Thursday, 19 April 2018

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Listen! - Dementio13 - 78









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Listen! - District Repair Depot - Barry Jones










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Listen! - Robert Görl - Part 1 (Vince Clarke Remix)









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Watch! - MUGWUMP - No Trepidation









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Watch! - Broads - Climbs (feat. Milly Hirst)










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Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Review - Broads - Field Theory




                 
Broads - Field Theory 


LP / CD / DL

Out Now

8.5 / 10



Review by Mikey.


This is about as close as you will get to being part of a beautiful, pulsing machine, and it is drifting through an unknown universe.  This is the World according to Broads.

Toze sets the scene for the journey. The engines thrum, the navigational systems light up and synthesized chatter issues brief last minute orders.  In Climb, Milly Hirst and James Ferguson work their lyrical brilliance to convince us that we are making the right decision. The vocals are sparse and hypnotic, like an essential and unforgettable last order, given before departing for lands unknown.

Habitat starts with what could be the delicate tapping in of co-ordinates. This is classic road music, drawing us through vast aural expanses and wide-open spaces. With tracks like this coming through your headphones, the miles will be disappearing under the wheels of your chosen machine.

Broads have the collective quality to create and carry off an album of this stature. From the glitchy, computer-based zorbing of Us And The Buzzing to the glorious, raging guitar of Mixed Ability Sequencing, they handle themselves impeccably and take the listener to seldom visited musical realms.

With its stunning minimalist opening, Romero is my favourite track of the album. Nature swirls around the subtle and haunting piano, leading us into a new day and the possibility of cracking the surface of a pristine lake for a solitary swim.  Let Me Take It From Here reconnects us with Broads and brings it back to the machine. Building out of delicate Tenari-On style synth to a pulsing percussive finale, we finally find out what it is going on inside the hive mind of Broads.

Tiamat is almost like drifting on autopilot. Everyone else is asleep. It is a very reflective piece and it sits perfectly before the grinding plunge of Mixed Ability Sequencing. A thrashing, short stomp through the cosmos in which Broads get the chance to flex their muscles in a guitar laden shift back to Earth.

In The Lecht, we are present at the birth of new life, stretching and yawning into a sunrise. Delicate strings and piano take us forward into a track that has an astonishing mid-section before dropping down to depths both known and unknown to close in an ambient, cathedral drone.  Heartbeat pulsing and systems normal, Built Calypso removes you from Field Theory. You have now been returned to the World.

Broads have gone through a patient and steady climb to get to this point in the World of Electronica. Field Theory is a brilliant and intricate creation and a perfect distillation of their collective talents.

My bags are packed, and I have already booked myself on to the next trip.







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Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Review - Johnny Cash – Forever Words The Music







Johnny Cash – Forever Words The Music (SonyMusic/Legacy Recordings)

LP / CD / DL

6 April 2018

8.5 / 10

Collaborative albums of unpublished Johnny Cash words.

You don’t have to be a fan of Johnny Cash to appreciate Forever Words.  You don’t need to know that Live At Folsom Prison is one of the best live recordings you will ever hear or, that the series American Recordings produced by legendary hip-hop producer Rick Rubin represents possibly the greatest return from near obscurity for an artist that there will ever be.  You just need to listen to the words and understand that this was a man of immense feeling, peace and tolerance.

This new collection is special.  It’s not just a compilation of Johnny Cash covers, as the companion to the book of the same title it brings to life unpublished sixteen poems, lyrics and letters by various artists chosen by his son, John Carter Cash.

The result is pretty magical.  Whether you like or have even ever heard of the artists is somewhat irrelevant.  What is clear is that each artist has gone about their contribution as though it was the best thing that they have ever done.  The passion and commitment to each set of words if incredible.

From the opening Forever/I Still Miss Someone, the albums shortest track performed by Kris Kristofferson (words) and Willie Nelson (guitar), the scene is set for this quite remarkable collection.  The last poem that Cash ever wrote – “Nothing remembered of my fame, nothing remained of my name” couldn’t really be further from the truth and the way the vocal is delivered is nothing short of spine-tingling.

