David Federmann: Water’s Edge

We never mock people with geeky hobbies, because for a long time we obsessed over Rob da Bank’s early morning music show: dance, chill-out and acoustic music combining to often glorious effect. This new album from French jazz aficionado and electronic producer Federmann would have fitted right in. It would have been the first tune […]

Luke Whitlock: Flowing Waters

We tend to listen to the CDs a few times through before we read the sleeve notes, and this rather beautiful CD from Mr Whitlock had a dozen plays before we could press pause. (He’s Mr Whitlock because we like the cut of his jib: he looks like clothes aren’t top of his priorities, so […]

Major Lazer: Peace Is The Mission

Summer is here, well nearly, and Major Lazer (aka Diplo plus chums) is also here, offering a soundtrack for all your BBQs or parties. Previous Major Lazer CDs have not so much been albums as compilations of dance tracks and this no different. Opener Be Together is a slower song but after this measured opening […]

Champs: Vamala

This isn’t The Champs who had that hit with the famous Tequila, but just Champs — it’s brother Michael and David Champion. The music is mournful folk/pop, as if Simon and Garfunkel were very sad about something like getting old or having silly hair. Or about being remembered for writing a song about rabbits. There’s […]

Duke Special: Look Out Machines!

Duke Special (he’s Irish and really called Peter) has been producing impressive pop albums for some time. Rather like Rufus Wainwright, he can both hit and miss his target, though he’s never less than totally ambitious and it’s always lovingly produced. This new album is a definite bull’s-eye. Opener Wingman sets the tone, his slightly […]

Echosmith: Talking Dreams

This is an excellent pop album, with all the benefits and disadvantages that entails. On the upside: think Ladyhawke. Catchy/lively pop/dance tunes that rapidly wend their way into your brain. They’re all catchy and instantly likeable; not least Come Together, the opening track, and Cool Kids, which is all about wishing you were as cool […]

GoGo Penguin: v2.0

We actually bought this ourselves — paid our own money for it — mainly because it was on Gondwana records, and we had a press release from them quite recently and they sounded cool. Gogo Penguin are a jazz trio and to our ears it sounds like Bob James, the famous inventor of easy listening […]

Jack Savoretti: Written In Scars

Mr Savoretti is, we guess, going to be the cool sound of 2015 (if he’s not already). This is a really classy album, packed with style and beautifully arranged. If you want to be critical — which is supposed to be our job after all — he reminded us of Paolo Nutini, who similarly sells […]

Epoca Barocca: Janitsch, Sonate Da Chiesa

Yet another relative unknown who deserves better, this is a lovely album. If you want to listen to classical music, this is how you imagine it: gentle, timeless baroque music playing in the background while you read Dickens, or press wild flowers or paint. Cultured. Johann Gottlieb Janitsch (1708–1763) was a German Baroque composer and […]

Quartet Base: Le Diapason

Another release on the French Circum-disk label, Quartet Base is a jazz outfit that, like Troyka, seems to rely on some degree of improvisation, and, again like Troyka, seem a band capable of a little humorous mischief. This is an album which we’d guess is avant-garde jazz, though the sound is varied. It opens with […]