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New Wave: Expanded Edition
New Wave: Expanded Edition
Price: £13.75

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best British album of the Nineties, 17 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
With this, their 1993 debut album, Luke Haines and his band released the best British album of the Nineties and, with 'Showgirl', the coolest opening song on any album. The lack of a hit single with a sing-along chorus on this or any of their subsequent albums meant that at the height of Britpop the best band with the best songs were outsiders looking in on the party they helped to get started. With razor-sharp lyrics and a pared-down Marc Bolan Glam influence, this is a confident and intelligent album.

This two disc Expanded Edition features 22 extra recordings and clocks in at 107 minutes. Disc 1 comprises the original album plus six B-Sides and, just to clarify, the track list for Disc 2 is as follows:

1. Housebreaker (Acoustic) (A-Side - Rough Trade Singles Club 7" Feb 1993)
2. Valet Parking (Acoustic) (B-Side - Rough Trade Singles Club 7" Feb 1993)
3. Starstruck (Acoustic) (Recorded Live, Paris 22 Feb 1993)
4. Junk Shop Clothes (Acoustic) (Recorded Live, Paris 22 Feb 1993)
5. Housebreaker (Acoustic) (Recorded Live, Paris 22 Feb 1993)
6. Home Again (Acoustic) (Recorded Live, Paris 22 Feb 1993)
7. New French Girlfriend (BBC Radio Session 2 Feb 1993)
8. Government Bookstore (BBC Radio Session 2 Feb 1993)
9. How Could I Be Wrong (BBC Radio Session 2 Feb 1993)
10. Junk Shop Clothes (BBC Radio Session 2 Feb 1993)
11. Bailed Out (4 Track Demo)
12. American Guitars (4 Track Demo)
13. Showgirl (4 Track Demo)
14. Glad To Be Gone (4 Track Demo)
15. Starstruck (4 Track Demo)
16. Early Years (4 Track Demo)

The best songs on the second disc are the 4 track demos that got the band signed to Hut Records and booked as the support act for Suede. Unexpectedly rough, they are more or less unchanged from the songs that appeared on the album, just more primitive sounding. The radio sessions and the four tracks recorded live in Paris highlight that they were more than competent live and none of the B-sides would have sounded out of place on the original album. It's not been remastered and I don't think it needed to be.

Housed in a basic double gatefold cardboard sleeve, Luke Haines has penned some (surprisingly) pleasant sleeve notes about the period the album was recorded and on a couple of occasions he speaks very highly of Suede without the slightest hint of sarcasm or cynicism, unlike in his book 'Bad Vibes'. He does clarify that the book was written in the present tense for the period it covered and for these notes "hindsight has been applied".

If you missed this album first time around, I wholeheartedly recommend it and if you already own it, this is a worthwhile investment for the extra tracks. Haines' Baader Meinhof concept album from 1996 has also been reissued by 3 Loop Music.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 15, 2014 2:07 PM BST


Bolse® 12W NFC Wireless Portable Bluetooth Speaker, 8 hour Playtime with Built-in Speakerphone for iPhone 5S, 5, iPad Air, Mini, Samsung Galaxy S5, S4, HTC, Tablets, PC
Bolse® 12W NFC Wireless Portable Bluetooth Speaker, 8 hour Playtime with Built-in Speakerphone for iPhone 5S, 5, iPad Air, Mini, Samsung Galaxy S5, S4, HTC, Tablets, PC
Offered by T.M. Enterprise
Price: £49.99

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing sound for the price and a battery that lasts forever, 10 Feb 2014
Weighing 350g, the same length as my out-stretched hand and powered by 2 channel speakers this is, given the price, an extraordinary portable Bluetooth speaker and it has features that you don't expect at this price. The sound created is huge for such a small speaker and the overall sound is well-balanced, clear & spacious and the bass is just perfect. With the volume on your device and the speaker at full volume, it fills a room. Granted you don't get the depth of sound that you get from a £200 Bose speaker but the sound is not too far removed from the likes of the Braven 650 and the Jabre Soulmate that retail for much more.

It seamlessly paired with my iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab and laptop (running Ubuntu) and has connected first time, every time thereafter. If your device isn't Bluetooth compatible, you can connect it using the included 3.5mm audio cable. It's charged using a USB cable, also included.

