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OMG! It's got a plug! "OMG! It's got a plug!" (Winchester)

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Price: £9.89

5.0 out of 5 stars Futher adventures in Antipodean plunderphonics, 16 July 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Wildflower (Audio CD)
Everyone's favourite Anitopdean purveyors of plunderphonics are back and they sound even better than they did 16 years ago. The imagination and skill on display is staggering. Featuring guest collaborators and self-recorded music, they sample soul, funk, psychedelia, hip hop, pop, disco and everything inbetween and it all flows along beautifully. It holds your attention from the first listen and keeps revealing itself over repeated listens. Highlights include 'Because I'm Me' that samples Honey Cones' 'Want Ads' to superb effect, the lo-fi Chic sound of 'Subways' and the woozy Beach Boys-esque 'Kaleidoscopic Lovers' where Mercury Rev's Jonathan Donahue sounds remarkably like Green Gartside. Well worth the wait, if you're looking for the sound of summer this is it right here.

Have Themes Will Travel
Have Themes Will Travel
Price: £10.92

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Once more into the vaults, 9 July 2016
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This review is from: Have Themes Will Travel (Audio CD)
Following on from last year's 'Lost in Transmission', Steve Wills is back with his third library compilation for Chichester Hospital Radio. Featuring 30 familiar and unfamiliar TV & radio themes and interval music from the likes of De Wolfe and Chappell, collectors will have an idea of what to expect.

Comprising of big band jazz and orchestral music with the occasional off-beat and trippy vibe, the selection and running order is perfect. The absolute highlight is 'Lonely Dreamer' by The Cliff Hammer Orchestra & Choir. With wordless Edda Dell'Orso style vocals it sounds like something from a Stelvio Cipriani Italian soundtrack - BBC Ceefax users really were treated to some first class music at times! Another highlight is the lead guitar drifting in and out of the bass heavy 'Many Times' by Norman Candler & The Magic Strings that brings to mind Pierre Cavalli.

Housed in a neat gatefold cardboard sleeve, the running time is a generous 77 minutes and the sound quality is excellent. Wills has previously produced a number of these compilations for Winchester Hospital Radio and they now command high prices on Discogs and eBay so if you're interested in this get it whilst you can before the prices get silly.

Chichester Hospital Radio provides a daily radio service to patients at St. Richard's Hospital in Chichester and the proceeds received from the sale of this CD will help ensure that the service is maintained.

The track listing:

1. Route 66 theme - Nelson Riddle & his Orchestra
2. Les Bicyclettes de Belsize theme - Les Reed & his Orchestra
3. Saturday Jump (Saturday Club theme) - Tony Osborne & his Jazz Group
4. Through the Crystal (BBC Ceefax interval music) - The Richard Nielsen Group
5. The Fifth Dimension (Beat the Record theme) - The New Dance Orchestra
6. Haute Couture (It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia theme) - Heinz Kiessling Orchestra
7. Lonely Dreamer (BBC Ceefax interval music) - The Cliff Hammer Orchestra & Choir
8. Carlos' Theme (Sentimental Agent theme) - Les Reed & his Orchestra
9. The Drifter (BBC Schools interval music) - Tilsley Orchestral
10. Eldorado Theme (Full Version) - Simon May & his Orchestra
11. Dress Rehearsal (Sam Costa's Accent on Melody theme) - Carlos Diernhammer & his Orchestra
12. Safari (BBC Schools interval music) - Jack Dieval & his Orchestra
13. With a Song in my Heart (Family Favourites theme) - Norman Candler & his Magic Strings
14. Clap Hands (BBC Schools interval music) - Jack's New Music Group
15. Murder She Said Theme - Ron Goodwin & his Orchestra
16. Nicola (Steve Race theme) - Les Reed & his Orchestra
17. Blue Lady (Houseparty theme) - Carlos & his Music
18. Chart Topper (Three in a Row theme) - The New Dance Orchestra
19. High Adventure (Friday Night is Music Night theme) - The Melodi Light Orchestra
20. Sandra Carina (BBC Test Card music) - Adriatic Orchestra conducted by Mladen Gutesha
21. Time Was (Thanks for the Memory theme) - Nelson Riddle & his Orchestra
22. Many Times (Album Time theme) - Norman Candler & his Magic Strings
23. Florida Playboy (BBC Schools interval music) - The Hawksworth Big Band & Strings
24. Morning Light (Gardeners' World theme) - Webb & Carmichael
25. Sunspot (BBC Schools interval music) - The Marc Laroche Ensemble
26. Return Journey - Carlos Diernhammer & his Music
27. In a Party Mood (Housewives' Choice theme) - The West End Celebrity Orchestra
28. Night and Day - Peter Nero with Orchestra conducted by Marty Gold
29. Imogene (John Dunn opening theme) - Les Reed & his Orchestra
30. Central Park Parade (John Dunn closing theme) - Munich Concert Pop Orchestra

