Profile for N. Dutton > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by N. Dutton
Top Reviewer Ranking: 7,845
Helpful Votes: 173

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
N. Dutton (Newcastle, Staffs, UK)
(REAL NAME)   

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7
pixel
An Officer and a Spy
An Officer and a Spy
by Robert Harris
Edition: Paperback
Price: 3.85

5.0 out of 5 stars Return to form, 6 July 2014
This review is from: An Officer and a Spy (Paperback)
An Officer and a Spy is a welcome return to form for Harris after the disappointing Fear Index; in fact it is possibly his finest yet The best of his work delves into the almost limitlless capacity human beings have for self-delusion, ruthlessness and cruelty, whether in ancient Rome or in more modern times. This examination of the Dreyfus affair in late 19th century France has all these elements alongside thorough research of the source material and Harris' trademark page-turning style.The novel may be technically a work of fiction but the key events it describes are only too real: a prime example of the old saying that truth is stranger than fiction. Highly recommended.


Umbra
Umbra
Price: 12.58

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Berlin school magnificence, 24 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Umbra (Audio CD)
I had the pleasure of seeing Arc (Mark Shreeve and Ian Boddy) headlining at the Hampshire Jam in 2004. The other three bands playing that day were all more than capable of stealing the show, but Arc blew them away with a Berlin school fest later released on CD as Arcturus. Almost ten years later they have topped even that effort with a release of their set at E-Live, Netherlands from 2013. Like their previous live CDs this one forgoes the subtleties of their studio efforts for a full-on sequencer approach. Much of the 78 minutes on this disc has a distinct family resemblence to Shreeve's Redshift work and even, at points, to his high-tempo solo material. If you like music influenced by, but not slavishly reproducing, mid-70s Tangerine Dream Umbra is unmissable.


Node 2
Node 2
Price: 11.89

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Node 2, 25 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Node 2 (Audio CD)
Node don't exactly churn albums out- almost 20 years has gone by since their first release. This one kicks off with a perfect piece of Berlin school music in the 10 minute Shinkansen East. This is one of those tracks in which every element blends seamlessly and superbly, a very fine piece of work indeed. The rest of the album, whilst never quite reaching such a peak again, has variations in tempo and style so that the whole package is a good example of the genre done well. Given the long gaps between recordings I'm not expecting Node 3 any time in the near future, but this will do for now.


Other World
Other World
Price: 12.09

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quality collaboration, 8 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Other World (Audio CD)
Peter Hammill is my favourite artist not only because of his long history of high quality releases but also because of his refusal to stand still. These qualities are amply demonstrated on this collaboration with guitar whizz Gary Lucas; it's very good and sounds like nothing Hammill has done before. Some of the songs are relatively straightforward guitar and vocal tracks (for instance Spinning Coins, Of Kith and Kin, the Kid) while others feature Hammill's vocals backed by atmospheres and soundscapes (mostly created with guitars) that make the album title very appropriate indeed ( for example Reboot and Some Kind of Fracas). At times the ambient/dark or just plain weird sounds feel as if they could have come from a specialist electronic outfit, such as RMI. PH's voice, quite restrained in this outing, is as magnificent as ever. Five of the 14 tracks (one third of the album) is comprised of instrumental pieces in which Lucas shines. For those who prefer songs to instumentals that leaves 40 minutes to remind us that, at 65, Mr Hammill remains the best of the lot.


Live Seventy Nine
Live Seventy Nine
Price: 15.24

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A low point for Hawkwind, 11 Jan 2014
This review is from: Live Seventy Nine (Audio CD)
I'm posting this review as a counter-balance to the overwheming positive reviews from other people; indeed it seems that Live 79 is considered something of a classic by many. I saw the band at Keele University on this tour and was extremely disappointed. There was a complete loss of the intelligence and polish of the Calvert-era Hawks, but also no sign of the power and atmosphere of the "wall of sound" days. If anything they sounded more like many of the heavy metal merchants that sprang up around this time.
The new pieces Shot Down in the Night and Motorway City are decent enough, but the HW classics Brainstorm, Master of the Universe and Silver Machine are completely butchered and filled with pointless guitar soloing. Even worse is the absolute desecration of Spirit of the Age. You may disagree but my advice is to listen before you buy.


