Barbarossa: Imager

After the piratical reference above we come to Barbarossa, which we think means red beard in foreign, me ‘arties. It’s really James Mathe, purveyor of slow-burning electronica. Mathe has strayed from the folk that saw him become part of the Fence Collective (Kid Creosote, KT Tunstall et al), and a band member for the likes […]

Outfit: Slowness

We remember Outfit’s 2013 debut Performance with mixed feelings: it evokes a memory of disappointment mixed with promise, and the fleeting thought “Why did we never leave that on the Review Corner iPod” followed by “It was only good in places”. This is better and we may now revisit that last album, which can now […]

Shuya Xu: Nirvana

Unlike the Schubert also reviewed this week, this is not easily accessible and should be approached with caution. You need some expertise in the handling of classical music to deal with it, and probably gloves. This is modern music, and as discordant, erratic and as dramatic as you might wish. Xu Shuya graduated from Shanghai […]

Gengahr: A Dream Outside

Gengahr (we’ve no idea how to pronounce it — Gengarrr as in “Gengarrrr me ‘arties?”) are a rather hyped band, and one of those myriad of “next big things” knocking about at any one time. At first listen, it’s both hard and easy to say why: easy because their slightly stoned, pleasant pop and falsetto […]

Jason Derulo: Everything Is 4

We tend to be a little sniffy about performers like this — sexist lyrics, formulaic RnB — but we have to say that Derulo has finally beaten us down and this isn’t bad at all. In fact track seven Broke, is nearly a must-hear tune, with a massive beat and catchy hook. But not quite. […]

Du Blonde: Welcome Back To Milk

Du Blonde is Beth Jeans Houghton, of Beth Jeans Houghton and The Hooves of Destiny fame (ok, relative fame), whose album Yours Truly, Cellophane Nose we found proficient but a little twee, not to say dull. One Review Cornerer did profess fondness for it and took the CD but we never heard it played. It […]

Martin Gore: MG

Depeche Mode fans don’t seem to like this because there are no tunes on it, but we think it’s pretty good. It’s not as good as the Portico album so if you’re a fan of electronica that’s the one to buy first, but it’s not bad, and far from being a vanity project. MG is […]

Muse: Drones

You should all know what Muse sound like; this album is more of the same but stripped down. There is Muse’s normal pomp and glamour but it sounds as if the three piece could have got somewhere close to doing this as live takes. The proclaimed theme of the album is drones, specifically the ones […]

Orphan Boy: Coastal Tones

Sometimes our favourite albums are not the most innovative, boundary-pushing or adventurous of the year but just routinely pleasant and done well. Such is the case with Orphan Boy, whose new album (their third we think) is not exactly ground breaking but is enjoyable. It’s a particularly summery album, not surprising since they hail from […]

Portico: Living Fields

Portico used to be Portico Quartet and played jazz; we’ve got their third album and it’s rather beautiful mood music that combines jazz and electronica, with a splash of world. Now they’re a trio and have not only dropped the Quartet but dropped the jazz and the world — this is pure electronica. It’s a […]