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Reviews Written by
Sick Mouthy (Exeter, Devon)
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Floratone
Floratone
Price: £8.10

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Let's give this excellent record a review..., 18 Mar. 2008
This review is from: Floratone (Audio CD)
This is sparklingly terrific "dub jazz", for want of a better descriptor; not unlike Panthalassa, the Bill Laswell remixes of Miles Davis' eclectic, electric 1969-74 period. Bits of Americana creep through in the guitar, textures are rich and rewarding, especially through headphones. A production rather than a performance, I suppose. Thoroughly recommended.


Hoje O Primeiro Dia Do Resto Da Sua Vida
Hoje O Primeiro Dia Do Resto Da Sua Vida
Offered by Books-and-Sounds
Price: £8.00

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Complete genius, 23 Aug. 2007
I can't stand seeing this without a single review for any longer, so I'm going to write a short one here.

This record is insane, baffling, tuneful, rocking, schizo, psychedelic, wonderful genius. It's properly magnificent. If you like Tropicalia, Os Mutantes, Gilberto Gil, all that mad late 60s Brazillian revolutionary music, then this is the single best album from the period (or more accurately slightly after - 1972). It's Os Mutantes' best album, in disguise as a Rita Lee solo record.

Think Love, Zappa, Beatles, samba, jazz, psyche, bossa nova, rock, pop, all with amazing tunes and bizarre interludes and some of the best guitar playing ever. The penultimate song ("De Novo Aqui Meu Bom Jos") might just be my favourite song ever - swirling, triumphant, clattering.

This version, released by Rev-Ola, is also one of the best-sounding CDs I've ever heard, deep, rich, spacious, alive. The bass sound alone is incredible, breath-taking.

Seriously, this is one of the best record ever, up with Forever Changes by Love and Laughing Stock by Talk Talk and and Revolver and a damn site better than anything Radiohead could ever produce. It's just phenomenal. 35 perfect minutes. Fun, moving, shocking, odd, confusing, blissful, rocking. Terrific.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 5, 2008 11:16 AM GMT


We Can Create
We Can Create
Offered by wantitcheaper
Price: £3.10

17 of 29 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ought to have been up my street, but... no., 17 May 2007
This review is from: We Can Create (Audio CD)
This is... too linear, too flat, too vague, to obvious. Not textural enough. The songs aren't great either. It reminds me of that Colder record from a few years ago that people raved about but that I found utterly insipid. I had hight hopes from early reports but was totally let down. It's really melodically and vocally aimless, has that "I'm on beta blockers" rather than "I'm on acid" vibe. There's also something about the tunes - perhaps too straight, too major key? I don't know. It feels... too banal, too content. It ought to be more screwed up and droney. It's on Mute which is Moby's label and that makes sense cos he also sounds too banal, too major key / minor key obvious, not screwed up enough. Disappointing.


Mirrored
Mirrored
Price: £11.18

6 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yes, this is great, 16 May 2007
This review is from: Mirrored (Audio CD)
But to say that "music UK sucks" is totally disingenuous when the likes of Acoustic Ladyland, 65daysofstatic, Patrick Wolf, Electrelane, The Clientele, Guillemots, Scott Walker etcetera etcetera exist and have released great albums in the last 12-15 months.

Anyway, Battles here take the lead from their own promising EPs and explode it in multiple directions, adding vocals, hooks, and malicious, deranged fun to their previously po-faced precision rocking. The mix of electronic / fabricated and acoustic / organic elements is absolutely seamless, as they mix up jazz, rock, electronica, weird pixie things and all sorts of other stuff. You've probably not heard anything like this before unless you've played Kyuss 33s at 45 and mixed in some Black Dog. They make Mogwai sound like Daniel O'Donnel. They're actual postrock rather than generic postrock, because this sounds like the future.


