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Reviews Written by
colin sharp "csharp53" (England)

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In Ghost Colours
In Ghost Colours
Offered by westworld-
Price: £9.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Mix and match, 10 Jun. 2009
This review is from: In Ghost Colours (Audio CD)
This is gorgeous, warm, ultra pop,post indie with lashings of 80s reminders of the romantic fun kids variety- OMD synths, Thompson twins bass lines, vocoders, the froth of Orange juice, the funk of Associates and push/pull of Frankie on his wonderful way to Hollywood.
Opens with synth-along pure pop of "Feel the love", reminiscent of early Depeche and follows the drum machine express through the magic,melodic tunnels of "Out there on the ice", slows a little for "Lights and Music" and keeps you surrounded by sighs and harmonies and happiness all the way to a harmonic hideaway, heaven.
If this is retro it's all in the best possible taste...and straight outta Melbo, so I beleive.
Another helping please.
Be my baby, one more time.

Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £4.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars dubbed blood, 10 Jun. 2009
This review is from: Blood (Audio CD)
This is an unexpected and out of character dubbed up delight from franz and his lads. A companion piece to the 'normal' release of their latest studio album "Tonight: Franz Ferdinand". It reminds me of eps that were released in the days of pure vinyl alongside the elpees. I especially recall the ep rhat came with XTC's GO 2 and a more dub version with Primal Scream,s "Vanishing Point". The difference is that it's not an extra recording or freebie, I guess it exists in its own right, albeit at a budget price.
The contents are creative, drenched with fx, delay, repeat and echo as you might expect, but in places missing the sonic opportunities that present themselves.
Some of it really captures the spirit ,velocity and vibe of dub ("If I cant have you"-overloaded with Lee Perry stylee sounds and noises). Other times they let the track float and expand, with the bass way up front ("Katherine Hit me"). Throughout there is a tangible sesne of menace perhaps reflecting the title and the drama prevalent on the songs of the 'Tonight' album. Snatches of voice, whispers,cries ,dialogue and melody ("Die on the floor") reminds me of the 70s shebeens (blues clubs) in Bradford, Manchester and Leeds. The only white man in Rochdale Palais- "Feeling Kind of Anxious" and the appropiately titled "Be afraid"
Overall imaginative and brave to take a risk into new territory.

Interesting to compare and contrast alongside the non-dub album, shame it wasn't offered as a freebie.

The Destruction Of Small Ideas
The Destruction Of Small Ideas
Price: £10.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quiet explosions in the sky, 7 Jun. 2009
This is where post rock gets seriously interesting and creative. The band create a work of extraordinary dynamics, detail and ideas. There is a sense of confidence and complexity in the playing which guarantees repeated listening and exploration.
At the moment, for me, post-rock nails the sonic zeitgeist and these fellas are in the middle of the blitzkreig with Mogwai, Sigur Ros, Red Sparrowes, Malporosa, Do Make Say Think and have taken up the mantle laid down by such luminaries as Labradford, Tortoise and Boards of Canada as well as referencing Eno and Hannett.
The emotional undertow is powerful and liberating.
This is modern classical, post-modern pop, done by those who know their avant garde chops and their noisenik chums.
Fun for all the family.
Moods for moderns.

Dear Dad Tango
Dear Dad Tango
Price: £15.18

5.0 out of 5 stars Global delights, 7 Jun. 2009
This review is from: Dear Dad Tango (Audio CD)
A gorgeous global mix of all that is fun, rhythmic, moving and authentically international. This is free flowing, freewheeling, freedom kicking celebration of all that is vibrant and life affirming.
Go getcha and groove.

