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Superleccy (Newbury, UK)

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Fab Four Suture
Fab Four Suture
Price: £7.22

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Consistentley Stereolab, 17 April 2006
This review is from: Fab Four Suture (Audio CD)
It's been suggested by other reviews (here, and elsewhere) that Fab Four Suture does not present the listener with a new evolution of the Stereolab sound that we have come to expect with each new LP. I suppose this is true, pretty much (the Philip Glass tribute Kybernetika Babickta being the obvious exception), but this album is yet another finely crafted masterpiece. It's upbeat & positive with strong melodies and plenty of twists, but my personal fave is "Excursions into oh-a-oh", the throbbing & pulsing outro offering a glimpse of the low-fi Groop of old. This illustrates very well how th'Lab have matured over the years. After one and a half decades and between 11 and 16 albums (depending on how you count them), the word "matured" sums up the 2006 vintage Stereolab very well. Hardly punk rock, but reason to be proud.

Refried Ectoplasm
Refried Ectoplasm

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Groop at their pounding, one-chord best..., 2 Jun. 2005
This review is from: Refried Ectoplasm (Audio CD)
This is the second in the "Switched On" trilogy of Stereolab rarities, b-sides & out-takes. So, this should sound like a random jumble of noodling; a hotch-potch of filler and rejects? Right?
Wrong. This is one of my favourite Stereolab albums.
Perhaps because the album has such a consistent sound with recurring themes spread throughout the tracks, this collection hangs together superbly as an album in its own right. From the angry one-chord solos in "Harmonium" to the gentle come-down of "Tempter", it's an exhillarating and satisfying journey. For example... the opening track is revisited in "Revox" with a renewed energy, "French Disco" is a nice jangly take on The Groops finest moment, and "Eloge d'Eros" offers the finest ever example of the vocal sparring between Mary Hansen and Laetitia Sadier. "Tone Burst [country]" is jaunty and irreverent, yet the next track "Animal or Vegetable" is a monstrous assault of difficult listening.
This is the best of the Switched On series, and possibly even their best album. Unintentionally, of course.

Oscillons from the Anti-Sun [3CD + DVD]
Oscillons from the Anti-Sun [3CD + DVD]

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A review for anoraks, 31 May 2005
What you get is all the tracks from their "regular" UK-issue EPs: "Jenny Ondioline", "Ping Pong", "Wow & Flutter", "Fluorescences", "Cybele's Reverie", "Miss Modular", "The Free Design" & "Captain Easychord". Note that "Low-Fi" and "Instant O..." are conspicuous by their absence. Where any of the tracks also appeared on their LPs, the EP version/edit is featured here, although any differences are pretty irrelevant. You also get the US single version of "The Noise of Carpet", an alternative edit of "Jenny Ondioline" and an unreleased version of "Ping Pong", but again, these are almost identical to the album versions you probably already own.

And yes, the featured version of French DisCo is the organ-heavy stomp that appears on the original Jenny Ondioline EP, as opposed to the janglier "French DisKo" that appears on Refried Ectoplasm.

The DVD is interesting for the promos videos (although don't expect televisual masterpieces) and the two Jools Holland appearances, but the unlikely rendition of "French Disco" on Channel 4's "The Word" is the highlight of the package.

It all comes in a nice box with splodgy packaging and 8 stickers representing the original artwork of the original EPs.

So, not the place to start your Stereolab collection (for that, my vote goes for "Transient Random Noise Bursts", "Refried Ectoplasm", "Emperor Tomato Ketchup" or "Sound-Dust"), but good value for money if you don't already own the EPs.

Music For TV/Film And Radio Vol. 1
Music For TV/Film And Radio Vol. 1
Price: £9.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Play it again... whilst watching CEEFAX, 10 Mar. 2005
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Harmonic 33 would be the fastest to admit that they aren't the first with a modern tribute to vintage electronica, lounge and elevator music. The influences of Jean-Jaques Perrey, Joe Meek, Walter Carlos, The BBC Radiophonic Workshop and their like can already be heard in the works of Air, Broadcast, Blue States, Stereolab and the various Stereolab side-projects. "Music for Film...", however, provides a chilled, purer, interpretation of the genre, that really wouldn't sound out of place accompanying the BBC2 testcard. You could be cruel and complain that this is a CD of noodling and tunes that don't really go anywhere, but in fact it can be haunting and addictive, and true to its roots throughout. Stand-out tracks are "Carousel", "Marionette" and "Optigan", but the album is best taken as a whole. And, perhaps unsurpirsingly, "Optigan" sounds almost identical to Blur's "Optigan 1" from their "13" album... and that's not a bad thing.

