking down his door to work with the new 'Gershwin of Brazil.' In fact, Jobim had just finished working on an album with Frank Sinatra when he went into the studio to record this album. Recorded in 1967, Wave is actually one of the lesser known masterpieces of Brazilian music, and undoubtedly one of Jobim's greatest. Here Jobim and the great Claus Ogerman lead a top-flight cast on hidden classics like 'Batidinha,' 'Triste' and 'Wave.'"
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ANTONIO CARLOS JOBIM - Wave, Lilith

Monday, 18 February 2008

PATRICK WOLF - Wind In The Wires, Tomlab

PATRICK WOLF

Wind In The Wires

Tomlab

Format_dot_cdCD // £13.99

FOLK / ROOTS

Cat. Number: TOM47CD

Back in stock. There's been much written in the press about how Patrick Wolf is more in keeping with what The Libertines are about than the actual rabble of smack urchins comprised of Doherty et al themselves. Don't believe a word of it. Wolf is in fact a purveyor of crisp and dry folktronica which wears its heart firmly on its sleeve and sees him more than willing to give a Marc Almond style vocal performance if the song dictates it. Wolf takes bubbling electronica then turns it into a stew of romanticised, impassioned journeys which dip and rise like a rollercoaster. Album opener and le… Read more
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PATRICK WOLF - Wind In The Wires, Tomlab

Thursday, 14 February 2008

THE DOUBTFUL GUEST - Acid Sauna, Planet Mu

THE DOUBTFUL GUEST

Acid Sauna

Planet Mu

Format_dot_cdCD // £10.99

TECHNO / HOUSE

Cat. Number: ZIQ189CD

Libby Floyd is one of the very few female artists to step into the noisy acidic breakcore universe occupied by her Planet Mu cohorts. Having thus far only contributed to compilations, other people's records and released a single 12" of her own (Electrobotz), the Chicago-born, classically trained musician has at last got round to releasing an entire album's worth of material. You'd certainly never know she had a background in opera. Floyd is right up there with the most fearsome producers in contemporary electronica, taking in elements of gabba, hardcore and all manner of other undignified … Read more
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THE DOUBTFUL GUEST - Acid Sauna, Planet Mu
DOMINIQUE GRIMAUD - Les Quatre Directions, Locust
A talent buried within the annals of France's avant-garde scene Dominique Grimaud's work has been seen as a precursor to the more experimental leanings of Stereolab and Colleen. At least that's what the label's saying - they've got some Gall (Gall! Get it?). having been a part of krautrock-inspired psych group Camizole throughout the seventies, Grimaud later graduated to the new wave act Video-Aventures toward the end of the decade. This album comprised of a single extended piece, brings us right up to date, finding Grimaud exploring a range of ramshackle electroacoustic timbres,… Read more
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DOMINIQUE GRIMAUD - Les Quatre Directions, Locust
DURUTTI COLUMN - Fidelity, LTM Recordings

DURUTTI COLUMN

Fidelity

LTM Recordings

Format_dot_cdCD // £11.99

INDIE / ALTERNATIVE

Cat. Number: LTMCD2512

Originally released via the legendary Crepescule label in 1996, The Durutti Column's Fidelity is almost exclusively performed by Vini Reilly, with a few supplementary guest vocals by Elli Rudge. In addition to his signature guitar style, the album's sonic makeup owes much to an array of electronics, drum loops and synthesizers. Aside from a few wayward brass sounds in 'For Suzanne', this cocktail of digitally rendered audio and organic sound comes together in a fashion that actually slots into the preoccupations of current musical climes reasonably well, with thin, wispy echo devices coating eve… Read more
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DURUTTI COLUMN - Fidelity, LTM Recordings

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

STEEL AN' SKIN - Reggae Is Here Again, EM Records

STEEL AN' SKIN

Reggae Is Here Again

EM Records

Format_dot_cdCD // £15.99

WORLD

Cat. Number: EM1075DCD

**Includes documentary DVD by Steve Shaw featuring perceptive commentary from Steel an'Skin's founder Peter Blackman, killer live and rehearsal footage of the band** A comprehensive reissue of Steel An' Skin's output from the late seventies and early eighties, combining the band's debut 12" release Reggae Is Here Once Again, a couple of tracks from their 1984 LP Acid Rain, and one previously unissued piece. Significantly, this edition come as a double disc release, including a DVD featuring Steve Shaw's 34 minute film about the band, made in 1979. As for the music itself, it's a poten… Read more
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STEEL AN' SKIN - Reggae Is Here Again, EM Records
MEGAFAUN - Bury The Square, RADIUM

