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Vaughan "Crash" (UK)

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Price: 15.60

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 13 Nov 2011
This review is from: Zerang-Guts (Audio CD)
In stock at Amazon, but may require two days to ship.... do they keep CD's like this is some secret room at the back of the warehouse, where only specially trained pickers can go? Well, that's probably a good idea........

This is a terrific release, made poignant by the inclusion of some brief sleeve notes from Malachi Ritscher who was responsible for recording this. It appears Mr. Ritscher died before this recording could be released, and the notes area plea to record more music....

As for the music, we have two tracks here - Guts at 17:41 and Rising Spirits at 41:16. It's a quartet recording with Brotzmann, Joe McPhee, Kent Kessler, and Michael Zerang. It all starts with some wonderful drumming, before the horn ease their way in. Yes, there is a trademark Brotzmann dissonance on play - some calling it a "blowing session" - but whatever name it goes by, the fact is there are moments here where, as usual, Brotzmann and McPhee let go with all their might. However, eventually - and somewhat unbelievably - both of these tracks coalesce into actual melodies!

I take my Brotzmann however I can get him. If he wants to wail then so be it. This disc though might well be an excellent disc for someone just easing their way into his playing. The interaction of the four players is stellar stuff, and as this is a quartet there is plenty of space so you can appreciate the musicianship on show (as opposed to the walls of sound on parts of a Tentet recording).

With its shifts from blowing, to softly meditative sections, and on to melodies, Guts is an extraordinary release - and highly recommended.

Zombie Women Of Satan [2009] [DVD]
Zombie Women Of Satan [2009] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Victoria Hopkins

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Expected Very Little, 31 Oct 2011
Most of what you need to know is told in the film title. Anyone thinking they were goin to get a serious big-budget title have only themselves to blame for stumbling into this one.

What this actully is is a Comedy/Horror title. It's a British film, with lots of Northern accents. The plot is stupid - but they knew that when they were making it.

Now, this could either fall flat on its face, or succeeed in entertaining. It's really that simple. For me the answer was definately to the positive - I laughed, and enjoyed the various bits and pieces gore.

This is your classic "beer and popcorn" comedy/horror, and as such it's terrific fun. Given this is the first film by this guy, we can rejoice that he's been so successful. Just go with the flow, forgive the confusing bits (all that running around in the woods, it's difficult to figure out where everyone is in relation to others), and cheer.

Dig the clown. Sad to see that Toy Story guy die......

The Rig [DVD]
The Rig [DVD]
Dvd ~ Sarah D'Laine
Offered by Helen's Goodies
Price: 6.07

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, 28 Oct 2011
This review is from: The Rig [DVD] (DVD)
I have to agree with the review by "Gary". This film doesn't at all try to hide what it is, and what it will contain. The plot is thin because this sub-genre of films (monster movies) very rarely try to be cerebral. These are monster movies where a bunch of people - strangely confined - are knocked off one by one.

As such, The Rig delivers. It's not profound, it's not deep, and there are times when you wish they'd done things better. Just like 90% of all horror movies out there.

Why three stars? Well - it's not a five-star movie, for sure. Let's not go over the top. It doesn't do anything to raise itself above other films of this type. Some of the acting was weak, the music is extremely forgettable. But don't read my three-stars as in any way panning the film, because I'm not. I'm simply acknowledging the film for what it is. It's good - nothing more, nothing less.

Second Set
Second Set
Price: 11.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glorious, 28 Oct 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Second Set (Audio CD)
Well, I know William Parker, but Augusti Fernandez is new to me. I came across him when I bought a recent duo recording with Marilyn Crispell.

This recording is excellent. In a duo format William Parker could be called the leader, such is Augusti's reverence for the man (clearly articulated in the accompanying booklet). This is free jazz, nothing composed. Be thinking Cecil Taylor with slightly less fire - but no less technique - and you're on the right track.

Despite being a duo recording there is very little space. Augusti fills up the seconds with lots of sound, and whether Parker is bowing (as he does for more of the first track) of playing his bass more traditionally, he's never dull. Appreciation is enhanced by superb production (done by Augusti) which lets the instruments maintain individuality throughout. There's nothing muddy here.

So all in all, a really nice recording this. I'll be getting more Augusti, that's for sure. As for Parker - well, it's a given I'll be buying me of him!

Modern Music
Modern Music
Price: 11.22

5.0 out of 5 stars A Recital of Note, 28 Oct 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Modern Music (Audio CD)
I like this CD, I like it a lot. Better yet, it is rewarding multiple listens, which is the root of all great music.

I come to it as a fan of Zimmerli (I have some of his other CD's) and of course, Mehldau. There's really not much that needs to be said about Brad's playing. Long gone are the days when he needed to be classified, referencing other players to get some kind of context or feel his music. Brad is, above all else, Brad. I suspect most reading this will know of him, and what he does.