Throughout the album there are words that would melt the Polar ice cap, declarations of his love for wife June are plentiful and even You Never Knew My  Mind written about the relationship with his first wife is emotion down to the bone.  Performed by the late Chris Cornell, whose own song Rusty Cage appeared on the Cash Grammy Award winning Unchained album, it oozes feeling, guilt and honesty in a truly powerful way.

Elvis Costello contributes one of the finest songs he has ever performed in the shape of I’ll Still Love You, a declaration of Johnny’s undying dedication to June and possibly written after her death, it would challenge the hardest of hearts not to buckle under its sheer beauty.  Ruston Kelly and Kacey Musgraves interpret a letter in the shape of To June This Morning and Brad Paisley gives possibly the album highlight with the incredible Gold All Over The Ground which has to be listened to fully appreciate the special bond that Johnny and June had.

Forever Words is an album of very special quality, maybe not due to the artist selection but more to the way in which they respectfully transform beautifully crafted words into songs that the great man would have more than approved of.  Each artist should be applauded for making this album a real tribute and John Carter Cash can be very proud of what he has achieved.

An album for thinking and, absorbing your whole being into.  If you can listen to this album without shedding at least one tear then you clearly have no soul.







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Published on Louder Than War 06/04/18 - here









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Review - The Turbans - The Turbans





The Turbans – The Turbans (Six Degrees Records)

LP / CD / DL

6 April 2018

7.5 / 10

International music adventurers release their debut album. 

There’s a lot of interest in The Turbans at the moment and it’s easy to see why.  With a seemingly massive band combined from across Europe and the Levant they have drawn influences from their roots in Turkey, Bulgaria, Ian, Greece, Spain, Tunisia, Morocco and London making a very unique blend which has been termed as from ‘manywhere’.

Fronted by former Bulgarian pop-star, Miroslav Morski, the band have a loud, live feel which makes the transition from stage to studio (and vice versa)  with seemingly great ease.  Riders, the opening track, brings together the ethnicity from each of the bands origins but manages to intertwine it with clever effects and superb musicianship.  It’s certainly exciting, and manic too as the Euro-gypsy feel visits almost every conceivable angle to bring an eclectic and raucous introduction.  And exhale.

With the addition of The London Bulgarian Choir, Sinko Moy brings down the pace somewhat.  There are Middle-Eastern sounds with a more subdued feel and the choir adds an element of drama and cinema to the proceedings.  It slowly rises to anthemic proportions and teases tingles down the spine.

Above all, it is the feeling of unity that rises above everything – a band consciously trying to be non-political – believing in bringing everyone together, without borders, being confident in oneself. Zawi rips a hole in the album with a guitar solo that seems to take on a life of its own and the sheer madness of the track is quite breath-taking.

With the album representing upbeat spirit, Samia reflects on the joys of married life and Aman, featuring Greek and Spanish lyrics, expresses the joys of happiness itself.  At a minute and a half, Aman feels like a jam and bridges comfortably into Chubby which again features some wondrous musicianship via strings, pipes and multiple voices.

Closing with the upbeat Hackney, a track that pays tribute to the London borough where all the band members have lived at some time, it has a slightly more domestic feel whilst still combining several feels and a humorous lyrical take.  A confident debut and more importantly incredibly enjoyable – one suspects The Turbans will be coming to a festival near you very soon.

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Published on Louder Than War 06/04/18 - here









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Sunday, 8 April 2018

Review - Lisa Stansfield - Deeper






Lisa Stansfield - Deeper (earMUSIC)

LP / CD / DL

Out Now

8 /10


Review by Jay.


Squidge it right from the off like it’s Quincy Jones producing a Prince record sung by Lisa Stansfield and you’ve got ‘Everything’. It’s got that 80’s/90’s authentic production to it with those signature Stansfield harmonies underneath some sultry singing and 808 beats. It leads into ‘Twisted’ which is a piano driven Salsa tune with congas and Barry Manilow strings swirling underneath, almost motown but reaching more into Barry White meets The Boo Radleys territory. It’s a bizarre blend but it works somehow as it shifts into M-People and then a drum solo.

