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"gophrantastica"

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Souvenirs
Souvenirs
Price: 14.28

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Anneke's Enchanting Voice Returns... with friends!, 12 Jun 2003
This review is from: Souvenirs (Audio CD)
Since the release of the "Black Light District" EP to commemorate their 12.5 year anniversary producing uplifting music (for an increasingly dedicated and reverential group of fans), the Gathering have again poured themselves wholeheartedly into the creation of another seminal album. Unusually for them, this album sees a degree of collaboration with other artists (notably, Trickster G of Ulver) - but don't allow this to put you off! I personally much prefer the Gathering's music to Ulver's, so it comes as a relief to say that the other artists have willingly adopted the Gathering's style.
Fans of the Gathering's early releases (with male vocals and a heavier style) should probably look elsewhere. Just because a woman's singing doesn't mean the album should be ignored, however, and it would be a pity for anyone to miss out on this because of the traditional Metal fan's narrow horizons. This kind of stereotyping is unfair, but it serves well to show how, if they would only listen, even the sceptical would be convinced. This album does not "grow on you" (unlike most of the others in my collection). Its originality will impress with the very first play.
It does take time to get used to this, though. The Gathering have been growing more "progressive" with every album ("How to Measure a Planet" being the obvious example), and I have always loved them for it. They have taken me with them on their journey without requesting anything in return. But while this album will seem impressive on its first play, it will also seem quite cold. After a few plays, however, the warmth surfaces, and the emotion in every track is enough to ensure that this album is often my choice to go to sleep with, alongside Cat Power and the like.
The individual feeling each Gathering release posseses is present here once more - a new Gathering album is a very personal experience. The album title, for instance, is not printed onto the cover booklet (and so is not visible in the picture at the top of this page), but is actually in the form of a transparent sticker on the front of the case. This has been done by hand - something you won't see on a Craig David release! Track Three, "Broken Glass", will be familiar to those of you who have heard "Black Light District", as there is a piano version to be found there. But this new, harsher version is almost unrecognisable; it is the way the track was meant to be.
All in all, this is a stirring, heartfelt release from one of Europe's most original bands. The music is beautiful, the lyrics are beautiful - even the cover booklet artwork is beautiful, if a little enigmatic!. If you have a remote interest in original, unusual music, or a taste for the Gathering's more recent releases, you will not do yourself a disservice by picking this up. Without shouting "Buy this Album!", I can say no more.


Souvenirs
Souvenirs
Price: 14.28

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Anneke's Enchanting Voice Returns... with friends!, 7 Jun 2003
This review is from: Souvenirs (Audio CD)
Since the release of the "Black Light District" EP to commemorate their 12.5 year anniversary producing uplifting music (for an increasingly dedicated and reverential group of fans), the Gathering have again poured themselves wholeheartedly into the creation of another seminal album. Unusually for them, this album sees a degree of collaboration with other artists (notably, Trickster G of Ulver) - but don't allow this to put you off! I personally much prefer the Gathering's music to Ulver's, so it comes as a relief to say that the other artists have willingly adopted the Gathering's style.
Fans of the Gathering's early releases (with male vocals and a heavier style) should probably look elsewhere. Just because a woman's singing doesn't mean the album should be ignored, however, and it would be a pity for anyone to miss out on this because of the traditional Metal fan's narrow horizons. This kind of stereotyping is unfair, but it serves well to show how, if they would only listen, even the sceptical would be convinced. This album does not "grow on you" (unlike most of the others in my collection). Its originality will impress with the very first play.
It does take time to get used to this, though. The Gathering have been growing more "progressive" with every album ("How to Measure a Planet" being the obvious example), and I have always loved them for it. They have taken me with them on their journey without requesting anything in return. But while this album will seem impressive on its first play, it will also seem quite cold. After a few plays, however, the warmth surfaces, and the emotion in every track is enough to ensure that this album is often my choice to go to sleep with, alongside Cat Power and the like.
The individual feeling each Gathering release posseses is present here once more - a new Gathering album is a very personal experience. The album title, for instance, is not printed onto the cover booklet (and so is not visible in the picture at the top of this page), but is actually in the form of a transparent sticker on the front of the case. This has been done by hand - something you won't see on a Craig David release! Track Three, "Broken Glass", will be familiar to those of you who have heard "Black Light District", as there is a piano version to be found there. But this new, harsher version is almost unrecognisable; it is the way the track was meant to be. Do not worry that this is some scam to fill the album by repeating the track - this is effectively a new song, just like the rest.
All in all, this is a stirring, heartfelt release from one of Europe's most original bands. The music is beautiful, the lyrics are beautiful - even the cover booklet artwork is beautiful, if a little enigmatic!. If you have a remote interest in original, unusual music, or a taste for the Gathering's more recent releases, you will not do yourself a disservice by picking this up. Without shouting "Buy this Album!", I can say no more.