To this CD specifically - the booklet (which is excellent) speaks in its opening paragraphs of contemporary music. The source for much of what you hear is indeed contemporary, but key moments are classical in origin (albeit Steve Reich's own brand of classical. In fact, the overall feeling this CD leaves me with is that of a piano recital. Everything comes across as very controlled, neat, everything in its place. Perhaps this is inevitable when Zimmerli's role is primarily arranger. Indeed, another of saying it would be - it sounds "arranged". Yet another word is "polite". There are no abrasive edges here, no flights of fancy that jerk you out of the overriding emotion of the music.

The booklet talks of the technical issues the pianists faced, and for me the pivotal moment is the aformentioned Reich's work: Music for 18 Musicians. Wow. Amazing. I love the original recordings of the work, and this adds to its legacy (it's a shame though that it's developed over only 5:20).

Tantalizingly the booklet talks of their working on the music of Arvo part and Gorecki - and on Hays and Mehldau working on more pieces of their own. Sadly, none made the disc itself. Perhaps they're keying up for a second release?

The booklet is terrific with an interview with all participants (8 pages) and the disc itself is a digipac. This is a fine recording.

Double Cut
Double Cut
Price: 12.83

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 18 Aug 2011
This review is from: Double Cut (Audio CD)
Since no-one else has posted a comment, I thought I would.

If you have stumbled upon this disc then you probably know who Moebius is and with whom he's played, so I'll not mention it. Beerbohm is another matter, since he seems to have made two discs with Moebius and then disappeared. On the evidence of what you get here, that's a real shame.

So does this sound like? Well, the booklet talks about "proto-techno". However, since I'm not a techno fan I wish to distance myself from that thinking. Techno to me shrieks boring beats, too much bass, and no creativity (apologies to techno fans, I love electronic music, but as a genre I've not found anything to like in the techno camp).

Listening to this I knew that I shouldn't have worried - this is not techno. Instead you get three tracks (the longest being 22 minutes in length) where a repeated passage is played, circa the minimalists, for improvisations over the top. The opening two tracks have more invention, and as a little more laid back. The longest track "Doppelschnitt" is a little more up tempo.

While there is clearly electronics at work, everything has a rough edge to it, so the music never falls into the "too smooth" feel synthesized music can sometimes suffer from - while at the same time never being abrasive. Instead it makes you aware the whole time that there are people behind these machines making the music (let's face it, with electronic music you can sometimes wonder if they whole thing wasn't simply programmed into the machines and left running).

There are melodic passages, but they're never cloying or marred by new-age spiritualism, this is music to listen to, not to float away from. I think it's excellent.

The CD itself comes in a digi-pac. There is an 8 page booklet inside with an good two page article in both English and German. Sound quality is fantastic beating the Eno reissues I've got. There's no hiss here, and no compression. Wonderful stuff from Sky Records.

All in all then, this is terrific, and I highly recommend it.

Death By Engagement [DVD]
Death By Engagement [DVD]
Dvd ~ Sascha Knopf
Offered by NextDayEntertainment
Price: 1.76

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a One Star, 23 July 2011
This review is from: Death By Engagement [DVD] (DVD)
But it was working on it!

I was soooo disappointed by this one. The cover sports some awards it got, so that was promising. Alas....

The basic plot isn't original, and I won't knock it for any of that. Essentially a comatose patient wakens every now and again to go claim his ex-fiancé's engagement ring (don't worry, the movie makes no attempt to hide this fact from the viewer, hence robbing it of even that mystery).

With a flat shot-on-Digital Video look, and some really underpar actors - who I must say aren't helped by having ridiculous names - and no soundtrack worth mentioning, all we could hope for is some decent violence and gore. But nope, we don't even get that. In fact, they don't even get the ring right - in the opening scenes we learn that a woman wants a "2 carat rock", but the ring in question clearly isn't that.

One other thing - while the lady cop is certainly pretty to look at, she has zero believability in her role. There are two other characters (AKA Victims) in the film that look exactly the same, which doesn't help. And any film that uses props from IKEA (yes folks, I recognise that cheap lamp) also deserves a slap on the wrist. It beggars believe that our lady cop, after having "solved" the case, then ACCEPTS THE SAME RING from her beau, and doesn't even notice! Duh!

So anyway - this movie isn't particularly well written, shot, acted, nor does it include the necessary gore of violence. In fact, it's grade C stuff right from the outset (the first murder is the best as far as gore goes, and that's very very little). It's not worth your time. At the time of writing someone is sellijng it here at Amazon secondhand for 50p. It's a shame you have to pay for the postage and packing, because if that was free it MIGHT be worth half a quid. As it is, it's still overpriced.


La Vie Electronique Volume 10
La Vie Electronique Volume 10
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: 14.23

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Lesser La Vie, 12 July 2011
I'm a big Schulze fan, so I certainly want to support his music. I'd also like more people to listen to his material, because they're really missing out.

