Adam Baldych: Sacrum Profanum

Brexit, traffic noise, that shouty boss, arguing neighbours: if anything’s doing your head in, this may well be the answer; even the first few seconds rinse out the space between your ears. Polish violinist Baldych was once (say the release notes) hailed by a German newspaper as having “the finest technique among all living violinists […]

Wolfgang Rihm: Music for Violin and Orchestra — Volume 2

Wolfgang Rihm is big in German music (and still alive, only 67) but is not well known over here, despite having written 400 works. This is modern music, but not terribly difficult to listen to. You do have to listen; it’s not really music to have on in the background. Based on these three works, […]

Jaws: The Ceiling

Jaws call themselves dream-pop and hail from Birmingham. This is their third album; we quite like their last, Simplicity, as it’s melodic and clever while being inoffensive. You can listen to it and it’s fine, or not listen and your brain is fine filtering it out. This new one is a bit stronger and more […]

Majd and Tafreshipour: In Absentia

This CD features music from Fozié Majid (b 1938) and Amir Mahyar Tafreshipour (b 1974) who, as their names suggest, are Iranian — although one lived in England as a child. Tafreshipour specialises in contemporary music that “reaches across time and continents” and has worked with numerous major ensembles, soloists and orchestras. Majd was born […]

Jesse Mac Cormack: Now

It’s always interesting what one album makes you listen to: after this it was Duke Special, aka Peter Wilson, a songwriter from Belfast, we turned to.  Duke Special is not a household name; Jesse Mac Cormack, similarly a solo bloke who sounds like a band, with synth supplying percussion and instrumentation, is probably heading for […]

Anton Batagov: Big My Secret (Live)

Batagov is a Russian pianist and post-minimalist composer. Some piece on the internet said of him: “The post-Cagean philosophy of Batagov’s projects eliminates any boundaries between ‘performance’ and ‘composition’ by viewing all existing musical practices, from ancient rituals to rock and pop culture and advanced computer technologies, as potential elements of performance and composition.” Whatever […]

Maren Morris: Girl

Morris plays country pop and it’s hard to criticise this album as, within its genre, it’s flawless. As carefully aimed at various demographics as Ed Sheeran, mind. Morris made her name three years ago with her major-label debut, Hero, which sold by the Ford F-150 load. She comes from Texas but has moved to Nashville, […]

Scott Lavene: Broke

This little gem of an album is a cross between 70s David Bowie, 80s Dury and modern day punk/alt poets such as Beans On Toast or even Frank Turner, with a bit of Sparks thrown in. We’ve never heard of Lavene before: in an interview with musicmusingsandsuch.com he said: “I’m an Essex boy. I make […]

Rival Sons: Feral Roots

This is our first taste of Rival Sons, though they have charted in the UK. They formed in 2009, and this is their sixth album. They’re a big band. They supported Deep Purple on their 2016 European tour and toured as main supporting act for all of Black Sabbath’s The End tour, which marked the […]

Pottery: No. 1

Pottery — who should play Stoke Sugarmill, in The Potteries, as soon as possible — have drums/bass driving the songs along, and all very interesting. They’re the kind of band who’d go down well at the Blue Dot festival — a strong dance groove coupled with psychedelia. Although it’s not particularly innovative, we’ve been enjoying […]