home
news
features
demos
live listings
album reviews
forum

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Back to main page

Various Artists
Hand In Glove: The Smiths Tribute (Wienerworld)

Richie Havens As something of a Smiths nut I approached this collection with no little trepidation, a very singular band whose back catalogue contains barely a clunker is hardly ripe for reinvention and yet matters are helped no end by most artists here being more or less unknown (and therefore having nothing to lose) which allows for some pretty bonkers versions, in particular I Buried Paul do some very peculiar but nonetheless quite endearing things with ‘Handsome Devil’, Thee Chinadoll’s string quartet fronted by Marc Almond style version of ‘Girlfriend in A Coma’ is positively inspired and guess which track is an instrumental?
Ruby Palmer

buy this album

******************************************************************

Various Artists
Late Night Tales presents Music For Pleasure: Selected And Mixed By Groove Armada's Tom Findlay (Late Night Tales)

Late Night Tales presents Music For PleasureLordy, talk about guilty pleasures! Ever since punks’ year zero in 1976 it’s been more or less tantamount to admitting to terminal un-coolness to profess a fondness for the likes of Michael McDonald, The Average White Band, ELO or indeed Hall & Oates but blow me down if Groove Armada’s Tom Findlay doesn’t just throw coolness to the wind and segue cut’s from all of the above whilst weaving Robert Palmer, 10cc, Bread, The Doobie Brothers and more into a seamless (mainly) pre-punk summer soundtrack of soulful gorgeousness. So is it ok to say that I Like Toto now (hmm, not sure about that – Ed)?.
Ray Harper

buy this album

******************************************************************

Various Artists
The Art Of The 12 Inch Volume 2 (Salvo/ZTT)

The Art Of The 12 Inch Volume 2The follow up to to Vol 1. This collection scours the deepest darkest depths of the ZTT vault and comes up with some obscure tracks (the Art Of Noise’s ‘Moments In Love’ get’s an 808 State makeover alongside newly uncovered versions of Frankie’s ‘Relax’ and ‘War’.), rare remixes (Godley & Crème, Scritti Politti and Paul McCartney all get Art Of Noised up) and one whopping great fifteen minute mix of two tribes that really is the last word in this most remixed of tracks, add Anne Pigalle, Propaganda and, erm OMD’s 'Julia’s Song' and some fascinating interludes and this sits very nicely next to its sibling release.
Drew Bass

buy this album

******************************************************************

Various Artists
Bangs & Works Volume 2 [The Best Of Chicago Footwork] (Planet Mu)

Bangs & Works Volume 2Chances are that as we’re just picking up on Chicago Footwork in Europe (itself a move on from Chicago Juke and Ghetto House) the scene in Chicago will already be looking for the next thing which, let’s face it, is the beauty of underground dance music. Including a couple of skewed house cut’s from scene leader R.P. Boo and encompasses a gloriously wide remit from DJ T-Why’s skittering glitched up Richie Hawtin to Young Smoke’s string driven whirligig take on ambient Aphex Twin, Planet Mu’s Mike Paradinas has once again proved that he has one of the most open sets of ears on the dance scene.
Drew Bass

buy this album

******************************************************************

Various Artists
In Yer Third Ear 01 (Third Ear Recordings)

In Yer Third Ear 01Deep House label Third Ear have been around for over a decade now but I’m guessing most of you, unless you’re a seasoned clubber, will not be aware of the vast majority of their output so this, their first ever, label compilation is a great way for the uninitiated to dip into the labels varied output. And varied is the word, the kicking off point for working with Third Ear may be House music but the many and multifarious paths House music now travel are ably outlined here and with tracks cherry picked from their entire catalogue it’s fascinating to see just how the genre, and the label, has developed over the years.
Drew Bass

download this album

******************************************************************

Various Artists
Cloud 11 (Cartesian Binary)

Cloud 11 The first compilation on Rena Jones’ label Cartesian Binary Recordings featuring Funckarma, Helios, EVAC, Komposit, Hands Upon Black Earth, Ben Milstein, Phidelity, gasp, Disonaur, The Moving Dawn Orchestra, Field Rotation and the Abominable Twitch and several of which feature Jones own deft touch with strings - more fine examples of which can be found on her Indra’s Web album (more here). Chances are you have heard of none of the above, but don’t let that put you off as this beautifully sequenced collection of modern electronic, ranging from ambient to glitch and most points in between, is genuinely terrific.
Drew Bass

buy this album

******************************************************************

Various Artists
O Brother Where Art Thou?: Deluxe Edition (Commercial Marketing)

O Brother Where Art Thou?For those of you that don’t already know this album was originally released in December 2000 and is the soundtrack to the Coen Brothers film of the same name produced by T-Bone Burnett and featuring ‘period specific’ music, which basically means some cracking old, albeit mainly re-recorded, bluegrass, gospel, blues and folk music from the American great depression era. This deluxe version adds a second disc with tracks that failed to make the original cut including The Kossy Sisters version of 'I’ll Fly Away', chain gang chant 'Tom Devil' by Ed Lewis and The Prisoners and the late lamented John Hartford fiddling up a storm on 'Hogfoot'. Raft Thong

buy this album

******************************************************************

Vetrix
Sun Oblique’ (Pyramid Transmissions)

VetrixLisbon based producer Nuno Soczka returns with what the American’s would doubtless refer to as his ‘sophomore’ album, a fusion of ambient, break-beats and, possibly the most idiotic genre ever dreamt up - by whoever the hell dreams these things up - IDM (that’s intelligent dance music to all the rest of us dimmocks). If you need a signpost think a less bug eyed Aphex Twin in ambient mode, or a more accessible Autechre, in fact this is perfect for those of you that admire the experimental nature of the Warp lads but don’t always love the results, we’re going for warmly glitchy on this one.
Drew Bass

buy this album

******************************************************************

Various Artists
20 Fucking Years - We Ain't Dead Yet (Planet E)

We Ain't Dead Yet (Planet E)In 2011 Carl Craig's Detroit based Planet-E label will be celebrating 20 years in the rollercoaster ride that is the dance music business, you really need to know your onions to survive this long (hence the title), and Carl Craig, probably the finest DJ/Producer of the second wave of Detroit techno luminaries, certainly does just that. This is loaded with (25) cracking cuts from Kenny Larkin, Moodyman and of course Craig’s numerous pseudonyms including Innerzone Orchestra, Paperclip People and 69. Out now digitally there is also a limited edition vinyl box set, tracks to be decided by fans (more here) due for release in June.
Drew Bass

buy this album

******************************************************************

Vessels
Helioscope (Cuckundoo)