Skinny Grin
Skinny Grin
Price: £8.67

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Guaranteed to blow your heads off, 5 Jan. 2007
This review is from: Skinny Grin (Audio CD)
Not quite jazz, not quite punk, not quite pop, not quite avant-garde. All sorts of wonderful. You really, really ought to hear this if you have any interest whatsoever in contemporary British music, be it jazz or rock or whatever. Yes, bits of it are dissonant and difficult, yes it's frenetic and even violent on occasion, but it's also imbued with human spirit, adventure and magic. Invest. You will be rewarded.


The Magic Position
The Magic Position
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £2.99

20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Patrick's spectacular third album, 5 Jan. 2007
This review is from: The Magic Position (Audio CD)
Some might say this is Patrick going POP, but it's not that simple. Piano, ukulele, violin, beats, trumpets, his astonishing voice, fireworks, Marianne Faithful, static noise and a procession of beautiful melodies and wonderfully constructed tunes. Past the screaming, dissonant adolescent identity crisis of his debut and the tortured, remote spacefolk of his (still outstanding) sophomore, we have an area of energetic calm. Patrick Wolf is the nearest thing to a new Kate Bush. That's big praise. This album has big tunes and a greater sense of musical joy to it than almost anything else you're likely to hear in 2007. Spectacular isn't the word. His only peers are Guillemots and Acoustic Ladyland. Everyone else making music in the UK right now is an emo/MOR chancer and might as well go home. Magical.


Tuesday Wonderland
Tuesday Wonderland
Price: £15.30

24 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars excellent euro jazz, 27 Nov. 2006
This review is from: Tuesday Wonderland (Audio CD)
fading made preludium

30 seconds of blissfully quiet piano before grinding, crashing

godspeed-esque noise and chaos, electric bass flanged and feeding back

like a guitar for the next three minutes

tuesday wonderland

repetitive, kraut-ey piano riff, almost like life's what you make it

by talk talk, bass drops in, other piano layers and twirls dance

around skittish drums simple acoustic bass patterns at deceptive

speed. glacial concentric circles and swirls

the goldhearted miner

twanging acoustic strings give way to piano and slow, sweeping drum

brushes, occasionally the twanging strings re-emerge as a motif.

autumnal, balladic, falling leaves, frosty paygrounds

brewery of beggars

strange, synthetic tones, cyclic pianos and propulsive drums, heavy

drama, falling away to disjointed chords and then BAM drums again,

swirl again, drama again, very cool rolling piano break, more squall

from the bassist who thinks he's hendrix or kevin shields, acoustic

bass too, 8 minutes, evolves and grows, each instrument elaborating

and then recombining, album highlight

beggar's blanket

sub three minute ballad

dolores in a shoestand

ticking percussion, penguin cafe orchestra esque, robot beatbox,

streams of light emanating from the piano melody, album highlight,

central piano solo, tempo jumps up at about 4.45, 6.50 clapping and

crowd appreciation noises come in, cannonball adderly, jaunty jazzclub

swing for the audience, obviously having fun

where we used to live

more kind of blue esque midnight balladeering

eighthundred streets by feet

slow, dance-y beat, yet more pianos that swirl right across the

keyboard, entire band is great but really is lead by svensson's keys,

fall into darkness and then spiral round, radiating light, growing

electric noise, intensifying, album highlight, fades to electronic

wind and decaying piano notes

goldwrap

yet more swirling pianos and ticking, moist percussion, incredibly

compelling and evolving, deep, rich piano sound, drums both organic

and synthetic, really quite breathtaking piano runs, album highlight

sipping on the solid ground

slow, natural percussion, bowing bass in time with piano falls,

twanging acoustic string notes again

fading maid postludium

reprises opening track, unsurprisingly, huge arches of guitar-esque

growl, icebergs and polar bears and aurora borealis, fading back to

just solitary piano

secret track

ambience, treated noise, dappled, airy piano cascades and ripples of

machined echo

an excellent, dreamy but not narcoleptic record


He Poos Clouds
He Poos Clouds
Price: £10.35

4 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A genuinely beautiful record, 11 Aug. 2006
This review is from: He Poos Clouds (Audio CD)
Owen Pallet, the dude behind Final Fantasy, may have the worst-named band and album in the world ever, but please don't let that put you off buying this beautiful, rousing, moving, exciting and intensely musical record.

