Johannes Brahms: Piano Quartet No 2 Gustav Mahler: Piano Quartet

Brahms (born 1833) spent part of 1860 in the country suburb of Hamm, outside his native Hamburg, where he enjoyed the peace and quiet. The Piano Quartet No 2 was written about this time, and Brahms reported that it received a sympathetic reception. The work is 48 minutes long and makes wide use of sonata […]

Lydia Kakabadse: Concertato

This charming album is already one of our favourites — a close second to Ensemble Villancico’s Tambalagumba, in fact, but where Tambalagumba is merry South American early music with percussion, Concertato is the sight of sad man weeping softly into his mug of beer as he surveys the world. Both are equally approachable, despite one […]

Joshua Radin: The Fall

Inoffensive is the word for singer-songwriter Josh, though that doesn’t mean bad, more that he’s Ohio’s answer to Jack Johnson. Remember him? The tree-hugging Hawaiian dude whose pleasant if bland music was everywhere a few years back; when the Review Corner went to surfer central in Devon some children ago, it was the soundtrack to […]

Banks and Steelz: Anything But Words

This came out a while back, and we steered clear of an album featuring a rapper we never heard of and a man from a second division indie band. This is Interpol’s Paul Banks, who’s joined together with Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA (we’re not sure where the Steelz comes from, hence our ignorance) for an album […]

Sarah Darling: Dream Country

This charming album has enraptured us in the Review Corner this week. The sleeve is simple, with a celestial, dream-like air about it; the Bandcamp (or Pledgemusic, whatever) donors are presented in a star map, each supporter a small place in heaven. Imagine fluffy pink and unicorns, and you get a feel of the general […]

As Lions: Selfish Age

As Lions don’t so much roar as stride about cockily, following the alpha male around, not quite hard enough to take him on. (In more than one way: the band’s Austin Dickinson is son of Paul Bruce, the definite alpha male of British rock). It’s derivative and predictable, and never varies from its format of […]

Toothless: The Pace Of The Passing

Toothless is Ed Nash, the bass player for the excellent Bombay Bicycle Club, one of two English bands (Foals being the other) producing world class adult pop. They’ve now hung up their bicycle clips for a while, and Nash has made this. He’s a clever and learned chap, and the Press notes could probably act […]

Natalie Schwaabe: Piccolo Works

A bit like the Opera Jazz Blues album, an album featuring the piccolo — known as the screaming twig or Ak47 for its ability to cut through the loudest orchestra — might be something that you never think you’d need, but this is a decent, if idiosyncratic, album. You wouldn’t want a collection of piccolo […]

Hibla Gerzmava: Opera Jazz Blues

This CD is a programme of work it probably never crossed your mind you’d need: soprano Gerzmava sings classical, jazz and blues. This doesn’t mean she stops being a soprano and sings jazz in husky tones, it means you get jazz/blues (and classical) piano accompanying what is mostly operatic singing. Track one is a delicate […]

Silent Riders: Silent Riders

Enigmatic is the word for this Danish electronic band. They wear masks on stage, are known only as Lu, Gee and C and play minimalistic music in the style of Portishead and Massive Attack. Of course, mononomic (is that a word?) stage names and masks are not new — Portishead and Massive Attack were pioneers; […]