VesselsIt’s no big secret that we’re rather fond of Vessels down here on the sunny south coast of England but liking what someone once did - White Fields And Open Devices was one of our top ten albums of 2008 - is often a far cry from liking what someone is now doing (ask any Santana fan). Fortunately for office moral Helioscope simply takes the thunderous post-rock racket meets sequenced electronica blueprint of White Fields… (Explosions In The Sky producer John Congleton is once again on board), and builds upon it moving more towards Radiohead style experimentation rather than the usual post rock 'sturm und drang'.
Ruby Palmer

buy this album

******************************************************************

Various Artists
EPM 10 (EPM)

EPM 10Unless you are a mover and/or a shaker in the dance world likely as not you won't have heard of EPM (they have successfully promoted, marketed and distributed electronic music all around the world), and you are therefore probably also unaware that they have been doing what they do for ten years. Regardless of the fact that many record labels are currently dying on their arses they have decided to celebrate this landmark achievement by launching their own label with a compilation of exclusive and unreleased electro-techno-house tracks and blow us down if they aren’t pretty much uniformly great. Can’t wait to hear what’s next.
Drew Bass

buy this album

******************************************************************

Various Artists
14 Tracks From Planet Mu (Planet Mu)

14 Tracks From Planet MuFor those of you unaware of Planet Mu (or Planet µ) it’s a record label run by Mike Paradinas (also known as µ-Ziq, Kid Spatula and Jake Slazenger amongst other, even more, cryptic monikers), and before you think ‘vanity’ label you should know that the label boasts a massive discography and a huge roster. Chances are you will never have heard of the majority of the artists found on this label sampler but you can take it from us Planet Mu do not release rubbish with styles ranging from teeth grindingly convoluted break-beat via straight up hands in the air dancefloor fillers to beautiful and otherworldly ambience This is a great introduction.
Drew Bass

buy this album

******************************************************************

Suzanne Vega
Close Up Vol 1, Love Songs (Cooking Vinyl)

Suzanne VegaIt’s been twenty five years and some seven million album sales since Suzanne Vega first released her eponymously titled debut and on this, her ninth release, she has chosen to pause for a look backwards. Love Songs is the first volume in the Close-Up Collection – with three more due to be released over the next two years - wherein Vega re-interprets her own back catalogue, in this case at least, with stripped back renditions of her hits and album favourites, and if the differences are not always glaringly obvious there is an altogether more mature feeling to these tracks which should appeal to both old fans and new converts.
Raft Thong

buy this album

******************************************************************

Various Artists
This Is The Blues (Eagle Rock)

This Is The Blues A new CD series from Eagle Records which brings together a positive who’s who of top notch players performing classic blues tracks cherry picked from the past. This, the first volume, kicks off with a list of real musical heavyweights including Jeff Beck, Savoy Brown, Mick Taylor, Harvey Mandel, Jack Bruce, Gary Moore, Tony (T.S.) McPhee, Paul Jones, Dick Heckstall-Smith and Mick Jagger and, needless to say, if this is your bag then you’re going to be in white boy blues heaven. The three following volumes should also be available by the time you read this, and all are very attractively priced.
Ray Harper

buy this album

******************************************************************

Various Artists
The Heavy, Heavy Monster Sound (Spectrum Audio)

The Heavy, Heavy Monster SoundForty-two years ago Island Records launched Trojan Records – initially aimed at showcasing the output of Arthur ‘Duke’ Reid, one of the most successful producers of the Ska and Rock Steady eras - which went on to dominate the British reggae market, and regularly visit the UK charts. This collection brings together tremendous early hits by Desmond Dekker, Toots & the Maytals, Bob & Marcia, Jimmy Cliff, Dave & Ansel Collins, Greyhound and the Pioneers plus a second CD of equally cracking rarities, and this is just the first in an upcoming series of excellent themed collections (dub, roots, mod etc.) to look out for.
Drew Bass

buy this album

******************************************************************

The Vermin Poets
Poets Of England (Damaged Goods)

The Vermin PoetsDon’t go thinking that this is just another Billy Childish side project ‘cos it’s not, for a kick off, aside from co-writing, Childish only contributes bass and backing vocals leaving the gloriously wayward vocal duties and clattering guitar chops to ex-Fire Dept. front man Neil Palmer (who, rather fantastically, currently resembles crusty early Brit-flick staple James Robertson Justice). Needless to say, as with anything boasting the Childish stamp, this is properly unreconstructed recycled punk ramalama topped off with often pithy often laugh-out-loud lyrics and, in consequence, is about as refreshing as an ice cold bath in the Sahara.
Ruby Palmer

buy this album

******************************************************************

Laura Veirs
July Flame (Bella Union)

Laura VeirsThe flaming days of July feel rather distant in the chilly depths of ‘Frozen Britain’ (© all newspapers), so all the more reason to let Laura Veirs’s seventh – and possibly best – studio album waft you away to those warm, hazy days. Returning to Bella Union after two albums with Warner-owned Nonesuch, Veirs has largely dispensed with full-band arrangements in favour of a pared-back approach that allows her formidable songcraft, unusual melodies and haunting vocal harmonies to shine through. And if this beguiling set piques your interest, you might want to make 2004’s Carbon Glacier and 2007’s Saltbreakers your next ports of call.
David Davies

buy this album

******************************************************************

Various
Rocksteady: The Roots Of Reggae (Moll-Selekta)

Rocksteady Rocksteady may have only enjoyed a relatively brief, two to three year spell, taking over from the ska sound of the early part of the decade and laying the foundation for reggae. This is the soundtrack to the film of the same name – which itself partly documents the recordings being made for this album at the Tuff Gong Studios in Kingston in April 2008 – this is more or less a who’s who of reggae (Including Hopeton Lewis, U-Roy, Stranger Cole, Derrick Morgan, Leroy Sibbles, Ken Boothe, Dawn Penn Judy Mowatt and Marcia Griffiths) re-recording classic rocksteady tunes and is an absolute delight from beginning to end.
Drew Bass

buy this album

******************************************************************

Various Artists
Woodstock 40: 3 Days of Peace & Music (Rhino)

Woodstock 40: 3 Days of Peace & MusicClocking in at over seven hours in length, boasting 77 tracks and 38 previously unreleased recordings spread over six CD’s this has to be the most comprehensive effort to document the most famous festival of all time to date – including the first accurate running order/set lists ever published. Needless to say, given the ad-hoc nature of the show, the recording quality is occasionally less than spectacular but it's never unlistenable and will certainly be better than most people who attended the show would have experienced. In short if you are a fan then this is the closest you will now ever get to actually being there.
Ray Harper

buy this album

******************************************************************

Various
Brand Neu!: Tribute to Neu! (Feraltone)

