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C. J. Statham
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Out of the Woods: The Armchair Guide to Trees
Out of the Woods: The Armchair Guide to Trees
by Will Cohu
Edition: Hardcover

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For the old wise oak..., 19 Feb. 2008
This book is made for sleepy winter afternoons when the light fades in a cold cloudless sky. There is not an offensive, challenging or pretentious line in this book. It is a fine collection of solid facts and anecdotes all woven carefully into a patchwork of little diversionary stories. Even the more serious of tree enthusiasts will take from this book a different perspective on that lonely old ash tree outside their work. It's funny, accessible, gentle to beginners and adorned with wonderful woodblock prints.

Anyone who likes trees or maybe has forgotten they do so should have this.


Untrue
Untrue
Price: £9.99

19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Music for the night bus, 6 Nov. 2007
This review is from: Untrue (Audio CD)
Burial begins the quality onslaught yet again; standing head and shoulder above his contemporaries. Here he has diffused yet more of the trademark edgy tension that smacks of a limping Britain.

This is a subtle continuation of the first album, yet it somehow feels more wound up, as though the tracks simmer with silent frustration. The tracks ebb and flow serenely as though they are mirroring a strange urban narrative.

Busy rhythmic arrangements and growling dub basslines are often pacified by compelling moments of emotive clarity. The track 'In McDonald's' does indeed evoke strangely familiar feelings of tired and lonely journeys.

Sounding a little more toned this time and yet still retaining the beauty of underproduction, this is another heavyweight album from the unknown anti-hero of Dubstep.
Bag it.


Midnight Black Indulgence
Midnight Black Indulgence
Price: £26.45

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Black frivolity, 9 July 2007
A plump menagerie of an album twiddled by German-based producer Daniel Gardner.

This is what happens when jazz and electronica wake up after a hazy drunken night to find that they have spawned a twisted eclectic variation on themselves. In equal parts, this album seems meticulously planned, yet it retains a lo-fi, almost accidental feel to it. It whirls, bleeps and cascades a sophisticated humour to a backdrop of bold fudgey rhythms. There are moments of well defined tech-house that fit the 'uber' Berlin template and yet at the same time they are never far from tender nods to the scrambled looseness of a squirt of jazz.

Interesting and captivating, but something tells me there is more to come here. 'Scape' label fans and the square-glasses crew will be impressed with this...


Plans Drawn In Pencil
Plans Drawn In Pencil
Price: £9.51

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Music for the greenhouse..., 4 July 2007
This review is from: Plans Drawn In Pencil (Audio CD)
Robin Saville and Antony Ryan make electronic music to fall asleep to. In my head they live in a semi-detached three-storey cloud somewhere high above Devon.

This is a bright and airy selection that melds together ethereal and delicate sounds to the backdrop of gently swirling crystalline rhythms. The result is an consistent album that flows impressively from start to finish with wonderfully complex details. However, the open and somewhat shy melodies are graceful enough to give the album depth and space.

If you are familiar with some of the releases on Berlin's 'Scape' records by artists such as 'System', 'Kit Clayton' and to a certain degree 'Pole', you may find this a comforting reassurance that the scene is still alive.

Pleasure giving and generous with it. This is the perfect music to drive down a wet autobahn to on a grey summer's evening.

Class.


Basics Design 05: Colour
Basics Design 05: Colour
by Gavin Ambrose
Edition: Paperback

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Red and yellow and pink and green..., 30 May 2007
A great little purchase for any designers or colorheadz who value well illustrated principles being written in a clear and honest way.
This is part of the fantastic 'design series' by Central Saint Martin's tutor Gavin Ambrose and condequently the information is invaluable for students and practising designers as a reference tool. The layout is fresh and well-executed, offering some inspiring examples of color use in contemporary graphics. There are also some great extra details in here that skirt on peripheral issues such as light and the effect of color on different printing mediums. This is a great value book with loads of visual anchorage. Get this and you'll probably want one of the other ones too. Ace.


Burial
Burial
Price: £9.99

8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Night bus music..., 5 April 2007
This review is from: Burial (Audio CD)
If it's possible, try to imagine being drowned in a slow-burning quagmire of dub-textured sound and you're probably only half-way there to understanding the impetus behind this album. This is a refined piece of production that sits uncomfortably on the perimeter of the dubstep/techno scene like a reprimanded bully in a school yard.