Basscadet
Basscadet

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Basscadet - every version a stunner!, 5 Jun 2003
This review is from: Basscadet (Audio CD)
This is the first Autechre single, from their album "Incunabula". At first, it would appear that this is a true single - rather than the "mini-ep" style of many modern singles, where you actually get several songs on your "single", in this case you just get Basscadet. But the different versions are so distinct that when listening to this you really will feel that you're listening to an EP.
Autechre's earlier releases are renowned for being much more "accessible" than the later ones, and basscadet is no exception. If you have the slightest interest in dance or electronica, this is the place to start. And if you're a hardened fan, then no surprises here; Autechre have crafted a subtly simplistic, yet deep track, sure to be a winner.


WAKE
WAKE
Offered by mrtopseller
Price: 6.00

21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great yet concise snapshot of Dead Can Dance..., 4 Jun 2003
This review is from: WAKE (Audio CD)
Recently, two different compilations of Dead Can Dance's greatest tracks have been released - this one, and the Box Set (which contains many more tracks than this). Wake is infinitely superior, and at a fraction of the cost. Whoever put together this selection has managed to choose only the best tracks, leaving out the more forgettable songs; this is not the case with the box set, which requires that you wade though the mire of poorer tracks to reach the gems. With Wake, someone else has done this for you, so you need only put the disc in your CD player and enjoy.
It is a real pity that so many people have dismissed Dead Can Dance as "Morbid Gothic types" simply because of their name; the music tells an altogether different story, quite different from the music of others on the 4ad label (Bauhaus, Cocteau Twins, to name but two). Tracks like "Yulunga" and "The Ubiquitous Mr LoveGrove" really show what Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard are capable of. Gerrard's strange lyrics sit perfectly with Perry's quite considerable instrumental talent. They have lovingly crafted uplifting, modern folk music that will surely endure long after they are gone. Good luck to them in their music beyond Dead Can Dance!


Satellites
Satellites

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Finally, a full-length album from Vega 4 !, 4 Jun 2003
This review is from: Satellites (Audio CD)
My first encounter with Vega 4 was at Warwick Castle; I was accompanying some people to a Bryan Adams concert, but I found I preferred these guys to the main act for once! I bought their "Better Life EP" (which doesn't seem to be available here; I found the single, but not the EP) and was hooked. To describe Satellites, the title "better life" is most appropriate. This is ebullient, frothy pop-rock at its best - the perfect soundtrack to those lazy summer afternoons.
The concept of Vega 4 at first seems like a manufactured act - four guys, one from each of the 4 nations of the UK. Yet perhaps it is this that makes them work so brilliantly; since they are not from any particular "scene" they have not been moulded to any particular form (as could easily have happened if they all hailed from Belfast, Cardiff or Oxford, for example). This has set them free to create "satellites", a refreshing album that sits well alongside The Kinks and suchlike, when all you want to do is sit around with mates.
Hopefully, this will be the first album of many from this talented musical outfit!


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