February 21, 2006

Emiliana Torrini – Fisherman’s Woman

Filed under: Reviews — Rene @ 12:07 am

Emiliana Torrini - Fisherman's Woman
Emiliana Torrini is of Italian and Icelandic origin. Her first album Love in the Time of Science 2000 was produced by Roland Orzabal of Tears for Fears and sounded very electronic and Björk-ish. Her second release Fisherman’s Woman (2005) is mainly acoustic. It sounds very warm and intimate; it makes you imagine Emiliana being a butterfly or a beautifully fragile fairy. Most of the songs are based on acoustic guitar here and there accompanied by piano and minimal percussion. It is mainly Emiliana Torrini’s childish voice that is the biggest drawing point of the album.


The Kingsbury Manx – The Kingsbury Manx

Filed under: Revisited — Rene @ 12:06 am

The Kingsbury Manx - The Kingsbury Manx
The Kingsbury Manx formed in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, U.S., in 1999, with their first self titled debut released in 2000. It is full of English flavours and tender melodies.
The opener “Pageant Square” sets the atmosphere of the album immediately from the first few beats. Humming organs, acoustic guitar, gently played percussions, dreamy Pink Floyd-ish vocals. The Sound is amazingly warm.
Track two “Regular Hands” makes you think of early Pink Floyd era again. Influence is more than obvious.
“Piss Diary” is the track three on the album and probably my albums favourite. It is based on simple acoustic guitar strumming, strings, gentle percussions and beautiful dreamy vocals. Repetitive catchy melody makes you think of bands such as Slowdive or Ride.


February 20, 2006

Arab Strap – The Last Romance

Filed under: Reviews — Rene @ 9:57 pm

Arab Strap - The Last Romance
Arab Strap was formed in 1995 in Scotland by vocalist Aidan Moffat and multi-instrumentalist Malcolm Middleton. The Last Romance is I believe their eight full length album. If you’re familiar with their earlier releases you call up a very depressive, sad and beautiful music stripped down to a simple drum machine arrangements accompanied by acoustic guitar and Moffat’s tired vocals. Oh and those lyrics! Very pornographic, but in Arab Strap’s case, it is not necessarily a bad thing… The melodies are usually very catchy after few listenings.


February 10, 2006

The Matthew Herbert Big Band – Goodbye Swingtime

Filed under: Reviews — Rene @ 8:30 am

The Matthew Herbert Big Band - Goodbye Swingtime
I seriously had no idea of The Matthew Herbert Big Band’s music until I got their CD Goodbye Swingtime (2003). What waited for me was a very pleasant surprise.

Matthew Herbert has an early teenager experience as a keyboard player in Glenn Miller swing tribute band and since then he continued experimenting with different sounds and electronic gadgets in a context of dance music.


God Machine – Scenes from the Second Storey

Filed under: Revisited — Rene @ 8:27 am

God Machine - Scenes from the Second Storey
I tell you right at the beginning that this is one of my all time favourite albums ever.
A band based around Robin Proper-Sheppard, Jimmy Fernandez and Ron Austin originally coming from San Diego, moving to New York and finally to UK.

God Machine‘s debut album Scenes from the Second Storey was released in 1993 and it still sounds huge and very experimental. The killer guitar riffs, layers of atmospheric sounds, huge drums, bulldozer sounding bass all accompanied by Sheppard’s intense vocals. Oh! Heaven!


February 6, 2006

Sigur Ros – Ba Ba Ti Ki Di Do

Filed under: Reviews — Rene @ 12:57 am

Sigur Ros - Ba Ba Ti Ki Di Do
Icelanders Sigur Ros are here again with their EP named Ba Ba Ti Ki Di Do. It is actually a single 20 minute ambient song broken up into three parts. This EP has been written as a composition for Merce Cunningham’s dance piece “Split Sides”.

As usually Sigur Ros chose experimental approach for this recording. As instruments they used piano, music box, miked-up ballet shoes and electronic playback.


February 1, 2006

Diamanda Galas – La Serpenta Canta

Filed under: Reviews — Rene @ 10:05 pm

Diamanda Galas - La Serpenta Canta
La Serpenta Canta is a double CD collection of blues songs in Diamanda Galas’ dark interpretation recorded live in 2001-2002 all over the world. (Portugal, New York, Belgium, Canada, Australia..)

Majority of the songs are either traditionals or written by a famous blues names such as John Lee Hooker, Hank Williams or David Hill.
The quality of her interpretations is mind blowing; each song from Hank Williams’ “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” to Hawkins’ “I Put a Spell on You” and John Lee Hookers “Burning Hell” sounds like it was designed to her voice.
There is also a version on “Baby’s Insane” track which first appeared on her collaboration with John Paul Jones (ex Led Zeppelin), The Sporting Life 1994.


Malcolm Middleton – Into the Woods

Filed under: Reviews — Rene @ 9:00 pm

Malcolm Middleton - Into the  Woods
Multi instrumentalist Malcolm Middleton is the half brain of the Scottish band Arab Strap and Into the Woods (2005) is his second solo album. For the first time we could hear Malcolm singing solo on his debut “5:14 Fluoxytine Seagull Alcohol John Nicotine the Pawn Art School Dance Doo-Dah” released in 2003.

Comparing these two albums his new release “Into the Woods” sounds much more confident and less messy than its predecessor. Malcolm’s vocals are much cleaner and just as capable as his Arab Strap’s partners Aidan Moffat.


Great Lake Swimmers – Bodies and Minds

Filed under: Reviews — Rene @ 8:55 pm

Great Lake Swimmers - Bodies and Minds
Great Lake Swimmers is a band based around a singer/song writer Tony Dekker. Great Lake Swimmers are coming from cold Toronto, Canada. “Bodies and Minds” 2005 is their second album following their first self tilted debut “Great Lake Swimmers” released in 2003.

“Bodies and Minds” was recorded in St Theresa’s Church in Ontario. What a perfect recording environment with a natural reverb and great acoustics! Apparently when recording and mixing the “Bodies and Minds” album, there was hardly any sound processing applied. No effects or dynamic processing, just a pure sound captured during their church recordings.


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