Vetiver: Up on High

Vetiver’s Andy Cabic has a gentle voice — it’s a bit like Iain Archer (ex Snow Patrol, doesn’t sound like Snow Patrol). It’s melodic and tuneful yet Cabic’s singing style does not involve much variation. Like Archer’s solo albums (all recommended), it’s a soothing and warm sound. He sings about life; opener The Living End […]

Philip Glass: Glassworlds 6

The sleeve notes say Glass was chatting to someone who lamented America’s lack of history, so Glass set about creating one, lacing together his native culture and its legends. Thus were born the works on this excellent CD. The opening piece is “his most challenging piece to date,” Concerto for Piano No.2, After Lewis and […]

Cerrone: DNA

Cerrone, who like a Brazilian footballer just has the one name, is possibly someone you never heard of but you’ll know what he did. He has sold more than 30m albums but only had one real hit, Supernature, back in the 70s. But along the way he helped invent electronic dance/disco, the kind with a […]

Man The Lifeboats: When The Time Bell Rings

The album title could be lifted from Dire Straits’ classic Sultans of Swing, and, if not of sultans of that genre, Man The Lifeboats are at least rulers of reel (sorry, best we could do). This album is a collection of rocking folk tunes that would have an audience (at the very least) tapping its […]

Feet: What’s Inside Is More Than Just Ham

Feet like to be quirky; the band is named FEET with capitals, but we’re not playing that game. They like to play games themselves, with songs that sound like other songs but then shoot off in wacky directions. Good Richard’s Crash Landing sounds — as does more than one song — like early Blur, while […]

Philip Grange: Homage

If Philip Glass’s take on Vivaldi is aimed at mass appeal, this work from Philip Grange is at some other end of a spectrum. It’s far from difficult but it’s also not a lightweight piece you can instantly relax into. Grange is an academy and professor of music at Manchester University and there is a […]

The Twang: If Confronted, Just Go Mad

The Twang date back to the indie “The band” explosion, along with fellow Thes View, Pigeon Detectives, Wombats, Fratellis, Kooks et al, an era of poor bands and sloppy tracks; Joe Lean and the Jing Jang Jong didn’t even get to release their finished album, despite us getting a review copy, probably because of a […]

Basil Athanasiadis: Book Of Dreams

This is a delightful album of Japanese-inspired music from the Shonorities, an ensemble created by Greek composer Basil Athanasiadis. It’s an album of music that’s barely music — often more of a background ambient sound. It reminds us of Steve Hillage’s Rainbow Dome Musick, an ambient album released in 1979. Brian Eno, who pioneered ambient […]

Gill Landry: Skeleton at the Banquet

Landry — formerly of Old Crow Medicine Show — wrote these songs while spending the summer in small-town Western France. He doesn’t say, but we bet 80s-vintage Leonard Cohen was being played as he wrote; Cohen of that era will spring to mind when you play it. Musically, its dominated by Landry’s soft baritone; the […]

Natacha Atlas: Strange Days

Atlas is from Egypt and this album sees her meld her roots with jazz. It’s a beautifully recorded selection of tracks that drifts into easy listening — the gentlest it goes is a bit late night, with an interesting fusion of sounds and instrumentation. Atlas began her career as part of the world fusion group […]