Thursday, August 25, 2005
Kronos Goes To Bolllywood
Kronos Quartet And Asha Bhosle: You've Stolen My Heart: Songs From RD Burman's Bollywood Nonesuch PRO 301696
Anyone not familiar with the work of Kronos has a lot of catching up to do. Far from being just another chamber band scratching away at the usual repertoire they are by far and away the most innovative string outfit on the entire planet. They’ve explored areas of music as diverse as Jimi Hendrix and Thelonius Monk, all the major minimalists Philip Glass’s ‘Mishima’ film soundtrack and the superlative ‘Different Trains’ by Steve Reich, through settings of Allen Ginsberg to explorations of various ethnic sound landscapes and onto Wagner. Pretty wide-ranging stuff, eh?
The present offering is yet another unusual collaboration, this time with Bollywood singing star Asha Bhosle to provide a homage to her husband Rahul Dev Burman – composer of 300+ film scores. On a dozen tracks, with titles ranging from the intriguing ‘Take Another Toke’ to the obviously romantic ‘You’ve Stolen My Heart,’ our heroes capture the spirit of the sub-continent’s favourite medium, but widen its appeal even further with interpretations which take on board styles and traditions borrowed from here, there and everywhere. Now we have a spoonful of Glass-style piano arpeggios and a splash of mediaeval polyphony. Add a pinch of Middle Eastern percussion and a soupcon of heavy rock guitar and the resulting mishmash could be a cullinary disaster, but no - it’s a wonderful curry to be proud of and savoured for many exotic evenings to come.
This is a collection of brilliantly original fusions which deserve to be one of those crossover hit albums if picked up and played by radio stations such as Classic FM, Jazz FM, Radios 2 & 3. In fact the appeal is universal. In fact, I think the record company and artists could help themselves to a great deal of success and exposure if they turn out to have the nous to release a couple of tracks as a single.
Monday, August 15, 2005
Read reviews of latest Bridge Records
I have had the pleasure of reviewing some of their product over a period of time and always found their releases to be be of great interest.
Their excellent website,
has now been blessed by the addition of an equally excellent review page
find it at
Monday, August 08, 2005
Brighton Stuff Shop
check it out please
Thursday, August 04, 2005
Soeza: why do you do?
Quite an artsy little number this. The sort of thing that Nick Drake or CMU fans might like. I can just see the subdued lighting in the garret lodgings, intellectual beatnik types sitting around discussing Hegel and Wittgenstein while sipping white wine and wondering whether the moussaka has any meat in it. This record is playing in the background
And the whitewashed walls suddenly start to shimmer when the theorists cause a mild breeze as they sit up, fall silent and look around noticing the beautiful sounds coming from the Dansette. For, although this music will do adequately as wallpaper, they realise there really is something here worth paying attention to. Something mysterious, something poetic, something just a little bit fey perhaps. It really belongs to an era which many of us have forgotten but would be glad to return to. And isn’t that a trombone playing in the background? There’s just not enough trombone to be heard in music nowadays, is there?!
Jumbonics: super-baxophone Tru-Thoughts trucd081
What an unusual record! It’s a mainly instrumental album - which is always a hit with me – but beyond that any accurate classification is impossible. There’ a wide variety of flavours to be found here – jazz-funk (maybe like St Germain), some Jimmy Smith, a little sampled electronica, robotic dancing, some Czech cartoon music, a little Temptations backing vocal, etc, etc, etc. I wonder if it was intended to be a dance record. If it was – you’d have to be multiple-jointed to get your body to get into this groove!
Be that as it may, I really think this is a CD that connoisseurs of the off-beat will be pleased to possess. I know I am.
Yes To everything
54.40: Yes To Everything
True North TND 365
Here’s a record with a great modern blues-rock sound. The singer has a vocal range which stretches from the tone and style of the Stranglers’ Hugh Cornwall through the deadbeat drone of Iggy Pop to that sweet sickliness of Morrissey and the pseudo-country twang of Michael Stipe. It comes out of that mysterious musical melting pot that calls itself Canada. And interestingly it seems the album was government funded – which seems like a brilliant example of encouraging artistic endeavour. The songs cover the spectrum of emotions from wallowing Neil Young grunge-misery to uptempo Spencer Davis power-pop. It may sound from what I’ve said that the album is totally derivative but it is in fact thoroughly refreshing and uplifting. I’d say Yes To This if not Everything!
