Magnus Lindgren: Stockholm Underground

You’re a detective in New York in the 70s and the captain’s asked you to investigate some cats in the hood who’ve been causing trouble. He sends you to Magnus’s, the hip club where the black dudes and white cats hang out. You walk in; it’s smoky with the smell of reefer, lots of people […]

Valentin Silvestrov: Moments of Memory II

This rather lovely, if somewhat melancholic, programme of music combines a traditional sound with the more modern. Ukrainian composer Silvestrov says he does not write new music, instead describing his work as “a response to, and an echo of, what already exists”. This is particularly true with the gentle and atmospheric opening piece, Two Dialogues […]

Johann Simon Mayr: Stabat Mater in F minor

This is a bit of a “what it says on the tin” CD. The music has been restored by Mayr expert Frans Hauk from two manuscript versions. Mayr’s (1763-1845) Stabat Mater in F minor was singled out by a contemporary biographer “for its marvellous effect” and “heavenly beauty”, and he (or she) wasn’t wrong. From […]

Too Many T’s: South City

Opener South City Court is not too promising, and neither is Sixty’s Ford until the chorus comes in, rapping about music, sibilantly swearing that the sixties, C60s and Seasick Steve is not their choice: “So we switch to the Beastie Boys”. Ah, they’re Beastie Boys fans and want to pick up where the Boys left […]

Sugarmen: Local Freaks

A good title for this; as their name suggests they’re from Liverpool and we guess popular in their home city. They may indeed be local freaks, Liverpudlians who sing (mostly) without a noticeable accent and don’t try to sound like any of that city’s other famous bands, which is good. We don’t even have to […]

Gogol Bordello: Seekers and Finders

Gypsy punks Gogol Bordello emerged from the depths of the Balkans (ok so it was Lower East Side of Manhattan but that doesn’t sound so romantic) a good few years ago. We’ve never taken to their raucous brand of punk: it’s good fun and brilliant at a festival, but not something you’d sit and listen […]

Meadowlark: Postcards

We’ve loved Meadowlark’s advance tracks (a couple of EPs, maybe a download) beyond logic. You know when you just love a band for no real reason and play a track over and over? That. They are good, mind, but we are most definitely fans. So, they’re not getting a moderate review, let alone bad. We […]

Prince: Purple Rain

Is this deluxe reissue of Prince’s classic album worth getting? Doh. Of course it is. The album contains classics such as When Doves Cry and Let’s Go Crazy, and this remastered version comes with recordings “from the vaults”, single versions of the album tracks and a live DVD. Fans of Prince who bought the album […]

Gilbert Rowland: Mattheson, 12 Suites for Harpsichord

This is one of those CDs that’s hard to write about: a triple CD of music for harpsichord in a nice presentation case and well played. Fans of keyboards need know no more. Rowland is one of Europe’s most accomplished players of the harpsichord and has previously released a six-album series of the harpsichord suites […]

Dan Walsh: Verging on the Perpendicular

Walsh hails from Staffordshire and specialises in the clawhammer style of banjo playing (we only know this as we have some of Steve Martin’s fine albums). He’s a good player and we dare say he gets work as a backing/ studio musician for his skills. This album is a live beast, a man playing songs […]