It's essentially string-quartet-led chamber pop, plus pianos, percussion and singing, all absolutely beautifully recorded and mixed (it sounds a worl of realness and intimacy away from your average "sensitive" mainstream rock band such as Keane, whose records are overloud, indistinct and muddy affairs), with intriguing and sometimes outragous lyrics ("and his massive genitals refuse to co-operate / no amount of therapy can hope to save his marriage" - whaaaaaat?!).

For fans of Patrick Wolf, Guillemots etcetera, this is absolutely not to be missed. With TV On The Radio and Guillemots this is one of the very best records of the year so far. Outstanding. Really.


Shure E2C In-Ear Headphones
Shure E2C In-Ear Headphones

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, but not outstanding, 28 July 2006
Shure E2C headphones have been my first paddle in the waters of in-ear-monitor headphones, and I have enjoyed using them greatly over the last few months. They're not perfect though.

I'd recommend spending quite a bit of time trying the different tips - they're "isolator" headphones, meaning they go literally INSIDE your ear canal and cut out external noise so you only get music, and there are three kinds of tips - soft plastic, rubber, and foam. I used foam ones for the first few months but have been using the rubber and plastic ones for a bit recently, just trying. Each pair fits differently and sounds slightly different too - it's difficult to get good bass response with the rubber ones, for instance, because while comfy and easy to fit, they don't seal / plug very well, and you need them in tight for bass. The soft plastic tips feel very uncomfortable to begin with but this soon passes. Practice and preference with different tips is essential.

The sound is excellent, very clear and open with good bass (when they're sealed well), but if you're using them with an MP3 player they'll show up things encoded at less than good-to-excellent quality (i.e. encode your MP3s at 192kbps).

The sound is also slightly odd in some ways - as other reviewers have mentioned you can hear your own footfalls vibrating through your body, which can be strange and can also "eat away" bass frequencies as your body's rhythms and workings compete with the lower end of the music coming through the headphones. It is a very open sound though - less overwhelming than something like Grado SR60s and more refined than the (excellent, when found cheap) Koss Portapros, both of which I also own and use in certain conditions (Grados for home listening through my hi-fi amp, for instance).

Are they worth £50? RRP is nearer to £70, so yes they are in that sense. I use headphones for several hours a day and have found the Shure's to be comfortable and provide an unfatiguing listen, and have run them comfortably off an iPod, MacBook computer, Denon minisystem and hi-fi separates amplifier. They are perfect for listening to music on the train, for instance, as they do isolate external sound very well. If I had the spare cash right now I'd get some Etymotic ER6is, the E2Cs closest rival product, but not because the Shure's aren't very good - because I'm greedy with headphones!


This New Day
This New Day
Offered by mrtopseller
Price: £3.00

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Embrace rock! No, they actually do, 5 Jun. 2006
This review is from: This New Day (Audio CD)
Mr Lefandangobob doens't appear to have listened to This New Day - if he had, he'd realise that it's actually by far Embrace's most rocking and energetic record, with barely any violins but oodles of guitars, drums and ROCK!

World at Your Feet has been added to the tracklisting for this re-release, but rather than appended to the end of the record as an afterthought, it's been snuck in at track 4 (don't believe the erroneous listing Amazon have here) in the far poppier first side of the album, where it makes much more sense next to the astoundingly uptempo Target (surely a future single?) and the groovesome Sainted (like Duran Duran on steroids and then some!).

Whle the first half of the album is a rollicksome, infectious popfest, it's side 2 that's going to hold most long-term attraction, with dark, brooding, psychedelic rockers like Exploding Machines and Even Smaller Stones exploring previously unforeseen emotional territory for Embrace. The closing title track is lyrically one of the bleakest songs they've recorded, but still maintains the furious energy and rhythms of the rest of the album.

This New Day could easily be a concept album, but I'm not sure about what - unrequited love, winning the World Cup, or terrorism, who knows?! But it's fantastic! Probably Embrace's best record yet, and certainly their loudest and most rocking!


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