Sebastian Weigle: Richard Strauss Also sprach Zarathustra

There’s no point pretending otherwise, but we’ve heard more than the famous bit in Also sprach Zarathustra: the fanfare at the start (Sunrise). It was most effectively used in 2001: A Space Odyssey, although equally effectively played by Flaming Lips as a fanfare to their set at Jodrell Bank’s Bluedot earlier this year. Kubrick (and […]

Plan B: Heaven Before All Hell Breaks Loose

Plan B shot to mainstream fame after following up his inner-city rap album Who Needs Actions When You Got Words with his successful Motown persona in The Defamation of Strickland Banks, telling the tale of Mr Banks, a British soul singer. The boy could sing, and had soul. Soundtrack Ill Manors came next, a “hip […]

Johnny Marr: Call the Comet

Marr’s career will always be like that of Orson Welles: his finest moment is behind him. Welles made Citizen Kane when he was 26, the millstone round Marr’s neck broke up in 1987 when Marr was 24. He’s now 54 and will never be as good as he was for those few years. Lucky for […]

Panic! at the Disco: Pray For The Wicked

We were never into that whole theatrical branch of emo, led by My Chemical Romance but including Panic! Over the years Panic! have shed members for a variety of reasons: some were sacked, founder member Ryan Ross wanted to craft rockier fare. The band even went from Panic! to Panic after the ! was sacked […]

Carson Cooman / Carlotta Ferrari: Women Of History

Albums from organist Cooman are the opposite of buses: you wait no time at all, and another two turn up. The man never sits still. This new one is an album of music by the Italian composer Carlotta Ferrari, professor of music composition at the European School of Economics in Florence. Ferrari has written many […]

Dos Floris: The Widowed Earth

This is an album that needs attention, probably on headphones; we tried listening while working and most of it just passes the casual listener by. Clearly, we stopped working and listened, as it is something worth hearing. It opens to the sound of a cassette player, perhaps suggesting something old school; or maybe just that […]

Gorillaz: The Now Now

We like Gorillaz as a singles band as much as the next primate, but have never really dug the albums, at least until this one. Probably because it’s low key, induces calm and doesn’t try anything too clever. Opener Humility is a gentle pop tune. It could have been made by any middle-ranking, decent chill-out […]

Israel Nash: Lifted

We don’t know much about Mr Nash, but his music lands perfectly formed and ideal for summer. It’s apparently the Texas-based singer’s fifth album, and it’s — as only critics ever say — a slab of feel-good 60s/70s hippy Americana all ‘bout peace and love. There are no real standouts but it’s a consistently good […]

Lack of Afro: Jack of All Trades

Lack of Afro is Adam Gibbons, who lacks both an Afro and the deep suntan normally expected from the sound of 70s funk. The name might be a joke but the music isn’t, as Gibbons belts out pukka-sounding 70s soul, funk and disco, with some hip-hop thrown in. The sound is either peak Earth Wind […]