Brand Neu!: Tribute to Neu! (feraltone) Not a tribute album as such, more a ‘we like Neu! And this is what they have influenced us to create’ collection which ranges from the sort of wilful dicking about one might expect from the hideously overrated Sonic youth, or the ‘we’re not worthy’ drone genuflections of Bobby Gillespie and ver Scream to a, actually rather good, Liam-less Oasis effort. But the real gems here, are by the chaps themselves, including one of the last pieces recorded by Klaus Dinger (who sadly died last year), and a tribute to uber-producer Conny Plank by Michael Rother, hear this and then head straight for their truly essential debut album.
Drew Bass

buy this album

******************************************************************

Various Artists
Tommy The Rock Opera: Deluxe Edition (Repertoire)

Tommy The Rock Opera (Deluxe Edition)So how do you make the most overblown and ridiculous concept album of all time even more overblown and ridiculous? You do a full orchestral version with, of course, all four members of the ‘Oo, vocals only mind as the music is supplied by the London Symphony Orchestra and the English Chamber Choir, then add more guest vocalists than the average rap album (including Ringo Starr, Rod Stewart, Steve Winwood and, erm, Richard Harris), package it all up in a properly smart box with walloping great booklet and Bob’s yer Uncle Ernie. Possibly not one for the casual fan this but certainly one for fans of the original album.
Ray Harper

buy this album

******************************************************************

Various Artists
Dark Was The Night (4AD)

Dark Was The Night The 20th compilation of their 20-year lifetime, the Red Hot Organisation (an AIDS awareness charity) continue to enlist exactly the sort of names you want to see on a compilation, the best of which – like the opening salvo from Dirty Projectors & David Byrne on the exuberant ‘Knotty Pine, The Books & Jose Gonzalez woozy cover of Nick Drake’s ‘Cello Song’ or the title track, Kronos Quartet’s take on Blind Willie Johnson’s ‘Dark Was The Night’ – would happily sit on the artists own best releases. Two albums, 31 tracks and the money does something other than disappear up pop stars noses, that’s gotta be worth your hard earned.
Ruby Palmer

buy this album

******************************************************************

Various Artists
Money Will Ruin Everything (Rune Grammofon)

Money Will Ruin Everything As the major labels frenziedly repackage their back catalogue it is left to the smaller independent labels to find the real new talent, acts which may not make fortunes but regularly make the days of the listeners that stumble upon them. Rune Grammofon are just such a label, and this double disc collection of music (complete with an endlessly fascinating and beautifully designed hardcover book), takes in everything from wonky avante jazz to dark matter metal, King Crimson covers to proper folktronic lovely-ness. It seems some record labels are still looking for great new music, buy this delightful collection and hear some.
Drew Bass

buy this album

******************************************************************

Volcano!
Paperwork (Leaf)

Volcano! Those of you paying attention will recall recently seeing a very odd chap dancing around a park in a very sturdy pair of underpants clattering through a polyrhythmic Tortoise meets Pavement-esque effort called ‘Africa Just Wants To Have Fun’, and unless you were very, very jaded indeed will doubtless have intoned ‘where can I hear more of this strange music?’ Well wonder no more as it can be found alongside ten more post-prog doozies on Paperwork a genuinely mind-melting album - think Television play Magma but with a sense of humour. Actually don’t listen to us, check out their myspace page and be prepared to prop up your jaw.
Ruby Palmer

buy this album

******************************************************************

Vessels
White Fields And Open Devices (Cuckundoo Records)

Vessels Fancy hearing Tortoise jamming with Mogwai? Or how about Godspeed You Black Emperor reinventing Discipline era King Crimson? Welcome to the world of Leeds five piece Vessels, where rhythms twist and turn tortuously, thunderous post-rock racket meets electronic glitch and where huge great walloping walls of guitar noise regularly come tumbling around the listeners ears before the collective foot is removed from the go-faster-and-louder pedal to goose bumping effect. Helped immeasurably by the presence of Explosions In The Sky producer John Congleton this is nonetheless Vessels album, and it’s a belter.
Ruby Palmer

buy this album

******************************************************************

Various Artists
Motown 50 (Universal)

Motown 50The fifty best ever Motown tracks as voted for by you, the public and then released to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Motown. Needless to say arguments have already broken out, no ‘Bernadette’? No ‘Ain’t Too Proud To Beg’? No ‘Standing In The Shadows Of Love’? And so on. Exception has also been taken to the third CD which fills up the remaining slots (the fifty tracks voted for cover CD 1 & 2 and six tracks into CD 3), with some particularly unexceptional cover versions, however anyone who complains about anything found on the first two CD’s, is an arse, and should be roundly ignored, as they are top notch Tamla the lot of ‘em.
Drew Bass

buy this album

*****************************************************************

Various Artists
Factory Records - Communications 1978-1992 (Rhino)

Factory RecordsFactory Records, a label built around one great act who sold nothing, which became a good act that sold loads (Joy Division/New Order), a good idea that rapidly became a very bad idea indeed (Happy Mondays), a venue which haemorrhaged money (the Haçienda) and not a lot else – how could a Manchester based label (especially one who made such a song and dance about being a Manchester based label) have missed the Smiths? The Stone Roses? Or indeed 808 State? Hell they even missed the Inspiral Carpets! That said there are some moments of sublime pop majesty here, you just need to pick your way through the duffers.
Ruby Palmer

buy this album

******************************************************************

Various Artists
The ZTT Box Set (Salvo)

Zang Tumb TuumAlmost worth picking up for the lunatic ramblings of Paul Morley in the hefty 70 page accompanying booklet alone, the four disc ZTT Box Set is in fact heavily studded with some of the ‘80s more goosebump inducing moments, including several Frankie Goes To Hollywood stormers, some exquisite Art Of Noise electronica, some horrifically underrated lost gems from The Frames, proper grown up slices of modern classical from Andrew Poppy and some perfect pop pearls from Seal. All this and a DVD disc of videos ranging from the classic ‘Two Tribes’ to the downright peculiar (watch out for Johnny Depp).
Ruby Palmer

buy this album

**********************************************************************

Venom
Hell (Universal/Sanctuary)

Venom The band that all but created black metal (the title of their second album fact fans), and were undoubtedly a major influence on the thrash metal scene – although they have also been labelled death metal, speed metal, extreme metal and scrap metal (behave yourself, that last one’s made up – Ed). This unholy amalgam of Black Sabbath and Motorhead appeared at the arse end of the NWOBHM and singularly failed to rake in the sort of dosh chucked at Metallica, Slayer and Megadeth and their fifteenth album is equally unlikely to make them millionaires but still sounds like a glacier being shredded by a meteorite storm.
Ray Harper

buy this album

******************************************************************

The Verve
This Is Music: The Singles 92-98 (EMI)

The VerveRight, hands up all those who think Dicky Ashcroft’s solo work has been a patch on his work with the Verve? So, just the one then eh Mr Ashcroft? But let us not waste time bemoaning what could have been, let us whack this in the CD machine and recall what actually was, ‘cos this really is a towering collection jammed to the rafters with genuine stone cold classics. Originally released in 2004 This Is Music now boasts a second DVD disc boasting all the relevant video’s, so if you don't actually already own all of this and ever needed an excuse to own some Verve music you need wait no longer. This IS music.
Ruby Palmer

buy this album

******************************************************************

Stevie Ray Vaughan
Solos, Sessions & Encores (Sony/BMG)