The range of the Bluetooth is superb - I can carry this around the house and the connection never drops out and this is where the extra features come in useful. It has six control buttons on the top where you can adjust the volume Up and Down, skip backwards and forwards between tracks (even when streaming music via Amazon Cloud Player and Google Play Music), pause the music and, should you need it, there's a button so that you can use it as a speaker phone too.

The advertised battery life of 8 hours is an understatement to say the least. With the volume set at medium on both iPad and speaker, I've had an incredible 20+ hours of playback.

In summary, this speaker is a bargain at the RRP and a steal at £29.99. When taking the three main considerations when buying a Bluetooth speaker into account - cost, sound and Bluetooth range - it succeeds on every level. I was given this speaker by the manufacturer in return for a review but I honestly cannot find fault with it. Finally, if you're thinking of gifting this, it comes in a high end, classy box.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 4, 2014 9:16 AM BST


Pencere Önü Cicegi
Pencere Önü Cicegi
Offered by LV'S UK
Price: £11.98

5.0 out of 5 stars 1986 Collaboration Reissue, 4 Feb 2014
This review is from: Pencere Önü Cicegi (Audio CD)
Originally released in 1986, this collaboration between Fikret Kizilok and Bulent Ortaçgil is long overdue a CD release. Kizilok and Ortaçgil first appeared on the Turkish music scene in the late 60s and early 70s respectively and, for various reasons, they both took extended breaks from the industry during the latter half of the 70s. They came together in the early 80s when they teamed up to form 'Cekirdek Sanat Evi', an art house project in Istanbul where musicians would share ideas and play live sets, and this is one of the resultant albums they recorded together.

Pencere Önü Cicegi (Translation: The Windowsill Flower) is an extraordinary folk pop album and a difficult one to review - words alone cannot do it justice. The song writing evidenced here is truly outstanding. All of the songs are perfectly paced and arranged and apart from a couple of up-tempo numbers, most share a reflective tone - this is music that will break the hardest of hearts, whether you can understand Turkish or not. The title track alone is one of the most beautiful songs ever committed to tape. The musicianship throughout is faultless and although primarily acoustic, both electric guitar and piccolo bass feature. Kizilok's and Ortaçgil's vocals are very similar in style and are perfectly suited to the music.

The sound quality of this CD is, surprisingly by Turkish standards, exceptional. Clocking in at just over half an hour, this is one of the finest albums I own - almost every song is a five star classic. There's an MP3 version too.


Apaslar Kardaslar Mogollar Ferdy Klein Orkestrasi
Apaslar Kardaslar Mogollar Ferdy Klein Orkestrasi
Price: £12.63

4.0 out of 5 stars Anatolian Psychedelia Reissue, 28 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
During the Turkish psychedelic era of the late Sixties and early Seventies, Cem Karaca either produced, arranged, joined the line-up or collaborated with almost every band on the scene. Featuring, as the title suggests, collaborations with Apaslar, Kardaslar, Mogollar and the Ferdy Klein Orkestrasi, this compilation was Karaca's second album and was originally released in 1974.

For the most part this is traditional Turkish music given a contemporary makeover using Middle East instruments (sometimes electrified) with the addition of lead guitar and electric bass right upfront in the mix. And it's that unique blend of the traditional and contemporary that gives many of the songs here a natural psychedelic vibe. One exception is 'Unut Beni' with the Ferdy Klein Orchestra that sounds like it could be lifted from a late Sixties Scott Walker album with the only difference being Karaca's vocals. Probably best described as "forceful", he's not a natural singer.

This latest instalment from Pharaway Sounds ongoing release of key Turkish albums from the Seventies has been remastered (the sound quality is very good) and features extensive sleeve notes and a few archive photos. Overall, this is not quite a classic but its well worth seeking out if you have an interest in Turkish psychedelia or just want to try something different. Karaca's 1973 album with Kardaslar & Apaslar is also worth checking out too.

