The Flaming Lips: Scratching The Door

This album is tracks recorded by The Flaming Lips’ original line-up, which featured Wayne Coyne’s brother Mark on vocals. It includes the band’s first and second cassette demos and a self-released EP, and it’s surprisingly decent. The added fun for fans of a certain age is guessing the English bands the Lips were into when […]

Alexander Bakhchiev, Elena Sorokina: Piano Duet, Vol 2

This superb collection of piano pieces is the second part from the series of recordings by the duet of Sorokina and Bakhchiyev; known as the “Golden Duet of Russia” in their native land, apparently. This album features four sonatas for four hands by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, including the unfinished KV357, and his sonata for two […]

Fatoumata Diawara: Fenfo Something To Say

We were never not going to like this: Diawara played with/on AfroCubism (the original idea of the Bueno Vista Social Club album) and with Benin’s Orchestre Poly Rythmo de Cotonou — two of our most-played world albums — as well as Herbie Hancock, and she combines the roots sound of the more traditional bands with […]

Calypso Rose: So Calypso

Calypso Rose is 78 and a calypsonian (a new word on us). She started writing songs at 15, and has composed more than 800 tunes and recorded more than 20 albums. Born Linda Sandy-Lewis, she grew up on Tobago, the birthplace of calypso. This new one is a follow-up to her 2016 platinum seller Far […]

Sun Ra: The Early Albums Collection (1957-1963)

Sun Ra claimed he was an alien from Saturn on a mission to preach peace, and once he adopted his new name (after the Egyptian god) he denied all knowledge of the man formerly known as Herman. He’s got to be the jazz man for people who think they don’t like jazz; he reminds us […]

The Handsome Family: Through The Trees

This re-issue — it’s 20 years since The Handsome Family first released it — is bloody marvellous. Its basic sound could be 100 years old, a couple of (rather sinister) folks with beards and overalls making country music on a porch, but it’s got a modern feel and the lyrics are heartfelt; in fact, that’s […]

Hinds: I Don’t Run

When 2016’s Leave Me Alone came out, Hinds were the new super-cool indie band. We found its ramshackle garage charms, well, charming, but they had one sound and that charm faded as the album played through. It would have been a good six-track EP. Wikipedia reports that it only debuted at 47 on the UK […]

Dave O’Higgins: It’s Always 9.30 in Zog

If the title alone doesn’t want to make you buy this — it’s surely the coolest album name ever — the sleeve, evocative of the old Blue Note house style, should. O’Higgins is a Birmingham-born jazz saxophonist, who has recorded 19 albums as a leader, so while he’s new to us, proper jazz fans must […]

My Indigo: My Indigo

Dutch singer Sharon den Adel is better known for leading Within Temptation, a symphonic metal band; it’s a genre that is less than huge over here, but is massive in Europe, where the band has shifted millions of albums. She wrote this to deal with personal problems. The album is probably okay for Europeans who […]

Port Cities: Port Cities

Unlike Hinds (see here), who are all quirk, Port Cities are not quite quirky enough; as those ghastly people on The Apprentice say, they have no USP. That’s not to say this is a bad album: Port Cities can turn in a good tune; the type Fleetwood Mac or Tom Petty fans would hear on […]