Stevie Ray VaughanEven the title of this album suggests that Sony have been scrabbling around in the nether regions of a barrel for any remaining Stevie Ray Vaughan material and it’s hard to imagine any genuine SRV junkie having any real truck with Vaughan’s brief appearance on David Bowie’s ‘Let’s Dance’. But let’s not be too uncharitable as the duel with Jeff Beck on ‘Goin’ Down’ is always worth hearing and this set does include six previously unreleased live cut’s, the best being ‘Change It’ with Jimmy Vaughan. In short one for fans who have all but worn out their current collection, SRV newbies should start with Texas Flood.
Ray Harper

buy this album

******************************************************************

Various
This Is Thrash (Union Square/Metro)

This Is Thrash Aside from the inclusion of one of ‘the big four’ (Anthrax) this VFM collection focuses more on the thrash scenes second wave with forty five slices of hi-octane riffage and throat shredding grunting from the likes of Exodus, Kreator, Sodom, Overkill and Destruction. Fans of thrash metal (not to be confused with death metal, speed metal or black metal) will find much to love here - we particularly enjoyed Tankard’s ‘Shit Faced’ and Darkane’s ‘Pile Of Hate’ - as everything is generally faster and louder than everything else, newbies should head straight for Anthrax pummelling through ‘Caught In A Mosh’.
Ray Harper

buy this album

******************************************************************

Various Artists
Strange Pleasures - Further Sounds Of The Decca Underground (Decca)

Strange PleasuresThe follow up to 2003's Legend Of A Mind collection this continues the story of Decca Records between 1967 and 1975 plundering the Decca/Deram/Nova archives for esoteric nuggets by the labels lesser known artists including Egg, East Of Eden, Darryl Way's Wolf, The Deviants, Touch and early Steve Hillage vehicle Kahn – although bigger names like Caravan, Moody Blues and Thin Lizzy are also present and correct. The real treats here however, as is often the case when digging through the vaults, are the genuine peculiarities such as Tintern Abbey and Principal Edwards, and the accompanying booklet is particularly excellent.
Ray Harper

buy this album

******************************************************************

Various Artists
You Don’t Know: Ninja Cuts (Ninja Tune)

You Don't KnowThe fifth Ninja Cuts compilation is far and away the best in the series to date – and to put that into perspective, the previous four are all worth checking out - drawing from the past, present and future this is a Ninja statement of intent digging out rare or unreleased gems from (label bosses) Coldcut, Mr Scruff, Roots Manuva, DJ Shadow, The Cinematic Orchestra, Amon Tobin, Jaga (Jazzist), cLOUDDEAD and many, many more. Spread over a hefty three CD’s You Don't Know is a testament to this fiercely independent label’s quality control which still remains stratospherically high after almost twenty years.
Drew Bass

buy this album

******************************************************************

Various Artists
Greasy Truckers (EMI)

Greasy Truckers Originally released back in the dim distant mists of time from recordings made at the Roundhouse Chalk Farm in London on February 13th (1972) this album cover saw an enormous amount of skinning up action and was initially home to a double LP sporting two songs by Man, five from Brinsley Schwarz, one by hippy nutter Magic Michael, a power cut and two stone cold classics from Hawkwind (the definitive recordings of ‘Master Of The Universe’ and ‘Born To Go’). Fans of the vinyl release – and they are legion, just ask Julian Cope – will be overjoyed to learn that this has now been expanded to include pretty much everything recorded that day.
Ruby Palmer

buy this album

******************************************************************

Luke Vibert
Chicago Detroit Redruth (Planet Mu)

Luke VibertThe latest release by prolific electronic mentalist Luke Vibert (who also records as Wagon Christ and Plug, amongst other pseudonyms) for Mike Paradinas' Planet Mu label. Vibert is one of the holy triumvirate of ‘90s UK dance producers (alongside Squarepusher and Aphex Twin) renowned for his eclectic mix of drum 'n' bass, breaks, trip hop, acid, in fact anything that damn well takes his fancy. If Mr D. James is noted for his love of dissonance and Mr Jenkinson for his penchent for high speed jazz licks Mr Vibert is the trio’s melody man, although not opposed to racket, plucking tunes from the most spare and unlikely of ingredients.


buy this album

******************************************************************

Steve Vai
Sound Theories Vol. 1 & 2 (Epic)

Steve VaiThe creative enjoining of rock music and orchestras has historically thrown up some hideous mongrels attempting to pass themselves off as thoroughbreds (yes we mean you Malmsteen, and someone keep John Lord away from strings). So news that guitar mangler Steve Vai was about to release collaborations with the Netherlands Metropole Orchestra was no great cause for celebration. But lest we forget this is the same Steve Vai that worked with Frank Zappa, one of the few composers to actually grapple orchestras into contemporary shapes and bugger me if Vai doesn’t occasionally manage the same thing.


buy this album

******************************************************************

Von Südenfed
Tromatic Reflexxions (Domino)

Von SüdenfedDebut album by Andi Toma, Jan St Werner and Mark E Smith – yup, that Mark E Smith - as the guys from Mouse On Mars layer Smiths ranting uber-mentalist psycho-babble over clanking electro, lurching dubstep, warped disco and what a bloody marvellous noise it is too. Sounding not unlike The Fall (for obvious reasons), fed through a malfunctioning pinball machine and then given a random going over by that robot car thing which goes skating on the idiot box. Can you dance to it? Possibly. Does it make any sense in a world of Big Brothers and Simon Cowells? Avowedly not. Do you want to listen to it? Oh yeah.


buy this album

******************************************************************

Various Artists
Brew Records Vol. 1 (Brew Records)

Brew Records Vol. 1 A compilation of new artists on a new label is officially one of the least sexy items to arrive in music mags postbag, why? ‘cos we get hundreds of the buggers, and the vast majority contain a good to bad ratio of one in eight. However after some nagging from label boss Tom we dug it out and were pleasantly surprised to find barking mad angular tex-mex-indie (Butterfly) sat next to stop starty metal (The Plight) and proper melodic pop (I Concur) rubbing up against thundering grunt-core (Year Of The Man), and that’s just the first four tracks! Sixteen tracks with barely a duffer in sight and all just five quid.
Ray Harper

Buy this album

******************************************************************

Various Artists
Dear Mr Fantasy A Celebration For Jim Capaldi (Eagle Rock)

