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. Which is a shame, as it is something worth hearing. It opens to the sound of a cassette player, perhaps suggesting something old school; or maybe just that a lot […]

Richard Craig: Vale, New Music for Flute

  We moan about clichéd rock that’s produced to shift units more than for any musical values, but pull a face when something is difficult, and look down on music produced for people who don’t like music. But when something challenging comes along that pushes the boundaries it’s all: “What is this? Put that Jason […]

Heath Common: Heath Common and The Lincoln 72s

Heath Common is a beat poet whose previous efforts have been a little hit and miss, but this new album is his most musical and probably the most likely to raise his profile. Admittedly that profile will go from cult figure’s cult figure to merely cult figure but we can at least recommend you consider […]

Paul Weller: Jawbone

As soundtracks go this is good, and Weller has done an excellent job. It’s pretty impressive as his first effort; maybe not quite as atmospheric as a Nick Cave and Warren Ellis job but they’ve had more practice. The opening track is Jimmy / Blackout, nearly 22 minutes long and pretty much ambient music throughout. […]

Ying Wang: Tun-Tu, Chamber Music Renewed

Don’t be fooled by the appearance of the words “chamber” and “music” in the title; this is as far removed from Mozart as deathgrind outfit Cattle Decapitation are from the Spice Girls. The interesting sleeve notes explain that Wang was born in Shanghai and grew up listening to western classical music, but when she moved […]

Phish: Farmhouse, Junta, Billy Breathes

In a week where we’re low on new releases, we thought we’d review some old albums from a band you’ve possibly never heard of — American jam-band Phish. Anyone who follows US culture will have come across Phish, who are loved in the States but largely unknown over here. We asked A&A Music, and its […]

55 Cancri e: Att Lämna Tellus

Starting the year on a wacky note is Sara Hausenkamp’s new album, Att Lämna Tellus or leaving Tellus as you doubtless translated it from the original foreign. Hausenkamp is Swedish and learned classical guitar as a child before playing keyboard in different bands as teenager. She also makes illustrations, collages and photos, and writes, paints […]

The Membranes: Inner Space/Outer Space

We were going to say we’d never heard The Membranes but looking on Wikipedia we have — they are a post-punk band formed in Blackpool in 1977, and their first release was the Flexible Membrane flexi-disc in 1980, which we bought and still have somewhere. The band included John Robb, who we always think of […]

James Weeks: Signs of Occupation

Avant-garde composer Weeks is trying to make mundane, minimal music. “Occupation” is used in the sense that Weeks occupies our time by filling that time with music, and occupies the musicians, filling their time by giving them something to do, rather than asking them to play actual music. Landscape, occupied by man in another meaning […]

Elizabeth Hilliard: Sea To The West

There’s no use pretending this is an easy album to get into, though it is beautiful and calming in places. It’s an album of contemporary works for solo voice with occasional electronics, six works by four composers, all written for the solo voice. If it was purely an electronic album it would be out on […]