Gal Costa
Gal Costa
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £13.05

4.0 out of 5 stars Tropicalia Classic, 8 July 2016
This review is from: Gal Costa (Audio CD)
This is a Tropicalia pop classic from Gal Costa. Tripped out in parts, 100% pop in others this, alongside Os Mutantes and Caetano Veloso, is the definitive sound of Tropicalia. It also contains Gal's string laden version of the ubiquitous 'Baby' where the echo on her vocals works to stunning effect. A further highlight is 'Se Voce Pensa' which features plenty of brass and fuzzy / wah-wah guitar and perfectly showcases Gal's wonderful vocals. Gal (1969) is of a similar vein in parts but is way more psychedelic, trippy and experimental but it's also worth seeking out.

Arthur Verocai
Arthur Verocai
Price: £11.24

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brazilian masterpiece, 5 July 2016
This review is from: Arthur Verocai (Audio CD)
Combing elements of Bossa Nova, MPB, jazz, folk, US funk & soul and psychedelia this is one of the best albums to ever come out of Brazil. Originally released in 1972, a vinyl rip was released on CD by Luv N' Haight in 2003 but this release from Mr Bongo is a beautiful clear copy taken from a re-master of the original tapes supervised by Verocai.

The arrangements are stunning and complex as Verocai skilfully fuses together the many styles of music represented. Blasting horns, orchestrations, wah-wah guitar, tight percussion and bass, male and female vocals - this is music from a different stratosphere and an album to cherish. At times it's far reaching and cinematic in its scope and at other times it’s more laid back and easy going. He has been referred to as the Brazilian David Axelrod and whilst I can understand the comparisons, Verocai was doing his own thing and this album stands on its own merits.

Housed in a digipak, the playing time is 29 minutes. Very similar in sound and not marred by modern production techniques, Verocai's belated 2007 follow-up 'Encore' on Far Out Recordings is well worth checking out too

The Tunnel: Sabotage - Series 2 [DVD]
The Tunnel: Sabotage - Series 2 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Stephen Dillane
Price: £14.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Ludicrous plot but mostly enjoyable nonetheless, 22 Jun. 2016
Whilst the first series was a remake of the first series of The Bridge, The Tunnel: Sabotage has a new storyline. The plot, involving Georgian war criminals, third generation Nazis from South America, people traffickers, the secret service and the UK & French police cross-border investigation is ludicrous and stretches the realms of reality, particularly in the concluding episode where it almost reaches breaking point. Some of the baddies, including a bisexual femme fatale, a Nazi 'doctor of death' and a war criminal's bumbling son are too caricaturist to be taken wholly seriously. However, despite its flaws it is mostly enjoyable, the acting is very good and provided you can suspend disbelief, it's worth watching. If it returns for a third series it would benefit from a more realistic storyline. It can be watched independently but if you haven't already seen it then I recommend watching the first series beforehand as it will help to explain the complexities of the two lead characters and the dynamics of their relationship. 3½ stars.

