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; […]

Courtney Marie Andrews: Honest Life

Musician Courtney Marie Andrews has been on the road since she was 16, when she left home in Arizona for her first tour. She travelled up and down the West Coast, busking bars and cafés. Then for a decade or so she’s was a session and back-up singer and guitarist for nearly 40 artists, including […]

Kreutzer Quartet: Choreography, The Soundtrack

So: you make a film about the importance of seeing music being played, featuring pieces that have a strong visual component (by Stravinsky, Ligeti, Lutoslawski and Finnissy). Then you release a CD soundtrack of that film. In other words, this is a CD of music that’s meant to be seen being played, that accompanies a […]