Dear Mr Fantasy Edited down from a three hour plus live show to just under the two hour mark for this double album tribute to departed Traffic man Jim Capaldi, this star studded live show was apparently a blast on the night it was recorded and whilst a recording seldom captures the fizz of a live performance this has a fair old stab at it with guest slots from, amongst others, Yusuf Islam, Pete Townshend, Paul Weller, Joe Walsh and Capaldi's Traffic colleague Steve Winwood who pretty much steals the show on the title track but is given a run for his money by Weller’s ‘Paper Sun’ and Townshend’s ‘No Face, No Name, No Number’.


buy this album

******************************************************************

Various Artists
A Breath of Fresh Air: A Harvest Records Anthology 1969-1974 (Harvest/EMI)

A Breath of Fresh AirDeep Purple, Pink Floyd, Syd Barrett, Kevin Ayers, Pretty Things and many more feature on this splendid 3CD anthology of EMI’s much-loved progressive imprint, Harvest. Capturing the label during its late ‘60s/early ‘70s heyday, the collection – boasting a not uncharacteristically outlandish/unsettling cover image and a fine 48-page booklet – evokes a great opening-up in British rock music history. Inevitably, some of the 52 tracks have not aged well, but there’s more than enough astonishing music here (Edgar Broughton’s opening blast ‘Evil’, Roy Harper’s still exquisite ‘Twelve Hours of Sunset’) to render this an essential purchase.


buy this album

******************************************************************

Various Artists
Roots Of Dub Funk 6 (Tanty)

Dub Funk 6 Volume 6 of what is proving to be to dub what Alan Lomax was to folk, and whilst sonically everyone here continues to nod heavily towards the sound systems of the past this series is about where dub is going rather than where it has been, so don’t go looking for big names as acts as far removed from the music’s Jamaican roots as Poland, France, Italy and Germany feature alongside the UK and US acts. Of course huge great bowel loosening bass continues to underpin everything but from that one constant river streams all manner of experimental tributaries, just beware ‘cos if you buy this you will want the other five.


buy this album

******************************************************************

Various Artists
Endless Highway (EMI Liberty)

Endless Highway The tribute album – love it, loathe it or curiously indifferent? The answer is likely to be the latter, the mixed bag nature of most ‘big up’ collections inevitably leaving the listener rather nonplussed. This 17-track celebration of The Band isn’t free of the odd misfire – Jack Johnson with Alo’s soporific take on ‘I Shall Be Released’ being the worst offender – but the strike rate is still decidedly higher than on the average tribute effort. Steve Reynolds (‘Stage Fright’), Widespread Panic (‘Chest Fever’) and The Roches (a lovely ‘Acadian Driftwood’), in particular, deserve credit for feeling-full versions of still astonishing songs.


buy this album

******************************************************************

Various Artists
Performance: Soundtrack (Rhino)

PerformanceAs is often the case with soundtracks – this one created, in the main, by the legendary Jack Nitzsche – the music from Performance suffers when shorn of the visuals it was created to accompany (the title track here for instance is less than two minutes of moody droning and heartbeat sound effects, and god alone knows what Buffy St. Marie is up to on ‘Dyed, Dead Red’). That said the contributions by Ry Cooder, The Last Poets and Randy Newman stand out and the Jagger & Richards composition ‘Memo From Turner’ is (some might say unlike his thespian efforts in the film), one of the truly great Jagger performances.


buy this album

******************************************************************

Stevie Ray Vaughan
The Real Deal: Greatest Hits Vol 1 (Sony/BMG)

Stevie Ray VaughanIt’s a crying shame that those of us already acquainted with SRV will never again experience the sheer goosebump inducing pleasure of first hearing one of the finest guitarists ever to strap on a plank, or indeed – due to his early death - hear anything outside the body of work already in existence. However those of you untouched by this incendiary guitarist's work to date (and we are talking more Hendrix soul than Malmsteen flash here) are in for a life changing experience, and here is as good a place as any to fill this gaping hole in your musical education, gathering together sixteen prime slices of SRV wizardry.


buy this album

******************************************************************

Various Artists
The Triptych mixed by Fred Deakin (Family Recordings)

The TriptychWe would generally advise our readers to give ‘mix’ albums something of a body swerve as, the mighty Coldcut aside, most mix albums are money spinning exercises and about as adventurous as an explorer in the back garden. Which is why this 3CD effort from Fred (one half of Lemon Jelly) Deakin is such a blast, jamming the Jesus And Mary Chain into Bernard Cribbins, Living Colour into Dudley Moore, or the Penguin Cafe Orchestra into Pete Seeger might sound like the act of a madman but it actually works. If you are looking for a cool soundtrack for your next party look no further.


buy this album

******************************************************************

Various Artists
Shifty Disco 10 (Shifty Disco)

Shift Disco 10Long term readers will already be aware that we are reet fond of Shifty Disco and their pioneering and very excellent singles' club (now of course a download club, more info here ), and proving that releasing music they like, regardless of commerciality, can actually make (just enough) money to keep the wolves from the door, they are now celebrating their tenth year with this wonderful 3CD set covering the past, the present and the sadly neglected. Do yourselves a big favour and get this (it’s only a tenner) and then sign up to the singles' club, we guarantee you will find something to love and hug warmly to your bosom.


buy this album

******************************************************************

Various Artists
The Original Chillout Box Set (EMI Gold)

The Original Chillout Box SetCollections of this kind tend to be aimed at the, erm, occasional listener, and for those of you who just want a general ‘ambient’ backdrop to pop on this has plenty to recommend it. Of course if you find the concept of slotting Mazzy Star and Brian Eno in alongside The Mediaeval Baebes and Adiemus sacrilegious then pass right along, but even the more discerning listener will find plenty of little gems spread throughout the 48 tracks from the likes of Talk Talk, Harold Budd, David Sylvian, Michael Nyman and The Penguin Cafe Orchestra, and a little judicious pruning would leave a pretty cool soundtrack to kick back to.


buy this album

******************************************************************

Various Artists
Roots of Dub Funk Vol.4: Rise of the Eclectic Dread (Tanty)

Roots of Dub Funk Vol.4Just the thing for those of you who believe dub began with Lee Perry and ended with the death of King Tubby. The fourth in an excellent series of releases by Tanty Records – and if you love your dub then you would do well to check out previous outings. Casting his net as far as Australia, the USA and taking in lesser known dub playgrounds like Switzerland, Germany, Sweden and Italy, compiler Dub Funk Association’s Kelvin R proves beyond any doubt that dub is a living, breathing entity that, in the right hands, continues to evolve, break new ground and often even revitalise many less durable musical styles. Roll on Vol. 5.


buy this album

******************************************************************

Various Artists
The Songs of The Radio Ballads (Gott Discs)

The Songs of The Radio BalladsTaken from the Radio 2 documentary series – itself based on original broadcasts made by folk singer Ewan MacColl and BBC producer Charles Parker in the 50/60s - this collection of songs was inspired by and written from accounts of actual life experience, a folk tradition we have all but buried in the UK, and if John Tams, Kate Rusby and Cara Dillon are the ‘names’ which will draw in the customers it’s the songs which are the stars, documenting the troubles in Northern Ireland, the demise of hunting with hounds, the decline of the steel and shipbuilding industries, living with HIV/AIDS and the lives of travelling fairground folk.