The track list featuring the collaborators:

1. Deniz Üstü Köpürür (Mogollar)
2. Bir of Çeksem (Apaslar)
3. Askoros Deresi (Kardaslar)
4. Unut Beni (Ferdy Klein Orkestrasi)
5. Hasan Kalesi (Kardaslar)
6. Gel Gel (Mogollar)
7. Beyaz Atli (Ferdy Klein Orkestrasi)
8. Edali Gelin (Mogollar)
9. Ay Karanlik (Ferdy Klein Orkestrasi)
10. El Çek Tabip (Mogollar)
11. Ihtiyar Oldum (Mogollar)
12. Obur Dünya (Mogollar)


Sound of the City Experience
Sound of the City Experience
Price: £12.98

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lost and found, 19 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Originally released on Tiger Lily Records in 1976, this album was pressed in very limited numbers and was never available to buy because Tiger Lily was a record label on paper only. Set up by notorious music mogul Morris Levy, Tiger Lily 'released' records (often without the consent or knowledge of the artists) and the sole purpose of the label was to act as a tax scam. The idea was that Levy would write off non-existent hundreds of thousands of LPs as unsold, submit a tax loss claim that in turn would help his main label - Roulette Records - remain profitable. To make the scam appear plausible a few dozen copies of each release were run-off.

Regardless of its history, this is at times an extraordinarily good album that encapsulates the sound of late sixties US soul, early seventies Modern Soul, funk and disco and it would more than likely have been a success had it been afforded a proper release. Although most of the vocal duties are undertaken by women, the cover is misleading - Sounds Of The City were not a girl vocal group - instead they were a well drilled mostly all male band that had been together for a few years when the offer from Levy came along. They had enough music recorded to fill an album when they cut the deal and according to band leader Mario Sprouse, they knew exactly what they were signing-up to and intended to use the LP as a "calling card" to get gigs and to attract interest from genuine labels.

The musicianship throughout is faultless and there are some really tight grooves and ear-catching arrangements and vocals. Album opener 'Getting Down' is all choppy rhythm guitars and horns and sounds like it could've been lifted straight from a Blaxploitation soundtrack. 'Through No Fault of Our Own' is a sublime slow-tempo doo-wop inspired track featuring gorgeous female vocals and 'It's So Wonderful Baby / Gina' is perfect Salsa disco. 'Judgement Day' is three minutes of chaotic funk and 'Come and Stay With Me' is silky smooth soul.

Given that these were self financed and produced recordings, the production is occasionally a bit messy but the overall sound is very good. I took a punt on this record and I'm knocked-out at the quality of the music and it's good to see it finally getting a long over-due genuine release by Jazzman Records.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 26, 2014 9:27 AM GMT


Child's Pose [DVD]
Child's Pose [DVD]
Dvd ~ Luminita Gheorghiu
Price: £12.40

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Talking heads and dizzying camera work, 16 Jan 2014
This review is from: Child's Pose [DVD] (DVD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Filmed almost entirely using hand held cameras, this emotionally charged film makes for a dizzying viewing experience especially when coupled with the near constant subtitles. Focussing on a ruthless upper middle class mother's obsession with her adult son, it's VERY dialogue heavy. Luminita Gheorghiu, in the role of the mother, dominates throughout and appears in almost every scene.

Following a traffic accident where her son is responsible for the death of a young boy, the mother goes to every length possible in her attempts to get him cleared and absolved of any blame. From bribing a witness, paying off the dead child's family and altering her son's police statement, she will stop at nothing. Her attentions - one scene leads the audience to believe that her obsession may be more than emotional - are unwanted by her thirty something son who feels suffocated by her.

Many of the scenes are unnecessarily over-long and tiresome and at times it all begins to drag. It's easy to see why it won the Golden Bear - it ticks many of the right boxes - Eastern European, hand-held cameras, non-mainstream, Gheorghiu's outstanding performance, etc. Whilst it's a watchable film, it probably works best if you speak fluent Romanian (you almost have to speed read the subtitles at times) and enjoy emotional dramas that contain very little suspense and nothing in the way of action whatsoever.