Black Books 3: The Complete 3rd Series [DVD] [2004]
Black Books 3: The Complete 3rd Series [DVD] [2004]
Dvd ~ Dylan Moran
Offered by Qoolist
Price: £1.98

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still strong in Series 3, with great DVD extras, 10 Mar. 2005
Many alternative British sitcoms are a spent force by the time they reach their third series, but this is not the case with Black Books. Although the situations and plotlines get more and more desparate, them strength of the characters and their relationships holds the show together and keeps it fresh & funny.
However, it is the quality of the DVD extras that seals the 5-star rating. Loads of outtakes and deleted scenes that are actually just as funny as the broadcast episodes. Gives the impression that Bernard, Manny & Fran are good for a few series more.

Retrospect 6.0 Desktop Backup (inc 2 Clients) Mac
Retrospect 6.0 Desktop Backup (inc 2 Clients) Mac

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Expensive, but does the job, 9 Mar. 2005
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I originally thought the cost of this software was unjustified just to back up my laptop. However, it appears to be the only OSX software on the market that does incremental AND compressed AND scheduled backups to ANY media, including to DVD-R AND CD-R. And, despite the user interface being a bit non-intuitive in places, it does an excellent job. Very stable and very reliable under OSX 10.3.8. It is a shame, however, that I have had to pay for extra features (eg, client licences) that I'll never use.

Creative Labs TravelSound Portable Speaker System
Creative Labs TravelSound Portable Speaker System

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good design, but was expecting more, 3 Dec. 2003
These travellers' active speakers have a stylish and practical design. The choice between battery and mains power is welcome, as is the choice between UK and continental power leads. The external transformer is small and light, and should even work in the USA with the correct adaptor. The nifty carry-case is a bonus. The sound, however, is tinny and devoid of bass. For the price, I was expecting something that sounded a bit special. Shame. Nevertheless, next time you're stuck in a naff foreign hotel with nothing but your iPod for entertainment, you'll be glad you packed your Travelsound in your hand luggage.

Fifth Column
Fifth Column
Price: £11.84

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So In Tune, 8 Nov. 2003
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Fifth Column (Audio CD)
Only really stumbled accross this by accident. What a find! On first listen the eerie low-fi harmonies, strumming accoustic guitar and witty smooth flowing (and sometimes plaintive) lyrics sent shivers down my spine. I can't remember the last time that happened to me. Imagine a cross between Syd Barrett, The Beach Boys and the first Violet Femmes album... and you're part way there. Each song is immediately catchy, with a sort of 1960s atmosphere that Lee Mavers would have killed for. How on earth did UNPOC manage all this? I don't know. All I know is that I can't keep this album off my stereo.

Ether Song
Ether Song
Offered by Qoolist
Price: £3.19

6 of 28 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dreary yawn-a-thon. Zzzzzz., 12 Sept. 2003
This review is from: Ether Song (Audio CD)
This bland and pretentious album has absolutely nothing going for it. A bit like Phil Collins-era Genesis. I find it depressing that such dull & unremarkable music can be so popular. We are clearly entering a new musical dark age.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 15, 2013 5:17 AM BST

Live Forever: The Rise and Fall of Brit Pop (2003) [DVD]
Live Forever: The Rise and Fall of Brit Pop (2003) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Noel Gallagher
Offered by FREETIME
Price: £11.65

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Please don't remember it like this, 22 Jun. 2003
I approached this one cautiously... "Britpop" seems like only yesterday, surely it's too soon for a feature-length retrospective? Clearly, yes. This DVD not only failed to meet my pretty low expectations, I found it a struggle to keep my finger off the FFWD button.
Live Forever is biased by the small number of britpoppers they could persuade to appear. The Gallaghers are as mouthy as ever, but Albarn and Cocker just seem embarrassed and don't say much. You get Louise Wener, Damon's mate from Massive Attack and, er... that's it! Harldy a mention (or no mention at all) of Radiohead, Suede, Supergrass, The Boo Radleys, The Manics, The Verve, Space, PJ Harvey, Elastica, Primal Scream, The Charlatans, The Divine Comedy, Black Grape or even the Spice Girls. Even two of the most seminal BritPop albums, "Modern Life Is Rubbish" and "His n Hers" don't get a look in. But you do get to see quite a lot of an Oasis tribute band, and S-Club Juniors. Er, hello?!?!?
There's no background on how the bands got together, no decent concert footage, and you learn nothing you couldn't have known from reading the Daily Mail between 1995 and 1998. There is, however, lots of annoying graphics and lots of pointless shots of buildings.
If you thought Britpop was just Parklife and Morning Glory, and you have the memory span of a goldfish, you might enjoy this. But probably not.

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