I first came across their under-acclaimed vinyl presses a few years ago and was tomrented by the fact that there wasn't any EPs or albums to reinforce their work in the mainstream. Then, suddenly, there was a fresh wave of poncy ramblings in the music press - the kind of doomed arse-licking that dogs a release before it even hits the shelf. Comments like 'album of the year' and the best thing since 'Blue Lines' are just the product of excitable music journalists with a disposable vocabulary. Although it's worthy of such labels, this album somehow shrugs them off favouring a lamentable and moody approach to self-congratulation.

The true beauty here is that it immediately emits the raw vapours of a lonely and desperate city. Rhymtic, cordant, safe and curiously provoking, this album feels like it has been meticulously planned all along; somehow tailored to fit your personal circumtances. Don't expect the lardy booms of 'Rhytmn and Sound' or the argy bargy looped chaos of Basic Channel, this is more intoxicating - Gracefully glitchy.

There is nothing else that touches it in it's own micro genre, a genre that this album perpetuates almost single handedly. Nail this one now and


Dobutsu Bancho
Dobutsu Bancho
Price: £16.50

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rise and Shine..., 3 Mar. 2007
This review is from: Dobutsu Bancho (Audio CD)
The only word that I can think of right now that fits is 'fat'.

You get a lot of it to the pound with this album too.

Sleek electro stabs and lardy beats. Erotic, low-down dirty breaks.

This is unmissable.


Fi
Fi

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh my..., 23 Feb. 2007
This review is from: Fi (Audio CD)
I won't say buy it, because someone else has said that enough before me.

But really, when you first hear this album you will jump back to all those special bits in your mind that Board of Canada is so eloquent at finding. But there is essentially more in this album to discover with its soporific guitar melodies and swirling hi-fi crackles.

The album unfolds beautifully and by the last couple of tracks you are left wanting nothing more than you've just had. Cantaloup Carousel

Think dusty old science programs, blue-tinged polaroids of summer fetes, leaf dappled gardens and festivals...

Oh go then, I'll say it... BUY IT!


Ethiopiques Vol. 4 (1969-1974)
Ethiopiques Vol. 4 (1969-1974)
Price: £12.61

8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Broken flowers of jazz, 7 Feb. 2007
Ah, yes.

As my fingers glide along the edges of my CD selction, looking for something 'sweet', I seem to be inexplicably drawn to this CD every time.

A veritble celebration of modern Ethopian jazz/funk, this is the plat du jour taken that the production team of the film 'broken flowers' touched on for it's soundtrack. Its luscious and unfettled sound is both casual and mysterious. But at it's heart there lies something more; somehting which grows each time you listen. You begin to appreciate the various jazz and funk influences that hold it together. There is some excellent instruemntation here too, which lends a hand to making each track sound tight and wholesome.

Reclined, peaceful, melodic and very easy to get down with. This is perfect music for cooking to or sitting outside on hazy August afternoon.

Buy buy buy!


Rhythm And Sound
Rhythm And Sound

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Been troddin' for so long..., 13 July 2006
This review is from: Rhythm And Sound (Audio CD)
Berlin dub/techno duo also better known as the mighty 'Basic Channel' come up with the goods again with a selection of studio cuts from their own works.

This album is a bass heavy slide into the reverby depths of dub/techno crossover (with more of an emphasis on the ambient side of things). Don't expect trademark basic channel loops and techno hooks, this is more delicate and refined. A perfect accompaniment to those long train journeys or walks through the city where all the people around you will seem to bob and weave in fast forward.

This is probably Rhythm and Sound's best work and it acts as a perfect showcase for the expaning plethora of raw talent, which the city of Berlin seems to emanate. The production quality is detailed, polished and well thought-out, perhaps depciting the perfectionist attitudes of the duo at the controls. Unlike other reggae/dubbed-out electronica, you can expect to hear sensible delay lengths and consistent instrument levels.

This is a thoughful and well engineered album that muscles it's way to the front of its genre (where a place has been waiting for some time). A transient, twisted excursion through a sleepy genre you proabbly didn't know existed. Absolutley spot-on!


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