Earth Rot
Earth Rot
Offered by Discover Music
Price: £19.48

5.0 out of 5 stars A mind-boggling, mind-blowing and often misunderstood classic, 16 Jun. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Earth Rot (Audio CD)
This is one of the most mind-boggling and mind-blowing albums I own. In the late sixties producer, arranger and composer David Axelrod created his own genre of music with his two previous instrumental albums that were inspired by the works of William Blake and this, his third solo album, was released in 1970. A musical comment on the state of the environment, Earth Rot features lyrics adapted from The Book of Isaiah sung by a choir made up of male and female vocalists. When I first listened to it 10 years ago my reaction was "WTF!" and I immediately reached for the volume button to turn it down because it's one of the oddest records I've ever heard.

The music is an extraordinary blend of jazz and baroque rock and when combined with the choral arrangements, it makes for a truly unique sound. The horn section, guitar, piano, flute, bass and Earl Palmer's exemplary percussion drift in and out of the mix as do the choir who sing about how "God created the heaven and the earth" and how "the foundations of the earth are being broken".

Like much of Axelrod's early solo work, the music switches from a cacophony of sound to a drum solo or tenor sax break in a heartbeat before he ratchets up the tempo and tension again. There are plenty of extended instrumental passages and the message of the lyrics doesn't overwhelm the listening experience.

Earth Rot is initially an uneasy and difficult listen but give it time and you'll be repaid in spades. If you want to hear something genuinely original, don't let this often misunderstood album pass you by. A five star classic, it sounds best listened through headphones with the volume turned up.

Boombox: Early Independent Hip Hop, Electro and Disco Rap 1979-82
Boombox: Early Independent Hip Hop, Electro and Disco Rap 1979-82
Price: £12.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Party like it's 1979, 23 May 2016
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Clocking in at just over two hours, this is a throughly enjoyable journey though the independent formative years of rap. Featuring 17 tracks, it's all old school (and I'm paraphrasing here) "Party people throw your hands in the air like you don't care" rapping and MC's bigging up their rapping skills.  It all that sounds very innocent compared to what followed later. Most of the music is played by session musicians and there's no sampling but some sounds have been re-created, mostly notably Queen's 'Another One Bites the Dust' on Master Jay's 'We Are People too'.  Unsurprisingly there are elements of disco but it's mostly tight grooves with VERY heavy bass and funky beats (and lots of cowbells!).  A few of the tracks out-stay their welcome when listened to oustside the confines of a party but if you have an interest in hip-hop and rap, pump up the volume on your ghetto blaster, wave your hands in the air and party like it's 1979.

TIME Prince, An Artist's Life 1958-2016
TIME Prince, An Artist's Life 1958-2016
by The Editors Of TIME
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Serves its purpose but beware of inferior copy being sold by Amazon, 12 May 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a good tribute to Prince, nothing more; nothing less. Obviously rush released, there are plenty of archive photos, articles and essays, some previously published in TIME magazine and Entertainment Weekly and some written since his sad passing. It opens with a brief tribute from Shelia E. (who is certainly more qualified than both Lenny Kravitz and Seal who provide two further tributes!) followed by an opening overview of Prince's life and career. Further on there’s a look behind the gates of Paisley Park and articles about his music, image, private life, religion, his forays into cinema (including Purple Rain), a two page spread featuring photos all his 39 album sleeves (including the ones he released exclusively online), a feature on his many protégés and a few lists.

I'm not sure that I agree with all of the song selections on the '17 Essential Songs' list, a list that includes 'Batdance' but inexplicably excludes 'Kiss' and I don't agree that Alicia Keys should necessarily be regarded as one of his protégés. It's good to see a feature on his show stealing performance at the 2004 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony where he plays a jaw-dropping guitar solo (it's on YouTube) and I'm glad that 'We Can Funk' - one of my all time favourite Prince songs - gets a mention in a list of 11 under-appreciated gems. There are a couple of throwaway articles including one about the time Prince fired Questlove for a cartoon fish...

