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Music For Dancefloors: The KPM Music Library (Deluxe Edition)
Music For Dancefloors: The KPM Music Library (Deluxe Edition)
Price: £13.81

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The KPM Music Library / KPM All-Stars Live, 27 Jun 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Originally released in 2000, this is a welcome reissue. Comprising of 20 tracks from KPM's extensive Library catalogue, this deluxe version is accompanied by a second disc featuring live recordings from the KPM All-Stars.

Most of the music is sourced from KPM's famous 1000 Series of the 60s & 70s and there are a few tracks from the Conroy and Sonoton libraries that weren't issued by KPM but they own the licensing rights, hence their inclusion. The KPM 1000 Series consisted of albums of promotional music that were sent out in limited quantities to TV studios and radio stations that would then use any of the music that was suitable for their productions under license from KPM. Featuring distinctive green sleeves (as per the colour used on the cover of this compilation), some of the LPs are now very collectable. In the past 15-20 years the whole library scene has been re-discovered by DJs, crate diggers and hip hop artists due to the sample friendly breaks and beats that sometimes featured on the recordings.

The music on Disc 1 is, as the title implies, very dancefloor friendly and in the main it's a mixture of jazz and funk. Featuring some of the UK's finest session musicians of the time, the musicianship is outstanding and there are loads of killer breaks, beats and grooves. The bass features heavily throughout with plenty of woodwind, brass, keyboards and orchestration too and when listening to these songs you soon realise that some of them were more than good enough to be given a mainstream release.

On the down side, there are three overbearing and repetitive Samba tunes that don't really do it for me at all (and sound totally out of place here) and also a superfluous field recording featuring, as explained in the liner notes, "the intoxicating, atmospheric and incantatory sound of pygmies and percussion"...

The second disc features live recordings from the KPM All-Stars' debut gig at the London Jazz Cafe in April 2000. Led by Alan 'The Hawk' Hawkshaw on Hammond organ and comprising of original and contemporary KPM musicians, it also features guest-spots from some of the finest composers of the UK Library scene including Keith Mansfield, John Cameron, Ron Goodwin, James Clarke and Johnny Pearson. Unexpectedly, the musicianship is flawless and a good time is clearly had by all. It concludes with a superb UK sports theme medley featuring the themes from The Big Match, BBC Wimbledon Tennis, BBC Athletics and Grandstand. Their Live at the Jazz Cafe recording from October 2006 is also worth checking out.

Housed in a gatefold cardboard sleeve with a combined playing time 1 hour & 40 minutes and featuring extensive liner notes, this will appeal to fans of library music and jazz & funk.


The Lost Tapes
The Lost Tapes
Price: £8.45

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Romanian Kosmiche Musik, 5 Jun 2013
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This review is from: The Lost Tapes (Audio CD)
Lost tapes usually (but not always) remain lost for a reason i.e. they're not very good, but the tapes of Romanian band Rodion G.A. remained lost because there was no outlet for their style of music during Romania's communist period. Led by Rodion Rosca, the music here is more or less solo recordings by Rodion between 1978 and 1983 - he wrote and produced the music, recorded most of it at his home studio and he plays almost all of the instruments.

The overall sound is electronic music with elements of progressive rock, pitched somewhere between Kraftwerk and Italian Prog rockers Goblin. Using self-modified instruments and improvised recording techniques, the music is awash with layered synthesizer arrangements, with programmed beats and guitar drifting in and out of the mix. Primarily instrumental and stylistically forward thinking, I'm loathe to call it 'experimental' because the lasting impression is that Rodion knew exactly what he was doing. From introspective electronia to dense freakouts, it all sounds remarkably fresh some 30 years later.

Although a compilation of sorts, the song ordering is superb and it all hangs together perfectly. Remastered from Rodion's master tapes, the sound quality is excellent. Clocking in at 38:39 minutes and housed in a digipak with exstensive sleeve notes (apparently, Rodion spent time working as a labourer in London during the early nineties), this is a must for anyone with an interest in the more electronic aspects of Krautrock and electronic music in general.


Backbeats: Digger's Delight - More Rare-Groove Gems
Backbeats: Digger's Delight - More Rare-Groove Gems
Price: £5.99

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rare Funk, Soul & Jazz grooves, 5 Jun 2013
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This is another top drawer release from the latest batch of CDs in the now legendary Backbeats series. Most of the featured tracks are from the mid and second half of the Seventies and there's an abundance of funk, soul and jazz vibes.

