Body Type: EP2

Body Type are from Australia and play scuzzy rock somewhere between the stark indie of Kleenex and the pop of Kim Wilde. The songs are solid rather than sparkling but we have to say we’d cross a festival field to see them live, they’re probably entertaining. There seems to be a lot of bass and […]

John McCabe: Mountains

This new album from the late John McCabe dates back to 1985. He visited the EMI studios in Sydney to make an album of works by American and Australian composers. The project never materialised, the studios closed, and the masters were presumed lost. Then a cassette copy found among the composer’s papers, and remastered. This […]

Ward and Parker: One

Ward, or it could be Parker, was in Nizlopi, who had a massive hit with the JCB Song (don’t play it, you’ll never get it out of your head). The general tenor of that was a wise but homely narrator who knows what life’s about, doing the right thing. There’s the same kind of air […]

Maria Lettberg: Zara Levina, Piano Concertos

Zara Aleksandrovna Levina died in 1976 and, as you might guess, was a Soviet pianist and composer, now sadly languishing in relative obscurity. This new CD from (mainly) pianist Maria Lettberg aims to put that right, and it’s a pleasingly varied programme of music; you wouldn’t necessarily guess it was all the same composer. The […]

Cellar Doors: Cellar Doors

If you’ve ever wondered what a Kasabian — Doors mash up made by a someone who loves his kick drum might sound like, look no further. Throw in some My Bloody Valentine, Stone Roses and Joy Division and you’re close to the sound of Cellar Doors. They sound English but they’re actually from California. They’re […]

Javier Girotto Trio: Tango Nuevo Revisited

  First of all what this isn’t: it’s not the kind of tango that’s evocative of svelte couples dancing in sensual fashion across a dance floor to music suggestive of a dodgy nightclub in Buenos Aries. This is more dance music as an art form. It’s a remake of an album, Summit, by Argentinean bandoneonist […]

Dag Wirén: String Quartets Nos. 2-5

The CD notes talk about the “tapestry of drama” of Dag Wirén’s work and it’s a good phrase; this is expressive music that is tightly woven and has something of a flourish to it, though it’s a touch restrained. Wirén, born in 1905, studied at the Stockholm Conservatory from 1926 to 1931, coming into contact […]

Mark Stroppa: Space

The release notes on this make it clear this is modern music: Stroppa “views composition as musical research” and is “constantly aware of the dual nature of artistic thought, the discourse about the thought and the thought itself”. On this release, the Ensemble KNM Berlin “explores the topological qualities of the sound worlds” it says. […]

Graciela Jiménez: Solo Piano Works

Last week we reviewed the excellent album by Mariko Terashi (Piano); this week it’s another good piano programme, though different. Argentinian pianist and composer Graciela Jiménez is inspired by the landscape and folk melodies of her native country, say the sleeve notes, and this is a welcome introduction to her work. Without resorting to nationalistic […]