I'm sure there'll be lots of similar tribute magazines released over the coming months and I'm also sure some will be more comprehensive than this. It does serve its purpose but overall it just lacks a cohesive structure and layout.

*I ordered this direct from Amazon and it's appears to be a reprint of the edition being sold on the High Street. I checked in my local Sainsburys and WH Smiths and the edition they are selling is printed on very high quality glossy paper. My copy from Amazon is printed on matte paper (albeit good quality) and it has a couple of extra blank pages at the back for no apparent reason, no ISBN barcode on the front cover and it states on the back that it was printed in Great Britain by Amazon. It's also missing the the black & white filmstrips from Prince's first ever photoshoot in 1977 on the inside of the front and back covers. Other than that, the content is identical and it's the same price but if you can, buy it from a shop instead of online*

**The 132 page Classic Pop Presents Prince: A Celebration beats this hands down. Available in shops for £6.99**

Lenovo C40 21.5 inch All-in-One PC (White) - (Intel Pentium 3805U, 8Gb RAM, 1Tb HDD, DVDRW, WLAN, BT, Camera, Integrated Graphics, Windows 10 Home)
Lenovo C40 21.5 inch All-in-One PC (White) - (Intel Pentium 3805U, 8Gb RAM, 1Tb HDD, DVDRW, WLAN, BT, Camera, Integrated Graphics, Windows 10 Home)
Offered by Laptop Outlet UK
Price: £399.99

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Impressive and excellent value for money all-in-one PC, 9 May 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
**This arrives with Windows 10 Home already installed**

I bought this to replace a Windows Vista PC that was on its last legs. I wanted something with Windows 10 already installed to save the hassle (and potential headache) of upgrading a brand new PC from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10.

Setup is straightforward and after a few minutes of automatically downloading and installing updates, it was good to go.

It looks great in white and the 21½" screen is bright, sharp and clear. It tilts backward and forwards but you can't adjust the height. The stereo sound is staggering – you won't need desktop speakers! I mostly use it for the Internet and with Microsoft Office (not included) and with a 1.9GHz Intel processor and 8GB of RAM, it handles everything with ease. It's more or less silent in operation.

One thing that I really do like about it is that it’s very portable and I can just unplug it and easily move it from the spare bedroom to the dining table if needed.

With a 1TB hard drive, a side loading DVD-RW, webcam, multi-card reader, 5 USB ports (three on the back; two on the left hand side), Wi-Fi, one Ethernet port, one HDMI port, Bluetooth capability and microphone & headphone sockets, it should cover the needs of most home users. It’s comes with a one month trial subscription to McAfee anti-virus which I've uninstalled and replaced with Norton.

Overall this is a very sleek and impressive all-in-one PC and it's remarkabley good value for the money. Finally, I don't know why Lenovo didn't just add an extra tenner to the asking price and ship it with a wireless keyboard and mouse instead of the wired ones it arrives with.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 2, 2016 7:17 PM BST

Philip's Pocket World Atlas
Philip's Pocket World Atlas
Price: £5.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good value but technology renders it redundant, 9 May 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Despite its pocket size, the maps in this book are detailed but they’re (understandably) also very small and name places are sometimes difficult to read. There are 96 pages of maps, a comprehensive index and there is some basic information (Area, Population, Capital, Government, Annual Income and Currency) on principal countries and territories.

I think the days of the pocket world atlas are numbered because Google Earth has everything here in greater detail and on a tablet everything is bigger and clearer and you can zoom in and out and look up places so easily. Additionally, with Wikipedia you can get exceptionally detailed information on every country and territory. This might be handy to keep on your bookshelf if you need to look somewhere up quickly but nowadays you can do it just as quickly on a smartphone or tablet. It is very good value considering the price but modern technology more or less renders it redundant.

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