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 […]

Lasse Marhaug: Gjota

So: hands up all those who know Congleton has its own record label? Beartown Records was founded in 2009 “in the treehouse at the former Naturecraft pottery works,” says its website, and it releases “anything we like or don’t like” it says, “the only common thread is that each artist must have a link to […]

Francisco de Peñalosa: Lamentations

This is a beautiful collection of religious music from the Renaissance. If you like religious vocal music that errs towards the sombre — the album title gives it away— this is a must. The singing is fantastic and the acoustics of wherever it was recorded only add to the experience. Peñalosa’s music is redolent of […]

Chris Gall and Mulo Francel: Mythos

Saxophonist Mulo Francel is well known (though not to us; we won’t pretend) for his work with platinum-selling jazz/world quartet Quadro Nuevo; Gall is a fifth member for live gigs. Kulturnews magazine credits Francel with the “most sensuous saxophone sound in Europe”. The idea of this album apparently began at the end of a hard […]

Death by Piano: Countdown EP

On one hand this could be called a little samey, on the other we’re always sad when it ends; it’s too short. We assumed the title meant a lot of piano but it’s chilled-out synth. (We did find out that death by piano is very rare: a report we found said that virtually every case […]

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 […]

Lars Danielsson/Paolo Fresu: Summerwind

Some albums simply blindside you: a few plays of moderate attention and suddenly you love it. Such is the case with this minimalist late night jazz album that leans towards trip hop. We initially thought the laid-back set would be for people who find late night jazz too loud. As its depths began to unfold, […]

Tiny Magnetic Pets: Deluxe Debris

This lot are from Dublin and the reviews we read (it’s a small city, they all seem to know each other) talk of their Krautrock influences, Bowie’s Berlin albums and Gary Numan but, in reality, none of it is that dark or original. What it is, is Hotel-era and later Moby, except without his budget. […]

Tõnu Kõrvits: Moorland Elegies

We may not know a whole lot about classical music, but we know a lot about moorland, having spent many a happy hour tramping hills. We can never listen to certain pieces by Elgar without hearing the wind blowing through the grass on the Malvern Hills at dusk. This nine-part cycle for mixed choir and […]

Silent Riders: Silent Riders

Enigmatic is the word for this Danish electronic band. They wear masks on stage, are known only as Lu, Gee and C and play minimalistic music in the style of Portishead and Massive Attack. Of course, mononomic (is that a word?) stage names and masks are not new — Portishead and Massive Attack were pioneers; […]