Buy this album

******************************************************************

Various Artists
MidWinter (Free Reed)

MidWinterGo on, how many of you find yourselves looking for one of those ‘Christmas hits’ albums around this time of year (Bing, Slade and Jonah Lewie eh)? Do yourselves a huge favour and have a listen to this monumental collection of winter themed songs. 115 tracks spread over four CDs, including music from both sides of the Atlantic from carols and ballads to blues, traditional folk and beyond this collection is not so much Christmas as winter themed with many songs pre-dating present day celebrations and lesser known artists lined up alongside the likes of Richard Thompson, The Watersons and the late lamented Alan Hull.

buy this album

*****************************************************************

Various
Butchering The Beatles (Restless)

Butchering The BeatlesMore than fifty heavy metal types meet twelve Beatles songs. Does it unearth any previously hidden death metal depths to the fab four’s material? Nope. Billy Idol in particular makes a desperate arse of himself on ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’. So if you love the Beatles you’ll hate this. If however you think the Beatles were a girly pop band and bow down to the likes of Motorhead, Alice Cooper, Dio, Dokken, Whitesnake and Testament then you’ll be more than pleased to hear these classic songs with added testosterone, growly vocals, huge great wibbling guitar solos and a whopping side order of no finesse whatsoever.


buy this album

******************************************************************

Various Artists
Rubber Folk (Gott Discs)

Rubber Folk You can’t seem to avoid the bloody Beatles of late (see above), although to be fair this has been out for a while and is included here to prove that it is possible to play with the mop-tops' legacy – in this case reinterpreting Rubber Soul - especially as many here attempt to morph the original composition into new shapes, some successfully (John Tams, Waterson Carthy, June Tabor and Show Of Hands in particular impress) others, obviously a little scared of messing with the source material, less so. Imagine giving a favourite old jacket a dry clean and then adding some new buttons and the odd unexpected badge.


buy this album

******************************************************************

Various
Trojan Rockers (Trojan)

Trojan RockersWe could go into a long and worthy explanation here about the birth of the ‘70s reggae phenomena rockers (or should that be steppas?) and the scene's studio based innovators the Revolutionaries, the Aggrovators and the Professionals – and most importantly of all drummer Sly Dunbar – but all you really need to know is this is yet another 3xCD boxed collection of fifty classic ‘70s cuts from the likes of Tapper Zukie, I Roy, Gregory Isaacs, The Heptones, Sugar Minott, Dennis Brown, Cornel Campbell and Junior Delgado, and the latest in a long line of genuinely fine, VFM themed box set collections released by the label.


buy this album

******************************************************************

Victorian English Gentlemen’s Club
The Victorian English Gentlemen’s Club (Fantastic Plastic)

The Victorian English Gentlemen’s ClubIgnore the oft touted Pixies comparisons trotted out to date, TVEGC have far more in common with the B52’s, early Talking Heads, Devo and XTC with a nod to early White Stripes and all underpinned by the sort of bowel loosening bass racket last found on Killdozer’s 12 Point Buck. It all crashes past at breakneck speed - nobody in this particular club has any time for prolonged prog outings - stuttering, yelping and careering around like a barely controlled bumper car. Older readers may well find it rather reference heavy but for those of you not too familiar with any of the above there’s plenty here to get your knickers in a twist to.


buy this album

******************************************************************

Various
Music From Glastonbury The Film (GPS)

Music From Glastonbury The FilmReleased on the Glastonbury Phonographic Society label – a label created by Michael Eavis to release archive festival performances on CD and DVD – this first release is music from the recently released DVD film arranged as a soundtrack, i.e. a collection of musical highlights (Radiohead, Coldplay, Orbital, Pulp etc) interspersed with audio snippets from stoned, lost, deluded and deliriously happy festival goers and whilst it suffers slightly being shorn of the visual eye-candy displayed in the film, it’s still chock full of cracking choons and of course the packaging is eco-friendly and 25 percent of the profits go to worthy causes.


buy this album

*****************************************************************

Various
Touch25 (Touch)

Touch25Celebrating 25 years of Touch records (the brainchild of Jon Wozencroft) – initially produced to promote new music in the Czech and Slovak Republics – Touch25 can best, indeed only, be described as experimental sound and features such sonic explorers as Biosphere, Wire’s Bruce Gilbert, Fennesz and Pan Sonic alongside a raft of performers most of you won’t have heard of but, if you’ve tired of the constant reinvention of the wheel going on in the charts, certainly need to check out. Clicking, droning, stuttering and glitching through 25 tracks and almost an hour and twenty minutes this is the sound of envelopes being pushed.


buy this album

******************************************************************

Various Artists
Adventures In Dub (Metro Double)

Adventures In DubThere are any number of dub collections on the market, and many pitfalls for the unwary dub newbie, but if you are keen to discover what all the fuss is about, and have yet to discover the joys of King Tubby, Augustus Pablo, Lee Perry, Scientist, Derrick Harriot and Niney The Observer (all present here), then Adventures In Dub is a fine starting point, with such classic dub cuts as Dennis Brown’s ‘Concentration’, Bunny Lee’s cover of Burning Spear’s mighty ‘The Invasion’ dubbed by King Tubby, Keith Hudson and Horace Andy’s superb 'Don’t Think About Me’ and King Tubby’s deconstruction of 'The Power Of Love' on 'King Tubby In Fine Style'.


buy this album

******************************************************************

Various Artists
Gypsy Beats and Balkan Bangers (Atlantic Jaxx)

Balkan BangersFirst and foremost do not be put off by the fact you almost certainly won’t have heard of anyone on this album – aside from Basement Jaxx chappie Felix Buxton, on whose label this is released. Mixing raggedy arsed mariachi style horns, arms aloft klezmer plate smashing grooves, hot-club jazz, walloping slabs of dub and just downright unhinged, joyfully raucous racket (imagine a drunken bar mitzvah in Mexico DJ’d over a reggae soundsystem by the Pogues and Django Reinhardt, no really) if this doesn’t prompt you to smile, dance or slop red wine over the table cloth you have no soul and no business listening to music.


buy this album

******************************************************************

Various Artists
Classic Rock Presents Prog Rock (Gut Active)