MEGAFAUN

Bury The Square

RADIUM

Format_dot_cdCD // £12.99

FOLK / ROOTS

Cat. Number: TOE CD 815

New on Table of the Elements offshoot Radium comes North Carolina's Megafaun, a band whose name evokes the kind of enhanced backwoods folk they dish out. In a similar fashion to fellow mavericks Akron/Family, Megafaun fuse together an eccentric, intelligently spun bluegrass-influenced sound, approached with a psychedelia-prone mindset and loose, jammed-out instrumentation. The beautifully frenetic post-folk of 'Find Your Mark' is lit up by sophisticated group vocal arrangements and soaring instrumental passages, starting the album off on a real high note, only for 'Tired And Troubled' to take t… Read more
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MEGAFAUN - Bury The Square, RADIUM

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

ST VINCENT - Marry Me, Beggars Banquet
Featured CD

ST VINCENT

Marry Me

Beggars Banquet

Format_dot_cdCD // £6.49

FOLK / ROOTS

Cat. Number: BBQCD254

Back in stock. St. Vincent is the assumed name of one Annie Clark, a multi instrumentalist who's already managed to notch up quite a list of achievements in her career to date. It might have taken her a while to piece together her stunning debut album, but she's hardly been sitting around watching re-runs of Friends, rather she's been busying herself providing backup for none other than Sufjan Stevens and epic robe-wearing psych-sters The Polyphonic Spree. Quite some pedigree then, and it's this experience which she ploughs whole-heartedly into 'Marry Me', an album that's as ambitious and well-imagi… Read more
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ST VINCENT - Marry Me, Beggars Banquet
EARTH - The Bees Made Honey In The Lion's Skull, Southern Lord Recordings
Featured CD

EARTH

The Bees Made Honey In The Lion's Skull

Southern Lord Recordings

Format_dot_cdCD // £13.99

DARK AMBIENT / DRONE / METAL

Cat. Number: SUNN90

BACK IN STOCK. Earth's Hex album, despite transgressing doom genre boundaries, turned out to be something of a touchstone for many artists in the field; its American gothic landscapes were quickly swallowed up as a new fixture in the death ambient vocabulary, and countless records seem to have been made since that have tapped into its stately Western gloom. The Bees Made Honey In The Lion's Skull is a natural progression from Hex, taking the same template of slow, simplistic progressions and low-end riffing whilst adding liberal smatterings of keyboard instrumentation - har… Read more
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EARTH - The Bees Made Honey In The Lion's Skull, Southern Lord Recordings

Monday, 11 February 2008

ANTARCTICA TAKES IT! - The Penguin League, How Does It Feel To Be Loved?

ANTARCTICA TAKES IT!

The Penguin League

How Does It Feel To Be Loved?

Format_dot_cdCD // £8.99

FOLK / ROOTS

Cat. Number: HDIF003

You'd imagine the prospect of an album recorded directly into the internal microphone of a laptop to be a fairly dismal one: probably some lazy, sketched-out singer-songwriter affair. That's certainly not the case here however. Dylan McKeever's Antarctica Takes It channels an expansive ensemble format in the vein of Sufjan Stevens, Beirut, Seabear, or Loney, Dear configuring his sprightly, exuberant songs via strings, brass, accordion, piano and glockenspiel, all captured by that measly laptop mic. You could never reasonably expect this album to sound as good as it does, but someh… Read more
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ANTARCTICA TAKES IT! - The Penguin League, How Does It Feel To Be Loved?
CALIKA - Seedling Mother, Audiobulb Records

CALIKA

Seedling Mother

Audiobulb Records

Format_dot_cdCD // £11.49

ELECTRONIC

Cat. Number: AB015

Seedling Mother is the follow-up to Simon Kealoha's previous Audiobulb release Small Talk Kills Me, and its Benbecula predecessor, The Bright Spot. While by no means a comprehensive departure from prior works, Seedling Mother finds Calika embracing an almost jazzy compositional looseness, flirting with the kind of live instrumentation and pots-and-pans sampling you might encounter on an early Four Tet outing, or perhaps on an offshoot from the Hood camp, along similar lines to the hip hop melancholy of Bracken or The Declining Winter. Kealoha's compositional skills and production credentials mesh… Read more
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CALIKA - Seedling Mother, Audiobulb Records
GOLDFRAPP - A & E / Clowns (Super 8 Film), Mute
The first single to be lifted from the forthcoming Seventh Tree album sheds the duo's erstwhile preoccupation with glam rock raunch in favour of a more stripped back sound, suggestive of straight-up balladry, albeit with a few electronic augmentations here and there. It might all come a touch too close to the light end of the pop universe for some, but certainly, the 'Tiger Feet'-schtick of old is well and truly out the window. On this format, in addition to the single itself you get the music video to album track 'Clowns', sounding like an unearthed Vashti Bunyan song. The video is suitably archaic looking, all filmed on Super 8.
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GOLDFRAPP - A & E / Clowns (Super 8 Film), Mute

