Eric Craven: Entangled States

This double CD of solo piano (with the ever-reliable Mary Dullea) reminded us of Bach’s Goldberg Variations — not because of the variations (there aren’t any) but because of the way it wends in and out of your consciousness, and because there’s a lot of silence. (We also like Mr Craven: he emailed and thanked […]

The Beta Band: The Three EPs (Reissue)

Some years ago we went to the Green Man festival; we saw the best live band in the world, Flaming Lips, we saw Mumford and Sons and we even saw Gruff Rhys in wellies, but if you asked for one memory of the event it would be the solo set from Steve Mason, ex Beta […]

Caiti Baker: Zinc

The PR for Australian singer Caiti Baker claims it’s a “really cool and classy mix of pop, hip-hop, blues, 90s R&B and neo soul”. It’s true that it’s classy, and it’s mostly cool, too, but the mix of genres is a weakness to our ears. You might disagree and singers such as Caro Emerald do […]

Wolfgang Rübsam Bach: Goldberg Variations

This not just a different version of Variations; it is, the sleeve notes imply, the one Bach wanted you to hear, played as it is on a lute harpsichord (one of only a few in existence, built by Keith Hill) at a sensible tempo. The “so-called” (as the sleeve notes put it) Goldberg Variations were […]

The Little Unsaid: Selected Works

The Little Unsaid is the work of John Elliott, who started recording in his bedroom and originally played all the instruments himself. This, as the name suggests, is an introduction to the band’s work. It’s intense stuff, mainly because of Elliott’s struggles with mental health (“The Little Unsaid chart(s) my journey from small, bewildered boy […]

Hanzhi Wang: On The Path to HC Andersenp

We’re not often taken aback in the Review Corner (at least not in a good way) but such an event has occurred with this new programme of accordion music. We usually associates the accordion with Last Of The Summer Wine tweeness, or of pirates with one parrot and fewer legs, or Cajun or, in more […]

The Kooks: Let’s Go Sunshine

“Consider the lilies” said Brian in Life of Brian only for a member of his audience to heckle, “He’s having a go at the flowers now”. We feel the same about The Kooks; what can you say? The music might be bland but they’ve made a career and have got a strong fanbase who doubtless […]

Idles: Joy As An Act Of Resistance

Bonkers but brilliant is this second album from punks Idles; the spirit is that of an angry person in a serious demo carrying a witty sign that gets in the Guardian. The sound is thunderous, tribal punk — imagine Nick Cave sounding like John Lydon with early Banshees as a backing band — but the […]

Bugzy Malone: B. Inspired

We’re not the demographic for hip-hop, but we like Bugzy Malone. This album smacks of a man who’s absorbed lots of music, and achieved some genuine wisdom. He’s also from Manchester, so we feel more affinity with him than some lad from London: at least we’ve seen the streets he’s talking about. Bugzy Malone — […]

Tami Nodaira, Ichiro Nodaira, Toru Takemitsu: Japanese Guitar Music Vol 4

Despite the title, this is actually a guitar and flute recital; works for flute accompanied by guitar. It’s also not particularly “Japanese” in feel; it’s mostly a gentle and almost ambient sound, with little in the way of metre. “A unique sensibility and an imaginative flair for its colours and expressiveness,” say the sleeve notes […]