Prog RockUntil fairly recently, professing a penchant for prog would have been akin to declaring your undying love for the music of Gary Glitter. But thanks to the prog-ish leanings of Radiohead and Muse, the genre seems to have been retrieved from the refuse dump of musical history. This 27-track double does a good job of collating its finest moments, with Procul Harum’s ‘A Salty Dog’ and Genesis’ ‘Carpet Crawlers’ still sounding particularly fresh. The real discovery for this writer, however, is the fantastic ‘Yours Is No Disgrace’ by Yes, a band that he had previously avoided as keenly as avian flu.


buy this album

******************************************************************

Various Artists
DJ Kicks: The Exclusives (K7)

DJ KicksCelebrating the 25th release in their DJ Kicks series K7 have gathered together 14 exclusive cut’s from past contributors including cuts from the likes of the Thievery Corporation, Kid Loco and the Truby Trio. To these ears the best moments are the more blunted efforts by Kruder & Dorfmeister, DJ Cam and Terranova but for those of you keen on hands-in-the-air floor fillers, or fond of a slice of squelchy electro then there’s also plenty here to keep your motor running, best of all is the mighty Carl Craigs almost ten minute long title track which proves there’s a good deal of life left in the dance genre yet.


buy this album

******************************************************************

Various Artists
12”/80s/Dance (Family Recordings)

12”/80s/DanceThe third in this collectable series of ‘80s themed 12” releases, featuring hideously deformed Celebrity Big Brother housemate Pete Burns whose ‘You Spin Me Round’ nonetheless remains a monster of a tune, as does the eight minute plus take on Art Of Noise’s ‘Close To The Edit’. Thirty odd tracks spread over three discs, the real nuggets are actually to be found on CD 2 (subtitled Club) featuring Coldcut’s seminal take on Eric B & Rakim’s ‘Paid In Full’, six and a half minutes of pure club cheese courtesy of Black Box’s ‘Ride On Time’ and extended cuts of Donna Summer’s ‘State Of Independence’ and Inner City’s ‘Big Fun’.


buy this album

******************************************************************

Various
Atlantic Jaxx: A Compilation Vol 2 (Atlantic Jaxx)

Ben ChristophersInitially started up as an outlet for - what has gone on to become - Basement Jaxx's world conquering house anthems in '94, Atlantic Jaxx has since become an outlet for them to release music by people they work with or just like. This second collection (the first was released in '97), is dotted with early and unreleased BJ material and plenty of percussion laden floor-fillers, Latin house stompers and less obvious tracks like the Basement's own Kraftwerk-esqu 'We Are Computa', Housebreakerz clonking great punky 'Help Myself', Yen Sung's squelchy acidic dub 'Do You' and some pretty classy soul outings.


buy this album

******************************************************************

Various Artists
Strangely Strange But Oddly Normal (Island)

Island SamplerBeing ancient enough to have purchased albums like Nice Enough To Eat and El Pea back in the dim distant past - when, what were then referred to as, ‘samplers’ by labels like Vertigo, Harvest and Island were almost as essential purchases as single artist albums - this superb 3CD collection brings flooding back memories of discovering for the first time the joys of Free, Nick Drake, King Crimson, Jethro Tull, Fairport Convention (alongside less well known but equally treasured acts like Blodwyn Pig, Spooky Tooth and Heavy Jelly). Essential listening for the forty five plus and a bloody goldmine for the under twenty fives.


buy this album

******************************************************************

Various Artists
Drive Thru Records – Greatest Hits (Drive Thru)

Drive ThruReleased to celebrate ten years of independent activity Drive Thru are not a label most UK music fans are perhaps au fait with (or indeed many of their acts) but it’s pretty certain that US readers, with a penchant for punk/grunge pop, will know Senses Fail, Early November, RX Bandits, The Starting Line, New Found Glory, Hidden In Plain View, Midtown and Steel Train, most of whom can be found here. Like all successful indie’s Drive Thru only sign acts they love knowing the audience will follow - and more or less everything here is immediately accessible – a model most majors would do well to learn from.


buy this album

******************************************************************

Various
Check The Water (Leaf)

Leaf LabelCelebrating ten years of Leaf activity – launched by ex-4AD press officer Tony Morley in 1995 with no defined goal other than to explore the places where electronica, jazz, classical, rock, folk and pop music meet - these twenty-nine tracks, spread over two and a half hours kick off with Boymerang’s ‘The Don’ (Graham Sutton's first post-Bark Psychosis outing and the track which kicked off the label) briefly alighting on the first ever outing for Kieran Hebden’s post-Fridge Four Tet project before taking in ludicrously underrated acts like Murcof, Faultline, Caribou and many more. Leaf genuinely are a national treasure, here’s to another ten.


buy this album

******************************************************************

Alex Valentine
Local History (Struck Dumb)

Alex ValentineIt’s been mentioned in these pages, and will doubtless be so again, that there are so many singer/songwriters currently doing the rounds you could throw a brick in almost any direction and end up bagging one. Not that we’d suggest doing such an anti-social thing to Alex Valentine as we were quite taken with his Damien Rice meets Richard Ashcroft tales of loneliness, gambling, failed romances and substance abuse, and if that all sounds depressingly maudlin don’t panic, Local History isn’t the soundtrack to a wrist slashing party, it is in fact a rather beautiful debut album which deserves to reach a much wider audience than he currently commands


buy this album

******************************************************************

Various
Dub Rarities (Trojan)

Dub RaritiesIt doesn’t necessarily follow that because something is rare it’s worth the effort of tracking it down, collecting music for it’s obscurity value alone is not a pastime we here at TotalMusic- Online would recommend. That said we would highly recommend immediately grabbing a copy of this, frankly fantastic, collection of lesser known dubs courtesy of Tapper Zukie, Bunny Lee, Niney, Scientist, Augustus Pablo, Linval Thompson and of course Lee Perry. The only notable absentee is the King (Tubby - whose back catalogue is now pretty much strip mined), but that minor gripe aside this an absolute treasure trove, and well worth digging up


buy this album

*****************************************************************

Various Artists
Trojan Legends (Trojan Records)

Trojan LegendsAs summer finally deigns to settle for a few weeks on the UK what better soundtrack for the sun could you ask for than 50 tracks bridging the early days of ska right up to the digital dancehall of the present day. Kicking of with Laurel Aitken, Owen Gray and Jimmy Cliff before skanking past King Tubby, U Roy, I Roy, Lee Perry, Peter Tosh and Sugar Minnott before arriving at Shabba Ranks and Beenie Man (to name but a few of the stellar cast-list here) these 50 tracks have scarcely a clunker amongst them. If you’re looking for a soundtrack for your barbeque or just fancy chilling in the garden, look no further.


buy this album

******************************************************************

Various
Indie Anthems (Universal)

Shelby LynneNeatly sidestepping the fact that the vast majority of the acts on Indie Anthems were (and in most cases still are) signed to major labels – the older amongst us still recall that the word indie originated around acts that populated the independent album charts, i.e. acts on independent labels – and also allowing for the fact that around twenty percent of the bands found here are bloody rubbish, this is actually not bad. For every Neds Atomic Dustbin clunker there’s a soaring Radiohead moment or reliably quirky Boo Radleys gem, for ever duff Echobelly or Cast duffer a shining Stone Roses or incandescent Pixies cracker.


