Chelys Consort of Viols: Amavi, Music for Viols and Voices

We keep writing this is as Cheryl’s Consort, so apologies if we slip; the album was actually recorded jointly with Fieri Consort and is work by Michael East, who sounds modern but died in 1648, before the (20th century) name Cheryl was even invented. East (or Easte, Est, Este) was an English organist and composer, […]

Neil Young: Way Down In The Rust Bucket

Young is now 75 and more likely bang out a well-meaning but average political album or release an archivally relevant but otherwise pedestrian live album, but this was recorded way back in 1990 at what sounds like a warm-up gig for the Ragged Glory tour, his 18th studio album. If you’re a Young fan and […]

More Soma: Hondendodendans

This is jazz for those of you like the experimental, free composition, improvisation and the downright weird. The More Soma trio comprises a saxophone, alternately alto or baritone, double bass and drums; a couple of the players featured on the more tuneful _Unk album we reviewed recently. This is the debut More Soma album and […]

Ilya Gringolts: Pietro Locatelli, Il Labirinto Armonico: Three Violin Concertos

Pietro Antonio Locatelli (1695-1764) was an Italian Baroque composer and violinist. Locatelli possibly studied under Arcangelo Corelli, the famous Baroque composer. He was apparently known as the “Paganini of the 18th century”. It’s a wonderful album, the playing fine and the sound warm and approachable. Gringolts, a Russian is marvellous, and the Finnish Baroque Orchestra […]

The Heliocentrics: Infinity of Now

The Heliocentrics bill themselves as psychedelic-funk which is about right: it’s a hybrid of jam music (Goat or Holy F—sprang to mind) mixed in with Portishead and some Can / krautrock. They claim to sound like the funk of James Brown and “the disorienting asymmetry” of Sun Ra (psychedelic jazz player) It’s all very cool, […]

Ben Bedford: Portraits

This is Bedford’s sixth album; his last, Hermit’s Spyglass, was excellent and this is even better. Perhaps not surprising, as he has picked songs from his first three albums to create a collection of songs, the intention’s clear from the album title. Hermit’s Spyglass told some good tales – it mapped daily life on a […]

Beans On Toast: Knee Deep In Nostalgia / The Unforeseeable Future

Beans (aka Jay McAllister) normally drops one album a year but clearly lockdown has left him with little else on his plate and we get two. They’re both self-explanatory in their titles. Knee Deep In Nostalgia sees man-of-the-people poet and guitarist Beans looking back fondly at his past and his likes, from memories of favourite […]

The Messenger Birds: Everything Has to Fall Apart Eventually

The Messenger Birds follow in the footsteps and The Black Keys, The White Stripes and Royal Blood, two blokes making a lot of noise (“That’s not a rock band, that’s just two guys!” they cite “some guy named Kevin” as saying on their Bandcamp page). Like Jack White, they’re from Detroit, Michigan. The album opens […]

Roderick Chadwick: La Mer Bleue

This technical and slightly self-involved album revolves around Catalogue d’Oiseaux (“Catalogue of birds”), a work for piano solo by Olivier Messiaen. The full work is 13 pieces, devoted to birds and dedicated to his second wife Yvonne Lorio. The CD takes in the first three, the Alpine chough (chocard des Alpes), The Eurasian golden oriole […]

Eagles: Live From The Forum

We’ve never really been massive fans of Eagles but you’d have to be a miserable wretch not to like this new double album recorded live at the impressive Inglewood venue, practically a homecoming gig for the band. Someone who saw Eagles years ago complained to us: “It sounded just like the records”, which is perhaps […]