James Weeks: Signs of Occupation

Avant-garde composer Weeks is trying to make mundane, minimal music. “Occupation” is used in the sense that Weeks occupies our time by filling that time with music, and occupies the musicians, filling their time by giving them something to do, rather than asking them to play actual music. Landscape, occupied by man in another meaning […]

Busted: Night Driver

  The surprise is not that this is pretty good but the fact that they’re still going — a pop band whose debut came out in 2002. Charlie Simpson has gone into metal and acoustic pop and is now in the band Once Upon A Dead Man while Matt Willis released a decent solo album […]

Tori Amos: Boys For Pele

If you’d have asked, we’d have pretended to know about Amos, based on a recollection of a hit single or two and a woman playing the piano. We’d have been wrong: first time through we hated this 20th anniversary re-release of one of her classic albums, what with the Kate Bush-esque wailings and shoutings, and […]

Alpines: Another River

Alpines’ debut Oasis was released two years ago, well-made electronica pop/dance with an upbeat feel. Another River is similar but more downbeat in sound, with more slower tracks. There are no real standouts but it’s a nice mood album, good for late night or early morning. Rather than standouts there are nice moments: the charged […]

Letlive: If I’m The Devil…

We’ve not come across this band before. From what we can tell from other reviews, their previous albums have mixed raucous punk with soul; singer Jason Aalon Butler is revered by fans as a genius, and this new album is either brilliant or terrible. One website had two reviews, one good one bad. We can […]

Terry Wogan: A Celebration Of Music

This is in aid of Children In Need and Sir Terry is a lately deceased national treasure, so it is impossible to say anything bad. It’s a double CD collection of Sir Terry’s favourite tunes. There are some proper classics on here, and some very talented people, but the tone of the songs is the […]

Donizetti and Mayr: Messa Di Gloria and Credo In D Major

Again, not really Christmas music but at least it’s church music, and the polar opposite of the comforting open-fire-and-logs baroque we recently reviewed: this is the music from a Dan Brown film where a full choir sings in St Peter’s as Tom Hanks fights to keep evil at bay. According to the sleeve notes, Donizetti’s […]

Johann Joseph Fux: Concentus musico-instrumentalis

This isn’t really a Christmas album but it’s baroque (with a feel of early music). It’s the kind of music you’d have playing while you imagined you lived at Chatsworth House, freshly-scrubbed  servants singing carols out in the hall and wood, gathered by minions that morning, burning merrily on an open fire on Christmas morning. […]

Orchestre Poly Rythmo de Cotonou: Madjafalao

This is surely going to go down as a classic in world music. It’s ace. Poly Rythmo are from Benin and play afrobeat, funk, soukous and other styles, often based on religious music rhythms. They formed in 1966 and recorded around 500 songs between the late 1960s and early 1980s. We came across them via […]

Trainspotting: OST

Trainspotting was a hit film in 1996, both the film and the Britpop soundtrack summed up the state of the UK at the time. Britpop was never our cup of tea, with a few exceptions; rock stars shouldn’t hobnob with prime ministers either. Pulp and a few others aside, there were loads of rubbish bands […]