Thursday, 07 February 2008

VARIOUS / TAPPER ZUKIE - Rootsman Connection, KINGSTON SOUNDS

VARIOUS / TAPPER ZUKIE

Rootsman Connection

KINGSTON SOUNDS

Format_dot_cdCD // £12.99

DUB / REGGAE

Cat. Number: KSCD014

"During the mid 70s in downtown Kingston Tapper Zukie was establishing himself as named star on the DJ roots circuit and would become a favourite with the UK punk scene. Back home however, Tapper was also getting a name for his production talents, of which this cd showcases 15 cuts. Kingston Sounds have selected some fine cuts from this period with singers such as Horace Andy, Cornell Campbell and Prince Alla, as well as lesser known ones such as Ba Wisdom and Putto Black. Of course no Tapper Zukie collection would be complete without the man himself dropping some lyrics so there's a couple of cuts from the man himself, including a sound clash with Jah Mikey..."
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VARIOUS / TAPPER ZUKIE - Rootsman Connection, KINGSTON SOUNDS
THE MAE-SHI - Hlllyh, Moshi Moshi

THE MAE-SHI

Hlllyh

Moshi Moshi

Format_dot_cdCD // £11.99

INDIE / ALTERNATIVE

Cat. Number: MOSHICD21

If I may appropriate the diction of Terror Twilight-era Stephen Malkmus, this lot need to simmer, simmer, simmer down. Imagine Andrew WK pepping up a Polyphonic Spree collaboration with Akron/Family and you're in the right sort of hyperactive, joycore territory. Frankly, it's exhausting. From hard rocking guitar workouts on the title track to surreal samba hallucinations ('Party Politics') via electropop lunacy ('Young Marks') these guys don't know when to give it a rest. Furthermore, 'Boys In The Attic' is like a smashed-up garage version of '70s stadium rock (presumably that's an Aerosmith Toys In … Read more
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THE MAE-SHI - Hlllyh, Moshi Moshi
VINNY PECULIAR - Goodbye My Angry Friend, PRONOIR

VINNY PECULIAR

Goodbye My Angry Friend

PRONOIR

Format_dot_cdCD // £8.99

INDIE / ALTERNATIVE

Cat. Number: PROCDA007

Manchester resident Vinny Peculiar (aka Alan Wilkes) has friends in high places. The Smiths' Mike Joyce and Oasis' former rhythm guitarist Paul 'Bonehead Arthurs have both been known to step into his live band. Neither are present for these recordings, but Wilkes nonetheless manages a decent approximation of '70s rock, with a clear Bowie influence. If there is a complaint to be lodged against the album it's likely to be down to the overcooked production, which spends too much time trying out flashy effects when it hasn't quite nailed down the basics. Tracks like 'Kiss Me (I'm A So… Read more
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VINNY PECULIAR - Goodbye My Angry Friend, PRONOIR

Wednesday, 06 February 2008

AIDAN JOHN MOFFAT - I Can Hear Your Heart, Chemikal Underground Records

AIDAN JOHN MOFFAT

I Can Hear Your Heart

Chemikal Underground Records

Format_dot_cdCD // £6.99

INDIE / ALTERNATIVE

Cat. Number: CHEM101CD

Foulmouthed beat poet Aidan Moffat returns to solo recording, this time not under his Lucky Pierre guise. You'll still find the odd lush orchestral soundscapes here, but the main course is the Ex-Arab Strap frontman's virtuosic expletive-ridden verse. Setting often rather loungey, crackly old vinyl samples against these sex-driven narratives makes for an evocative (if uncomfortable) radiophonic experience, with Moffat's delivery maintaining a startling frankness and intimacy throughout. This album defies convention in formatting terms, to the point where the first track is made u… Read more
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AIDAN JOHN MOFFAT - I Can Hear Your Heart, Chemikal Underground Records

Tuesday, 05 February 2008

KRONOS QUARTET - Terry Riley: The Cusp Of Magic, NONESUCH
The Cusp Of Magic was commissioned by the Kronos Quartet to commemorate the 70th birthday of their longtime friend and collaborator Terry Riley. Frankly, it's a bit mean making someone work so hard on something for their own birthday, but there's clearly a great deal of joy been poured into the composition, with the outwardly quite frivolous use of children's toys and noise-makers on one of the piece's six movements, 'Emily And Alice'. Far from being the sort of irritatingly twee exercise in banal tinkering it might have been, there's a tangible link to fairy tale worlds (ap… Read more
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KRONOS QUARTET - Terry Riley: The Cusp Of Magic, NONESUCH