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Elderberry Shiftglass
Elderberry Shiftglass
Offered by jim-exselecky
Price: £9.99

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Acid elderberries in sweet coats, 18 Nov. 2006
This review is from: Elderberry Shiftglass (Audio CD)
If I had to pick out one musical era that leaves me stone cold it has to be the era of psychedelic music--Grateful Dead, Pink Floyd, and the like never spoke to me. Seeing musical geniuses such as Peter Green and Syd Barrett leave for the laughing academy after one too many pills is evidence enough that there's something wrong with the whole concept of seeking inspiration via ingestion of noxious chemicals.

So it was with some trepidation that I picked up Elderberry Shiftglass, the Gurus apparent hommage to the flower-power decade. Luckily, they approach the sujet with their trademark nonsensical no-nonsense deconstruction and the cheek firmly lodged in tongue. There are plenty of Sixties organ sounds, and if monosyllabic female vocals are not for you, then you might want to stay well clear of this one. But as usual with the Gurus, the music stays with you. There's some melancholy this time around, which somewhat re-defines familiar sounds and levitates strangely above the beats.

It's a very nice album--certainly not their best offering, and a clear departure from the sounds and styles on their previous records, but still Loop Guru. If only they had cut out some of the snippets apparently taken from films, space missions, and radio broadcasts, this album would be yet another incomparable gem, deserving another five stars.

Killing Joke
Killing Joke
Price: £5.99

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark and razor sharp, 11 Sept. 2005
This review is from: Killing Joke (Audio CD)
About 25 years after its inception, this album still holds up very strong and is bound to do so for a long time to come. It is the essence of organic music, stripped bare of any pretensions. Life between steel and concrete, man-made anger and desolation seem to drip from every line of the lyrics, from every abrasive chord. The slow reeling "Requiem", the angry and opressive "Wardance", and the spacious "Tomorrow's World", they seem atomic fragments of emotion rather than songs. But this is what makes this work seem truly detached and timeless - so true in its form and rarely captured in any other music of roughly the same genre.

Garmin Forerunner 101 Wrist-Mounted GPS Personal Training Device
Garmin Forerunner 101 Wrist-Mounted GPS Personal Training Device
Offered by AOT (VAT registered)
Price: £169.99

76 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good pace forward, 27 Aug. 2005
This is an extremely useful gadget for anyone interested in accurately monitoring their running/jogging/walking, or biking performance. I don't even want to remember those days when I clipped a clicky-di-clack pedometer to my hip, hoping it'll give me some idea of the distances over which I'd laboured myself.
The Forerunner is just the extra leap the user needs. There are the main features, such as real-time recording of pace (i.e., min per km or mile) or speed (both of which can be easily switched), as well as time elapsed and distance covered. However, even the relatively basic Forerunner 101 comes with plenty of bells and whistles. A virtual partner lets you gauge in real time how far you're ahead or behind a target pace; info such as maximum and average pace and total distance (imperial or metric units can be readily switched) are logged for each run and stored by day and week. The map feature seems a little superfluous, since the screen is just too small to see any revealing features, but it's cool nonetheless.
The design and features are thoroughly professional and refined, and the navigation through the menus is very simple and intuitive - no fantastically confusing arrays of buttons. A simple menu button lets you switch between the different menu levels, which can be further navigated and selected with up-down buttons and an enter button, respectively. After just reading up on the basics, I largely ignored the menu, and just played around with it no problem.
Its accuracy is simply exceptional - just a few days after the inaugural run, I wore it during a 10-mile race, and at crossing over the finish line, its deviation from the distance advertised was just 0.4% - so miniscule that it really proved its mettle and attests to the fidelity of the instrument (and the diligent surveying of the race organisers).
Granted, it's a tad bulkier than an ordinary stop watch, or pulse monitor, but it fits even spindly wrists (with a sportsy Velcro band) just fine. And it doesn't add that much weight that one should be concerned about losing minutes in the workout because of it.
As it is GPS based, it takes a few moments for it to get its bearings. However, as detailed in the manual, usually after less than one minute it has made a stable connection. Running beneath dense tree canopies can dupe it a little, and running close to solid barriers, such as walls or tall houses can shush the signal. So, for obvious reasons, it's no good using it on an indoor track.
Highly recommended for the serious athlete, enthusiastic runner, as well as the laid-back jogger or walker!

Duniya - The Intrinsic Passion of Mysterious Joy
Duniya - The Intrinsic Passion of Mysterious Joy
Price: £8.06

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dream with light, white and cream, 22 Aug. 2005
The world is biased, unjust, and it generally lacks fervour for anything defying gravity. How else can you explain that one never hears this wonderful music on the radio? (Well, except student radio, but then again who listens to that?) But the day may come, albeit perhaps in the next life or in that after that...
About ten years ago, I lifted bread on my table by working as a cab driver. Whilst chauffeuring (if there is indeed such a word), I always had with me an eclectic mix of music on cassette, which usually prompted my passengers to enquire if I might be inclined to reduce the volume on the car stereo. Except when I played Loop Guru. Then something invariably changed - heads ever so slightly bend forward to listen, there was some astonishment in their eyes, even signs of smiles gracing the toughest faces. In short, peace and bliss had deigned to be among us.
I always feel strangely moved when I hear the first tunes of "Freedom from the known" and the beautiful, yearning voice of an unknown Indian singer sparsely recurring in it. Perhaps it's because for a very brief moment the world seems to make sense again, that there is still a lot of mystery waiting to be uncovered forever. A similar pure emotion perhaps awakened by Shostakovich's "Preludes & Fuges". Listening to the bird cries and forlorn Gamelan gongs in "Tchengo" after moments of shared passion is apt to carry one into the sweet twilight of the senses, where reason is just a faint whisper, happily married with emotion.
Not only this CD is recommended to the ears of the reader, but also Loop Guru's other works, notably "Amrita", "Loop bites dog", and, last not but least, the less refined but beautifully eccentric "Catalogue of desires vol 3".
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