But that doesn't mean I can't be honest about what I hear. I have each of the La Vie Electronique releases thus far (at the time of writing this is the latest) and have enjoyed them all immensely. We shouldn't forget that these were largely "unreleased" recordings from the archives that were hitherto only available in sets that are long out of print, and even at the time of their release had to bought directly from the artist.

As such, they're imperfect in places. With a mix of studio and live recordings, sound quality varies. And given that the series has thus far covered 1970 through 1991, there have been several stylistic and technological changes. This is to be expected. This set covers 1985 and 1991 (there is a jump in the set of six years - wonder what happened during that time?)

Disc 1 has two live recordings (one an amazing 54 minutes in length!) and Maxxi, a studio work. The bonus track here, Weiter Weiter, is in fact a live version of the opening track from Schulze's "Angst". The second CD has a couple of soundtracks on it (both good) and a short interview (in English). The third disc is made up of three odd encore performances with a Spanish flavour (no, really), a cover of a piece by JS Bach, and another studio track.

So to a subjective view of the music itself. Disc one sounds a little messy, with a constant and plodding beat. This set explores Schulze's collaborations with Rainer Bloss, but on this evidence they worked best in the studio. Maxxi is, well Maxxi, Schulze trying out some disco. Weiter Weiter is a decent enough live performance, but to my ears Schulze doesn't get the melody quite correct. The second CD is good - but people should be warned that they are soundtracks, and as such they have odd sounds i them that clearly fit the movie to which they belong rather than simply being extended Schulze pieces. The third disc is decent enough, if you fancy some spanish with your german. :)

All-in-all, truth be told, this is a lesser release in the series. However, I'm eager to get the rest of the series when they come out. It isn't realistic to expect these to all be perfect releases given their heritage. If you're only going to buy one of these sets (although I can't imagine why you'd do that!) then there are better ones out there, number 9 for instance.

Personally I hope for more from Volume 11!

Offered by groove_temple
Price: 13.16

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't Buy this Digipac Version! Warning!, 12 July 2011
This review is from: En=Trance (Audio CD)
I'm a Klaus Schulze fan. I have more than 40 recordings by the guy, and was so very happy when a lot of them got reissued. I gladly bought the reissues with their excellent packaging, nice booklets, and bonus tracks - what's not to like?

I'll tell you. This release from SPV is severely broken. Whomever mastered it cranked the volume up, boosted all the levels, compressed the heck out of it, and THEN put it on CD. The result? A distorted mess. And what is Schulze without nuance? What is Schulze without subtlety?

En-Trance is a good album. Good music. But THIS release is a nightmare, an utter and complete waste of time. Buy an earlier release (a Thunderbolt or Brain release). Do not - under any circumstances - be fooled into thinking a new sparkling remaster and release is the way to go. No-one who has heard this newer release will have any idea of how good this music is, because they've destroyed it.

You've been warned ;)
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 23, 2012 7:55 PM GMT

Kraftwerk 1
Kraftwerk 1
Offered by music-discount
Price: 12.90

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Early is Good, 12 July 2011
This review is from: Kraftwerk 1 (Audio CD)
The fact is - and there's nothing wrong with admitting you didn't know something - I've never really dug into Kraftwerk's music. I recently tried to listen to Autobahn, but for me it hasn't aged well. Even then it's pop leanings were apparent. I'll listen to later recordings, but I don't expect to find much I'll enjoy. However, in sorting through their music I came across three earlier albums (pre-Autobahn) that I didn't even know existed. These were Kraftwerk, Kraftwerk 2, and Ralf and Florian.

Now, in the interests of experimentation I thought it would be a good idea to try these out, and I got two of them. The one shown in this post is the first, the self-titled Kraftwerk.

I must say, it's been a revelation. The music is certainly imperfect, less well-formed. In other words, there are certainly rough edges as the performers begin to experiment with the sound. But for all that it's pure quality, quality that only a dash of naivety can produce. once Kraftwerk knew how things worked, and how tracks should be built, they lost their innocence - and for me part of their magic.

The mix of acoustic and electronic instruments here is fantastic - take for example the use of a violin on the rather obviously titled "Stratovarius". Along with the use of an acoustic drum kit, they cut some wild rides that never drift into the usual rock tropes.

I've read elsewhere that Kraftwerk didn't want this released. I don't know if that's true or not - but if it is then shame on them, what are they trying to protect? This is their history, where they came from, that can't be denied. And while some of their fans might very well not take to the unpolished raw material here, so what? Would their reputations be affected? I think not. For me it's ENHANCED.

I really just wanted to say that I'm really digging this music, and I'm glad I was able to find it on CD. It's not smooth and pristine, it's not got instant hooks, instead it offers a challenge (though not a great one) and a view into the formative years of a band that would go on to have success in both the pop and electronic worlds. Excellent!
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 15, 2013 7:57 PM BST

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