Lauri Porra: Entropia

This meld of prog rock and classical is as interesting an album as you’d want; entertaining if you like your prog broken down and your classical with bass solos and lots of 4/4 time. Mike Oldfield managed it on Tubular Bells. Adventurous brass band fans might also find much to like. Porra, (40), is an […]

The Stranglers: The Classic Collection

The Stranglers were without doubt the best band to emerge from the punk era. The Damned were largely rubbish, the Sex Pistols as manufactured as The Spice Girls and The Clash lacked any quality control; their longevity is down to all their fans later becoming music journalists and banging on about what a seminal band […]

The Magic Gang: The Magic Gang

There’s a long line of bands producing catchy guitar-based pop, to varying degrees of success, on what one could call the Weezer-Echosmith spectrum, Weezer clearly being the daddies, Echosmith truly excellent but less successful. Or there’s Black Kids, who shone brightly but briefly, or Fountains of Wayne. The list goes on. We suspect The Magic […]

David Federmann: Water’s Edge

We never mock people with geeky hobbies, because for a long time we obsessed over Rob da Bank’s early morning music show: dance, chill-out and acoustic music combining to often glorious effect. This new album from French jazz aficionado and electronic producer Federmann would have fitted right in. It would have been the first tune […]

Molly Tuttle: Rise

First the predictable joke: the opener is Good Enough but this mini-album is more than good enough. It’s marvellous. Though she plays bluegrass it doesn’t, on the surface, sound it. Bluegrass, the genre of American roots music that emerged from Appalachia but is shaped by Irish, Scottish and English traditional music, is often typified by […]

Sofia Gülbadamova: Dohnanyi, Solo Piano Works

This tranquil and calming double CD has remained on our playlist for several weeks. We meant to write about it earlier but were too busy being calmed by its sounds to put finger to keyboard. Erno Dohnányi — or Ernst von Dohnanyi as he composed under — was 16 in 1894, when he moved to […]

Tom Misch: Geography

Years ago, we briefly flirted with trip hop/funk (Hull’s Fila Brazillia were a favourite) and this new album from Misch (born five years after Fila Brazillia formed) takes us back to those days: sleek, jazz-tinged funky pop that’ll be playing in any wine bar you care to enter for the next few years. There’s a […]

Pet Shop Boys: Introspective

In other reviews of Pet Shop Boys reissues (Please, Actually) we’ve enjoyed the 12” extended mixes on the bonus CD. With Introspective, the tracks are the extended mixes, the PSB later whittling them down for singles. It comes with the usual excellent sleeve notes — worth the price of admission on their own — which […]

Pet Shop Boys: Actually

Another cracking album from the PSB: Actually (as in “Pet Shop Boys, actually”) was their second album, coming out in 1987 and being a critique of not only Thatcher’s economy but the whole 80s thing, from materialism to the post-Aids club scene. The tunes are great: four massive hits (What I Have Done, Shopping, Rent […]