Live 78
Live 78
Price: 11.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Hawklords Live 78- Atomhenge version, 11 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Live 78 (Audio CD)
It's been a source of regret for me that I passed up the chance to see the Hawklords on this tour. I was just getting into music at the time, live gigs were a new experience, I knew next to nothing about the Hawks and the bottom line was that money was tight. In retrospect I missed my only chance to see Bob Calvert fronting the band.
Strangely I held off buying this disc for a long time, having got some of the tracks on the 1992 release the Hawklords Live. If you too already have that version with its miserable running time of 42 minutes (which includes the oft-released, over-rated Over the Top which didn't come from the 78 tour) then let me reassure you it is worth upgrading. Here you get a full hour of music, including the 78 version of Spirit of the Age, which somehow got replaced with an earlier (though better) live version on the 1992 release.
Virtually all the songs here are played faster than previous live or studio versions. On the one hand this makes for an exciting listen, but it sacrifices a lot of the spacey atmosphere of the old Hawkwind live sound whilst also missing the subtlety of the then-recent 25 Years On album. Typical of the set is the choice of Urban Guerilla, a decent rocky song performed with some gusto, but no classic. Nevertheless this is an excellent purchase for fans of Calvert-era Hawkwind.


25 Years On
25 Years On
Price: 14.55

4.0 out of 5 stars The Real Thing, 1 Jan 2014
This review is from: 25 Years On (Audio CD)
These days there's so much imitation Hawkwind around that it can be confusing. My simple rules of thumb are 1) ignore the band politics 2) if there's no Dave Brock there's no Hawkwind 3) It isn't the Hawklords without both Brock and Bob Calvert.
25 Years On is decidedly the real thing: the only studio album the Hawklords ever made and in my opinion it is the second best studio album Hawkwind ever made, after Quark. 25 Years and Psi Power are absolute classics and The Age of the Micro Man is my nomination for most under-rated HW track ever. The first CD of this Atomhenge re-release finishes with the singles from the time of the original release, the highlight being a different version of 25 Years.
The second disc kicks off with the Sonic Assassins tracks from Barnstable in 1977. These have been released ad infinitum over the years and, frankly, aren't all that good.Of more interest are the demos and alternative versions of songs on the main album. These are very much works in progress and show how the final album evolved rather than being stand-outs in their own right as some of the extra tracks on Atomhenge's Quark and PXR5 are. The highlight here is a spirited version of Flying Doctor, and there's a nice acoustic demo of The Only Ones.


Patience: Remastered & Recovered
Patience: Remastered & Recovered
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: 10.77

3.0 out of 5 stars Patience 2006 remaster, 6 Dec 2013
The K group period is far from my personal favourite point in PH's career, hence the 3 star rating (I'd give 3 and a half if the system would let me). That rating, however, is in comparison to most of his work which in my opinion comes in at four and five stars most times. Patience contains staples of Hammill's live set in Traintime and Patient and has one track- Comfortable?- which I would rate as a contender for a "best of" album. The rest aren't bad either and fans of the band approach will appreciate the presence of Guy Evans,the late Nic Potter, John Ellis, Jaxon, Stuart Gordon and David Lord. As for PH: he's head and shoulders above his singer/songwriter contemporaries.


Colour Division
Colour Division
Price: 13.68

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Boddy's very best, 1 Dec 2013
This review is from: Colour Division (Audio CD)
This collaboration between synthesist Ian Boddy and guitarist Markus Reuter is a very fine piece of work indeed. I vastly prefer it to their previous joint efforts and it is quite probably my favourite DiN release to date. Each of the seven tracks is strong and each piece has a completely different character. Just listening to the fantastic up-tempo opener Borderlands should be enough to convince the listener that 53 minutes of synth heaven awaits. This is right up there with my favourite Boddy solo album Continuum and previous collaborations Octane (with Mark Shreeve, as Arc) and Exit Strategy (with Parallel Worlds).


Enter K: Remastered
Enter K: Remastered
Price: 12.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Remastered K, 25 Nov 2013
This review is from: Enter K: Remastered (Audio CD)
This remaster has given Enter K a new lease of life. The improvement in sound quality is evident from the first note, and I'm not the sort of person who is normally sensitive to such things. K has never been one of my favourite Hammill records, but I imagine that other people will appreciate the beat group approach far more than me. In any case "weaker" Hammill albums are still better than the majority of stuff produced by other folk. On this CD The Unconscious Life is outstanding, Paradox Drive and She Wraps It Up are very good and both Don't Tell Me and Happy Hour have featured in PH's live set over the years. Also included is the additional track Seven Wonders, which initially came out as a single B-side.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7