Variously describing itself in its publicity, this music is Chandler & Steinbeck in Song, Turntable Tarantino and Hick Hop, whichever you choose. I go for the latter, I think. The EP is a highly original and entertaining example of the wonderfully diverse choice of exciting musics available when one dares to stray from the straight and narrow track that most record companies and radio stations seem determined we adhere to. There’s a range of original infectious grooves parading under the intriguing titles of ‘Suicidewinder,’ ‘The Devil & Coltrane Henry,’ ‘Fruitpickers (In Dubious Battle),’ ‘Lethal Track’ and ‘Pastures of Heaven.’ If this is a cross section of the type of work Ridley Bent produces on a regular basis, then I can’t wait to get my hands on the forthcoming album ‘Blam!’
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
Angel Corpus Christie: Louis Louis
Gulcher GULCH 601
The last time I reviewed a record by this accordionist, I did not exactly rave about the disc – in fact, as I recall, I was frankly quite disappointed as it turned out to be a lesser record than I’d expected.
Not so this disc. It’s a gem!
It announces itself on the back of the satisfying cardboard cover as being ‘12 songs for by and about Lou Reed.’ And it does exactly what it says on the tin. To be brief – they’re fab. Slightly creepy, slightly weepy and more than ever so slightly weird, the whole album is full of loving tribute to the Great Man. The performance is so leftfield and spot on that I would not have been surprised to see Lou’s soul-mate Laurie Anderson mentioned in the production credits – she was not. I won’t waste my breath – you’ll love this one – go and get it!
Gays in the Military: "People is Beautiful"
Remember those albums back in the 60s that you just had to be seen carrying under your arm – Cheap Thrills, Kick Out the Jams, Troutmask Replica, An Evening With Wild Man Fisher? You know, the ones that were so original or outrageous you needed to have a copy to prove your credentials. Every era has its equivalents – be it The Wailers, Sex Pistols, Beastie Boys, Guns’n’Roses, Eminem – whatever.
Well, this offering is probably the modern equivalent. With the band’s ‘challenging’ names, rude song titles, tuneless tunes and sore throat singing, it’ll really go down well with rebellious youths of all ages – especially in redneck territory where it can be flaunted as a passport into all sorts of debauched activities. It’s a magnificently wild and wacky piece of shit. It’s just a shame that under-arm style 12" vinyl isn’t such common currency nowadays beyond the dancehall scene. The only objection I can raise is that bassist/vocalist Sir Lord Brian Puberty (see what I mean, Mum?) has the audacity to sport the aka Captain Trips, but that’s probably intentional to aggravate any Deadheads and other assorted ageing hippies who might have recovered enough to be paying attention!
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
Lou Rone "Alone" - Record Review
Lou Rone: Alone Gulcher GULCH 429
Gulcher have a series called Gulcher DIY – I don’t know how they work it – email them to find out if you want to get released on a world class label – but I have to say the quality is just remarkable.
This one comes in probably the most uninteresting-looking packaging I’ve seen for many a long year, but the contents are absolutely exquisite!
Lou Rone is a guitarist par excellence. You know how Hendrix, and to some extent Prince, could make their instruments sound as if they were being made love to and sing out an ecstatic response? Well, that’s the impression I got from ‘Transistor,’ the opening track on this album. Throughout the record Lou’s guitar alternately sings, talks and wails according to the prevailing mood of each particular composition.
The main thing for me however is this is a real rarity nowadays in the rock guitar world – it’s a proper instrumental record, with every track sounding quite distinct while cohering into a well-crafted concept album. I’m not sure whether Lou plays all the instruments featured himself, because there’s no information on the subject in the sleeve-notes, but I suspect this to be the case. If true, then he’s pretty handy in all departments as the backing tracks are tight and startlingly well arranged.
If you can lay your mitts on a copy of this album, then do so pronto. You’ll be glad you did!