‘Desire’ starts off as quite a soulful song and then morphs into what could be Tina Turner if she were still releasing music. It has a super 80’s synth bass line and 90’s dance beat underneath Lisa Stansfield’s vocals but it all seems to gel together in an unexpected way. The styles and production on this album are surprisingly eclectic and rich and they shift all over the place, transitioning from one genre to the next.

The intro to ‘Billionaire’ could almost be a Meatloaf or Bruce Springsteen song but it soon turns into a potential pop chart entry and it’s clear why it was chosen as a single. It’s in similar territory to some of the tunes from ‘The Greatest Showman Soundtrack’ and there’s even a bit in the middle that has a similar chord progression to one of the songs from Disney’s Tangled. Nothing wrong with that. ‘Coming Up For Air’ has that Lighthouse Family vibe to it and will definitely appeal to that generation of Martini sipping, Disco flipping nightclub goers. It has a glowing sophistication that you don’t hear much any more and would be well placed at the end of any wedding reception for the lovers.

It’s hard to tell if ‘Love Of My Life’ is anti-drugs or pro-nose picking with the line “Friday, Friday, keep your nose tidy” but one thing’s for sure - it’s smooth. It’s got a grinding groove to it that would make anyone pout and get their freak on. The harmony drop-ins are lush and it harks back to The Bee Gees quite a lot and despite it having the title of a Queen song it’s definitely a highlight on the album.

‘Deeper’ is an album that has clearly had the time, passion, production and care put into it that only a genuine songwriter and producer(s) could offer. It has soul, it’s got groove and it’s not over produced. It has an almost timeless quality to it in that it could be from the 80’s, it could be from the 70’s and also from the 90’s. It would definitely appeal more to an older generation of motown and soul lovers but may just have the edge to push through to a younger one with targeted placements at the right club nights.









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Published on Louder Than War 08/04/18 - here









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Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Listen! - Xqui - Britannia Part 2









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Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Review - Sonido Gallo Negro – Mambo Cosmico






Sonido Gallo Negro – Mambo Cosmico (GlitterbeatRecords)

LP / CD / DL

6 April 2018

7 / 10

Mexican psychedelia cumbia band release their third album. 

You might initially think that Sonido Gallo Negro aren’t your cup of tea and, you may be correct.  Perhaps the thought of a complete album of mambo, cha cha and occasional surf doesn’t excite you but, given a listen it will certainly entertain.

Influenced by Mexican and Latin American sounds, the album begins in the world of the weird with the title track Mambo Cosmico, an echoing spoken word with off-key pianos and an almost B-movie horror feel.  It soon breaks into mambo frenzy.  Repetitive and addictive it weaves its way into your body and yes, almost makes you want to dance.

Mambo Cosmico (currently) consists of nine members and with a further seven guest musicians the album is always going to be complex.  It often journeys into conventional cumbia with tunes that you may think you’ve heard before – La Danza De Los Diablos (The Dance Of The Devils) being one and perhaps the most recognisable in ¿Quien Sera?  The later was originally written by Mexican composer Luis Demetrio who later sold the rights and as an English version it became known as Sway made famous by the likes of Dean Martin and Ben E King as well as being destroyed by Michael Buble and The Pussycat Dolls.  An Icelandic version also appears on the Bjork album Gling-Glo.

The album is certainly fun, it exudes enjoyment and is most certainly one of the feel-good albums of the year.  It zips between traditional Mexicana whilst stopping off at sweaty psychedelia along the way, its feet positioned in the 1950s and occasionally stepping out to the 60s and 70s.  Mostly instrumental, it will often surprise you and will have you, whether you feel you want to or not, tapping an appendage to the beats.






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Published on Louder Than War 29/03/18 - here









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Watch! - Ms. Mohammed - Alibi (Live at Fountain Studios)










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Monday, 2 April 2018

Listen! - Nova Flares - Krokodil Tears









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