Hubert Laws' 'Family' features some cool bass grooves and a flute break and Debra Laws sings the lyrics with the passion they deserve. Lalo Schifrin's 'Theme from Hong Kong is 4 minutes & 13 seconds of frantic robotic funk featuring an overload of horns and woodwind. Shuggie Otis is bissfully out of his head on the laid back 'Aht Uh Mi Hed' and Linda "Tequila" Logan's cute vocals on Larry Young's Fuel's 'Turn Off The Lights' have gotta be heard to be believed - she sings like a woman possessed who knows exactly what she wants and she's determined to get it! 'Troglodyte' by the Jimmy Castor Bunch is an isane story of caveman lust. The lyrics and vocals put it in the novelty category but it's rescued by a killer funk beat. The Modulations round out the album with the social commentary of 'It's Rough Out Here' that sounds more Blaxplotation than the Philly Soul they're normally associated with.

Clocking in at a generous 75:42 minutes, this is a welcome addition to the series and, considering the near give away price, it's a no-brainer purchase.


Backbeats: Soul Searchin - Finding Gold In Memphis 1968 - 1979
Backbeats: Soul Searchin - Finding Gold In Memphis 1968 - 1979
Price: £5.03

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Memphis Gold, 20 May 2013
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This is another first class release from Backbeats' ongoing exploration of the US soul scene. Focussing solely on Memphis' Hi Records between 1968 and 1979, there is an overload of quality tracks from both established and lesser known artists.

Ann Peebles opens the album with 'I Didn't Take Your Man'. With it's extended spoken word intro, it finds the groove and stays on it (and it also features on the Backbeats 'I Get My Groove' compilation). 'What Made You Change Your Mind' by Eddie McGee is a mid-tempo gem with some gorgeous female backing vocals. The Memphians provide some solid funk with 'Slidin' In and Out (Of My Neigbours House)' and O.V. Wright's 'I Found Peace' is almost too smooth for words. The quality of the backing vocals and harmony arrangements is noticeable throughout.

With a couple of tracks apiece from Syl Johnson and Al Green and with a generous playing time of 74:29 this is, given the quality of the music and the almost give away price, essential listening and the Backbeats series continues to exceed expectations.


Anker® T300 Ultra-Slim Mini Bluetooth 3.0 Wireless Keyboard for iPad Air, iPad Mini 2, iPad Mini, iPad 4 / 3 / 2, Galaxy Tab and other Tablets - Black
Anker® T300 Ultra-Slim Mini Bluetooth 3.0 Wireless Keyboard for iPad Air, iPad Mini 2, iPad Mini, iPad 4 / 3 / 2, Galaxy Tab and other Tablets - Black
Offered by AnkerDirect
Price: £29.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A quality Bluetooth keyboard, 20 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Powered by two AAA batteries, this keyboard connected seamlessly with my iPad. It doesn't double as case and therefore the overall shape and layout is similar to that of a standard keyboard, albeit smaller. However, the keys are the same size as those on my laptop and they are sensitive - you don't need to hit them when typing. It's raised at the top and the slight gradient makes typing comfortable.

It has volume control keys, including a Mute key, and keys to skip between photos and tracks, including those being streamed from my wireless server. There's a key to hide or show the on screen keypad and also Home and Search keys. The only (minor) downside is that the direction keys only seem to work in the iPad Note app - you can't scroll up and down web pages using them.

It's made of hard plastic and it's sturdy. It can be switched off when not in use and the battery life should last for up to seven months, but I suppose it depends on how often you use it.

In summary, if you use an iPad for typing at length this makes the job so much easier and my laptop is now almost redundant.

***This is review for the Anker Ultra Slim Bluetooth Keyboard that does NOT double as a cover or has a built in lithium battery***


Anker® 24W Dual-Port Rapid USB Car Charger with PowerIQ™ Technology for iPhone 6 Plus 5S 5S 5 4S, iPad 5 4 3 2, Air, mini, Galaxy S5 S4 S3, Note 4 3 2, Tab 4 3 Pro, HTC One, PS Vita, Gopro, External Batteries and more [White]
Anker® 24W Dual-Port Rapid USB Car Charger with PowerIQ™ Technology for iPhone 6 Plus 5S 5S 5 4S, iPad 5 4 3 2, Air, mini, Galaxy S5 S4 S3, Note 4 3 2, Tab 4 3 Pro, HTC One, PS Vita, Gopro, External Batteries and more [White]
Offered by AnkerDirect
Price: £19.99

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It works and it's fast!, 15 May 2013
I purcahsed a Belkin car USB charger last year but it was unable to power my iPad. However, this charger copes with no problems whatsoever. Moreover, I can charge my iPad and Samsung Galaxy MP3 player simultaneously and they both charge at more or less the same rate as if they were plugged into the mains at home. Connect your device(s) to the charger, start your car engine, plug the charger into the car lighter socket and you're good to go.

