Moscow Chamber Orchestra / Rudolf Barshai : Baroque Music volume one

  The most surprising thing about this CD is the fact that its recordings are 50 years old, as they sound so fresh and new. Barshai won numerous Soviet and international competitions and was the founding violist of the Borodin Quartet in 1945. In 1955, he founded the Moscow Chamber Orchestra, which he led and […]

Lei Liang: Bamboo Lights

We like a bit of avant-garde in the Review Corner, and this garde is as avant as they come. This is a “portrait CD” of Liang’s work, which we are going to crudely summarise thus: imagine an upmarket kung fu movie with pretensions of art, and a scene where the protagonists walk through a bamboo […]

Land Observations: The Grand Tour

Land Observations, last album Roman Roads IV–XI is one of the Review Corner’s favourite albums. It’s a piece of sonic art (ambient music is too wishy washy a term) in which artist and musician James Brooks tries to convey a sense of place through music. It’s not ambient because most of the songs feature a […]

The Last Vinci

Years ago, the Review Corner used to visited the Netherlands on a regular basis, and peruse the record store in Oosterhout or even in the bright lights of Breda. Invariably there’d be something from a local band playing moderately-well recorded rock, singing in heavily accented English. It had a charm of its own but we […]

Sebastien Tellier: L’Aventura

  We like M Tellier in the Review Corner — indeed, two of the corner walked down the aisle to his La Ritournelle — but he’s wilfully annoying. We saw him live at a festy once and he came on late and faffed around so much that the stage cut the power, because he’d used […]

The Ramona Flowers: Dismantle And Rebuild

We’ve been enjoying this tuneful album from the Bristol five-piece, which is up there with a couple of other classy rock/pop albums we’ve had this year (notably Breton’s excellent War Room Stories). For bands you might have heard of, Bombay Bicycle Club’s effortless and pleasing sound is a good benchmark. Trademark sounds are falsetto vocals […]

Hafdis Huld: Home

Ever since Emilíana Torrini’s Fisherman’s Woman a decade ago we’ve had a soft spot for whimsical female singers from Iceland. Hafdis Huld? Even her name’s appealing.She sounds exactly as we would have wanted: it’s the kind of music fairies would play of an evening after they’d bedded down the unicorns for the night.Maybe it’s because […]

Daniel Pearson: Satellites

Pearson is a singer songwriter and plays nice tunes, centred round his acoustic guitar. He reminded us a lot of Bernard Fanning, lead singer of Australian rockers Powderfinger, whose solo stuff is a mixture of blues and acoustic folk; as well as musical similarities the two have got similar voices, most especially on Pearson’s Wishing […]

Neil Cowley Trio: Touch And Flee

Previous albums from Cowley that we’ve had have been fairly lively but this new one is more of a slow burner. Cowley says that he had a moment of epiphany during a gig at the Barbican, when he realised his band was best in a concert hall (quiet, excellent acoustics), and had to produce music […]

Dylan Howe: Subterranean

  We’re not massive Bowie fans in the Review Corner — we’re not massive fans of anyone in the “we love everything they ever do and they’re the biggest genius ever” way, agreeing with Scroobius Pip that they’re all just bands — so this CD went partly over our collective heads. We tell you this […]