SanDisk SDSDQUA-064G-U46A 64 GB Ultra Android Class 10 UHS-I MicroSDXC Memory Card with SD Adapter (Label May Change)
SanDisk SDSDQUA-064G-U46A 64 GB Ultra Android Class 10 UHS-I MicroSDXC Memory Card with SD Adapter (Label May Change)
Price: £26.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Huge capacity at a reasonable price, 14 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I purchased this direct from Amazon to avoid the possibility of receiving a fake one. It arrives formatted in exFAT and both my Samsung Android devices didn't recognise it - they only appear to support FAT32. Therefore, I wouldn't necessarily read too much into the 'Android' marketing blurb. To change the format to FAT32 I put it into my Samsung Android MP3 player and hit the 'Format SD Card' tab in the Settings menu and it was then good to go. Copying MP3 files from my PC was a slow process (average speed of 4.25 MB/second) but I suppose it depends on your equipment. Holds close on 500 CDs worth of music encoded at 320kbps. The included adapter is very handy.


Case Logic Snap View Folio for 7 inch Samsung Galaxy Tab - Black
Case Logic Snap View Folio for 7 inch Samsung Galaxy Tab - Black
Price: £26.85

3.0 out of 5 stars Good but over-priced, 12 Jan 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Whilst I do like this case, it's not perfect. It securly holds the Galaxy Tab in a hard plastic recess and all the buttons, inputs and camera are accessible apart from the Micro SD card slot. The fold over cover folds back nicely and makes it comfortable to hold. It has three landscape gradient slots to prop it up when watching video. Overall, it's solid, fairly light and adds a reassuring level of protection.

However, the advertised magnetic sleep function does not work, the material cover is a dirt magnet that, unlike leather or faux leather cases, cannot be easily wiped clean with an anti-bacterial wipe and it's a bit tricky when you want to remove your device from it.

The price this is selling for is staggering. You can get decent cases for less than a tenner and given that the cost of the 7" Galaxy Tab 3 is edging ever closer to the £100 mark, it seems an excessive amount to pay for a case. It's good, but it's not that good.


Huawei E5331 High Speed 3G 21.1Mbps Mi-Fi Unlocked Modem
Huawei E5331 High Speed 3G 21.1Mbps Mi-Fi Unlocked Modem
Price: £44.21

4.0 out of 5 stars Mobile Broadband, 30 Dec 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This Mi-Fi is so easy to use. Insert a data SIM card (not supplied) and the battery, charge it up for a couple of hours and you're good to go. Getting connected to the Internet is also very easy. Switch it on, open up the Wi-Fi settings on your tablet, select the Mobile Wi-Fi SSID that corresponds with the number on the inside cover of the Mi-Fi and when prompted for a password enter the Wi-Fi key (also on the inside of the back cover) and that's it. I had no problems whatsoever connecting both my iPad and Galaxy Tab. The speed is good - not lightening fast but acceptable and I suppose it depends on your location.


Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7-inch - (Black, Wi-Fi)
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7-inch - (Black, Wi-Fi)
Offered by Handy Zentral
Price: £119.17

26 of 32 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Average... Performance can be unacceptably slow, 25 Dec 2013
Given the 8GB capacity, overall performance (see below) and the non-Gorilla Glass screen, the RRP of £229.99 is WAY too expensive (I paid £99.99 at PC World) for what is ultimately a very average 7" tablet. Compact, lightweight, upgradable up to 64GB with a micro-SD card (which I've done) and with plenty of useful pre-installed apps, if you're in the market for a budget hand held device this might fit the bill but only if you're prepared to compromise. Considering the RRP, it's no competition for the iPad Mini which beats it hands down.

Although I have 3GB of the internal capacity of 8GB to spare on my Tab, the overall performance is very sluggish for extended periods to the point of irritation and it uses two-thirds of the RAM even when there are no apps or background tasks running. On a 40Mbps Wi-Fi network the browser (both the pre-installed one from Samsung and Google's Chrome) just crawls along.

When it comes to apps, unlike the Kindle Fire there's no ring-fencing with this device - you have FULL access to the Google app store. It has a reasonable battery life of 6-7 hours whilst surfing the web and it connects seamlessly with my Bluetooth speaker.

In summary, this is an average tablet. The extended periods when it crawls along at a snail's pace and for no reason whatsoever maxes out the RAM is unacceptable. If you can spare the extra outlay opt for an iPad Mini instead - it's far more responsive, faster, smoother and with a better build quality and 16GB on board (although unlike the Tab, you can't upgrade its capacity) - you won't regret it.


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