Hafliði Hallgrímsson: Offerto

Hafliði Hallgrímsson is regarded as Iceland’s pre-eminent composer, as well as a highly accomplished cellist. You prog rockers might have heard him, too: in 1970, he played the (uncredited) cello solo on Atom Heart Mother by Pink Floyd. This new album follows a request in 2005 from violinist Peter Sheppard Skærved, who asked Hallgrímsson to […]

Kilian Kemmer Trio: Und Zarathustra Tanzte

The album is inspired by philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (Dr Kemmer has a PhD in philosophy), with Thus Spake Zarathustra a philosophical novel penned by Herr Nietzsche, containing ideas about the Übermensch, the death of God, the will to power, and eternal recurrence. Zoroaster, also known as Zarathustra, was an ancient Iranian prophet who founded what […]

Zeynep Ucbasaran: 1847, Liszt in Istanbul

This lively and more-ish album of piano music consists of a selection of works from the 1847 Istanbul recitals of Franz Liszt.Lizst had arrived to entertain and was given a seven-octave piano by craftsman Sébastien Pierre Erard to play on while he was in what was then Constantinople. He played at the Royal Palace, the […]

Saturday night: South African discopop hits

A review we found – probably just rewriting the Press release – said this focused on the period of fluctuation between the popularity of mbaqanga and the rise of bubblegum pop, with the sounds of disco, pop, boogie, and fusion. We don’t know about that. What we do know is that if you think early […]

El Michels Affair meets Liam Bailey: Ekundayo Inversions

This new album from singer Liam Bailey takes us back to John Peel shows, listening to music that led you to discover new bands and genres; it’s got that home-made feel that Peely liked, although everyone involved is a skilled musician. This follows, as the album title suggests, Bailey’s 2020 studio album Ekundayo, and the […]

Claudio Monteverdi: Vespro Della Beata Vergine

There are reportedly many recordings of Monteverdi’s Vespers of the Blessed Virgin, but the unique thing about this new album is that it was produced following the performances of “a scenic interpretation” with the Spanish stage director Calixto Bieito.We’ve got no idea what “a scenic interpretation” is, mind, unless it involves dressing up the musicians […]

Mirian Conti: Tangorama, An Anthology of 20th Century Tango, Vol.1

Conti writes in the sleeve notes that when she studied at the conservatory in Buenos Aires in the 1970s, she did not analyse a tango let alone play one; she herself dismissed tango orchestras and singers as “those old tango guys”. It was only when she moved to the US that she discovered her home […]

Still Corners: The Last Exit

Still Corners are, as they say, a dreamy pop duo who tweak their sound with every album, from pop to a more synthy sound to this, more Americana and even Tex Mex: half of Still Corners, Greg Hughes, grew up Arizona and Texas so perhaps not surprising. Tessa Murray is English, and the two met […]

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 […]