It's worth noting that if your lighter socket is fitted on the dashboard and in line with the gear stick the overall protrusion of this, including the USB heads on the charging cables, is about 90mm.

For the price at the time of writing, this is a bargain.


Leifheit Contour 72507 Medium Express Steam Generator Ironing Table
Leifheit Contour 72507 Medium Express Steam Generator Ironing Table
Offered by kitchen essentials
Price: £67.95

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Takes the back ache out of ironing, 14 May 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This ironing board is like a standard ironing board on steroids. It's bigger and stronger in every respect and when extended fully, it stands a couple of inches taller than any ironing board I've used in the past and this literally takes the back ache out of ironing - I can now iron for extended periods without my back aching.

The ironing area is wider and longer and a steam generator iron fits comfortably on the rest plate. It has a thick foam underlay and you can really press down hard when ironing without fear of the board collapsing or your clothes being left with an imprint of the mesh frame. The cable holder looks gimmicky and I didn't use it the first few times but when I did, I found it to be very useful - the cord from the steam generator to the iron hangs suspended in mid air and therefore doesn't knock your clothes out of position.

It is expensive, but this is an ironing board that is built to last for years and years and if coupled with a steam generator iron it will save hours on the amount of time spent ironing.


Philips Jamie Oliver 900w Steamer HD9132/01 with Bain Marie and Flavour Booster
Philips Jamie Oliver 900w Steamer HD9132/01 with Bain Marie and Flavour Booster
Price: £61.24

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great for steam cooking vegetables but vastly over-priced, 8 May 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
For its primary role in my kitchen - steam cooking vegetables - this steamer works very well. Using all three trays together with vegetables loaded in order of their tenderness, you're looking at about 20-25 minutes to cook them and, as with all steamers, most of the flavour is retained. It can also be used to steam cook fish, meat and boiled eggs (the bases of the stacks are designed so that eggs can be placed upright on them) but some things are just easier to cook using a pan and hob.

Its well made and looks the part and the racks are spacious and they stack inside each other to save on storage space. It has a retractable power cord that recoils inside the base. It also has a bowl for steam cooking rice, soups, etc. and melting chocolate but, once again, some things are easier and quicker to cook on a hob. The flavour booster is a totally ineffective sales gimmick because you can't fit anywhere near enough herbs or spices into the booster for it to make any real difference. When in operation it occasionally makes a noise not dissimilar to a coffee percolator.

The minimal instructions included are hopeless and are folded like a map (good luck re-folding them correctly!). There are also four large photo-card recipes and a photo of Jamie Oliver. In fairness, it's not difficult to use but it would be better if Philips just produced a well designed instruction booklet that included some recipes.

If you're likely to make use of the bowl and you'd prefer to steam cook your eggs, then this may be a worthwhile investment. However, if you just want something to steam your vegetables and the occasional salmon fillet then you can buy branded steam cookers for half the price of this - the extra layout for the bowl (and Jamie Oliver's endorsement) is not justified.

Top Tip: To reduce cooking time, fill it with boiling water poured straight from the kettle.


Comply S-400 Active Earphone Tips (Medium) - Charcoal Black 3 pairs
Comply S-400 Active Earphone Tips (Medium) - Charcoal Black 3 pairs
Price: £9.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Comfortable and they stay in place, 3 May 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Made from soft but fairly durable memory foam, these tips are very comfortable. When inserted in your ears the tips gently expand and they really do stay in place and you don't need to constantly fiddle about re-adjusting your earphones. I've not noticed any big difference in sound quality but they do isolate more background noise than silicone tips.

Although not listed on the compatibility list - in the Amazon product description click on the 'Click Here' tab in the Compatible Earphones column - I'm using these with the earphones supplied with the Samsung Galaxy S 8GB Wi-Fi MP3 Player and they're a perfect fit.

With three pairs of tips provided, they're a winner in the comfort stakes but don't expect any massive improvement in sound quality


Backbeats: Detroit Gold - 70s Soul Grooves From The Motor City
Backbeats: Detroit Gold - 70s Soul Grooves From The Motor City
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £7.19

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An outstanding collection of Seventies soul, 16 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I own most of the Backbeats CDs that focus exclusively on the Seventies and this is the best yet and I must concur with the first reviewer - this is all killer and no filler. The quality of the music is outstanding and, unusually, there is not a single weak song to be found on this compilation.

Dance floor fillers, sweet soul, out-and-out belters and mid-tempo grooves - it's all here and so much more. And when you consider the price it really is jaw-dropping. Focussing primarily on Holland-Dozier-Holland's Invictus and Hot Wax labels, it's impossible to select highlights on a compilation this strong. If you're a fan of Seventies US soul then this really is essential listening.


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