buy this album

******************************************************************

Various Artists
The Roxy London WC2 (Castle)

The Roxy London WC2During it’s short existence (Dec ‘76-Apr ‘78) The Roxy music venue in London was the de-facto home to London punk as this 6CD box-set, from the opening cut by old style punk also-ran’s Slaughter And The Dogs to the winding up by Johnny come lately never were’s the Crabs - via full length CD sets from the Buzzcocks, The Adverts, X-Ray Spex and the redoubtable UK Subs – proves. Aside from sounding like it was recorded in a toilet (which some of the acts may actually insist it was), this collection gets pretty damn close to capturing the spit and sawdust ‘anyone can do this’ vigour and vim of early UK punk.


buy this album

******************************************************************

Various Artists
Ars Longa Vita Brevis (Castle)

Ars Longa BrevisA 3CD boxset subtitled ‘a compendium of progressive rock 1967-1974’ this odd artefact is in fact a prog rock box-set in name only as tracks by distinctly un-prog outfits like Status Quo, Humble Pie, UFO, The Kinks and, lord help us, Chicken Shack litter the proceedings. There is however just enough of the genuine article dotted around (like Emerson, Lake and Palmer and Soft Machine) to keep genuine prog heads happy and, as an added bonus, those of a certain age – i.e. if you were ever so slightly too old for punk – will be delighted to find tracks by Stray, Man, Atomic Rooster, Uriah Heep and the Groundhogs.


buy this album

******************************************************************

Various Artists
Where We're At (Smalltown Supersound)

Where We're AtNine tracks intended to outline today's general direction of the Smalltown Supersound label (which recently split into Supersound and Superjazzz sub-genres), a direction, if anything here is a litmus test, which is just as likely to veer off wildly in the near future. In short this hugely prolific Norwegian label encompass’s everything from the clanking off-kilter Kim Hiorthøy via the Residents on acid (yup that weird) trippiness of Toy, Sir Duperman and beyond. In fact the only real duffer here comes courtesy of the willfully irritating Sonic Youth, proving that there’s a good deal of difference between experimental and tiresome.

buy this album

******************************************************************

Various Artists
Dread Broadcasting Corporation (Trojan)

Dread Broadcasting... It’s getting hard to keep up with the avalanche of quality reggae receiving the reissue treatment at Trojan these days, and unlike a lot of repackaging going on at record labels these really are welcome releases as they gather together some seriously hard to find old cuts. The real surprise is just how much quality material has remained buried for so long, some of which pops up on this brilliant collection celebrating the ‘80s London pirate radio station. Ranging from the roots of the Wailers and Burning Spear through ska, soca and lovers to hilarious old slack anthems like Lord Kitcheners Doctor Kitch.

Buy this album

******************************************************************

Various Artists
Techno Sessions (Union Square Music)

Techno SessionsThe transient nature of the music business dictates that musical styles will always wax and wane (well, vacuous, anodyne, manufactured, chart pop accepted), and techno is definitely not uppermost in the minds of major label A&R dept’s or radio playlist compilers right now. Which is all the more reason to either check out those pirate stations or indeed catch up with why everyone got the techno bug in the first place. Featuring tracks by pioneers like Derrick May, Kevin Saunderson, Jeff Mills and latter-day disciples Dave Clarke and Laurent Garnier this 2 CD set is an excellent primer for the uninitiated.

Buy this album

******************************************************************

Various Artists
Nevermind – Glitterhouse Is 20 (Glitterhouse Records)

Glitterhouse Is 20German based Glitterhouse Records has been beavering away in the margins for twenty years now – and, via Sub Pop, were behind the first European releases by Mudhoney, Tad and, yes, Nirvana – so you can pretty much jump into this 51 track 3CD collection at random and find a slice of heaven, but cherry picking just a few how about a trio of fine David Thomas moments via his various outfits Pere Ubu, Rocket From The Tombs and Two Pale Boys. If you’re unsure of the relative merits of Willard Grant Conspiracy, Lilium or 16 Horsepower (amongst many others) then you need this, right now.

Buy this album

*****************************************************************

Various Artists
Hellhounds On Their Trail (Indigo)

Hellhounds...It’s hard to imagine who the hell might be unaware of the line drawn from Blind Lemon Jefferson through Charlie Patton, Robert Johnson and John Lee Hooker to Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Peter Green (and of course nowadays Jack White), but it’s clear that with bands like Kings Of Leon and Rooster doing the rounds blues guitar is as relevant today as it has ever been. All of which makes this excellent 3CD box-set featuring all of the above (except Jack White), all the more welcome. As definitive a history of blues guitar as it’s possible to cram into 75 tracks

Buy this album

******************************************************************

Various Artists
Sick, Sober And Sorry (Indigo)

Sick Sober SorryNow this is a little gem, especially for those amongst you wishing to discover more about the country & western music of the ‘50s which ultimately led to rockabilly, honky-tonk and, of course, rock ‘n’ roll. Names like Hank Williams, Lefty Frizzell, Ernest Tubb and Tennessee Ernie Ford are legendary (all feature on this 3CD set), and are often found nestling in your favourite rock stars’ “I used to listen to…” interview name-check list. Can you really resist any album with ‘How Much Is That Hound Dog In The Window’ by Homer & Jethro? I should bloody well think not. Yeehaa!


Buy this album

******************************************************************

Various Artists
Suedehead (Trojan)

SuedeheadOdd cove Johnny Suedehead, bit like a smart skinhead or a more in yer face smoothie and very short lived as well (early seventies if recollection serves), so bundling a collection of sounds around this non-movement was never really much of an idea. If however you just approach this as a dig through the Trojan crates which has lifted out Lee Perry, I Roy, Big Youth, Desmond Dekker, Horace Andy and Dennis Brown then you can’t go far wrong. As always, over a 3 CD collection, there’s a few stinkers but generally the quality level is as high as a rasta after his morning spliff.


buy this album

******************************************************************

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Back to main page


Features

features
Interviews with Supergrass, Ryan Adams, Mark Josephs and our features archive.
more

****************** Live listings

live listings What's on and where Check the listings for all the latest news on where to go and why
more

******************
Demos

Possibly the most important demo page this side of a recording contract.
more

******************
DVD Reviews

features
Our roundup of all the latest DVD releases, top notch or bottom drawer we watch ‘em and then let you know if they’re fit to pop in yer slot
more

****************** Class act


A full page monthly retrospective look at the most Influential acts from the last fiftyyears.
more


Web site designed, built and maintained by Craig Goult at XUNY in association with CaPhun Ung at Phyo.net