David Bowie's "Low" (33 1/3)
David Bowie's "Low" (33 1/3)
by Hugo Wilcken
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sound and Vision, 30 May 2006
This is the definitive account not only of the making of Bowie's meisterwerk- LOW- but also of the album itself.
Wilcken has an engaging, easy style but manages to dig deep and place the album in the widest context of electronic music,German expressionism, post-modernism, Bowie's canon, Krautrock (especially Kraftwerk themselves), Eno's brilliant sound and prescient vision.
It makes for compelling and stimulating reading; each track is dissected and explained and examined in depth, but not in a dry way. He manages to capture the feel, the texture, the dissonance and melody of the album in words: no mean feat.
It takes you back to the album itself, surely the touchstone of this genre of writing and asks you to re-examine and re-experience it in a fresh, vibrant and energetic light.
I've been a Bowie fan for years, and a particular admirer of this period of his work, but it made me listen in a new way and discover subtleties and complexities that I hadn't hitherto been aware of. It places it correctly in the context of the Bowie Berlin trilogy and sheds new light on Bowie's relationship with Eno, and en passant with Iggy Pop.
It is written in a highly intelligent, well informed, style,obviously thoroughly researched with plenty of appropiate anecdote and detail and makes interesting connections with the post-punk pantheon particularly Joy Division, early John Foxx era Ultravox and PIL.
It is part of the fabulous thirty third and a third series and for my money so far the Number One.

The Execution
The Execution
by Hugo Wilcken
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The New Camus, 30 May 2006
This review is from: The Execution (Paperback)
This novel is up there with Albert Camus' "L'Etranger" as a masterful study of existential disintegration.

It has a wonderful forward momentum and is utterly compelling.

It works on several different levels and has an extraordinary sense of emotional detachment coupled with the occasional desciption of spiritual dereliction and unexpected liberation.

It works as a political thriller, a modern morality tale, a spiritual descent into the abyss and a broken love story.

It is wonderfully perceptive of the foibles and minutae of human experience and the attention to detail is exceptional.Wilcken manages to weave many strands and there are unexpected convergences and synchronicity.

It's difficult to beleive that this a debut novel, so adept and confident is the story telling and the depth of the observations.

Highly recommended to the discerning reader.

Torn Apart: The Life of Ian Curtis
Torn Apart: The Life of Ian Curtis
by Mick Middles
Edition: Hardcover

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't walk silence, 19 May 2006
Mick Middles and Lindsay Read's book about the life and work of Ian Curtis brings fresh insights and angles on a story that has already been told in a number of ways by Middles himself, Deborah Curtis and thousands of journalists, commentators and scholars. They manage to bring a freshness, an authenticity and real compassion to the telling, which is a remarkable achievement.
Most of all the book conveys an almost tangible sense of who Ian Curtis was and what motivated him, what haunted him and his work with Joy Division.
The sections on his more private life are handled with due care and attention and the passages on the creative partnership between JD and the genius Martin Hannett are exceptionally truthful and detailed.

The truth can be viewed from many angles.
It is also beautifully packaged, contains a wealth of detail and is obviously a labour of love, research and scholarship.


7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incandescent: Transcendent, 17 May 2005
This review is from: Incandescent (Audio CD)
This is music of stunning beauty and originality. Wonderfully brought together for the first time, in an intelligent, informative and attractive package by those hipsters at Renascent.
The Wild Swans, defintely not to be confused with The Swans, have been seriously overlooked in the pantheon of Liverpool bands which includes Teardrop Explodes and the Bunnymen.
The thing that perhaps comes across most vividly in these songs is the emotinal quality of the songwriting and the singing.
There are three versions available here of the sublime "The Revolutionary Spirit", maybe their best known song. It's worth the price of admission in itself. but add to that other outstanding songs such as "Northern England", "Opium" and (a personal favourite) "Broken home" and you have a collection rare in it's transcendent glory.
The songs have the surge and adrenalin rush of Teadrdrop Explodes, underpinned by a subtle melancholic streak and a heartbreaking honesty and integrity, that is rare.
In terms of the sound it's chiming, jangling guitars, shimmering harmonics, propulsive rhythms and melodies to swoon to.
Go get it, then check out the rest of the Renascent catalogue that features the seminal The Sound.

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