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Mark Cox (London, UK)

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Fly Fishing: Memories of Angling Days
Fly Fishing: Memories of Angling Days
by J. R. Hartley
Edition: Hardcover

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh the irony..., 14 Sept. 2009
To the previous reviewer, that'll be the British wit for you, the NY tag explains how it passed you by.

See You On The Other Side
See You On The Other Side
Offered by westworld-
Price: £7.91

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One day, there will be a Broadway musical about this band, 9 Nov. 2001
Only in the State of New York could a record like this be made. It is hopeless trying to describe the overwhelming array of melodies across the 8 tracks featured here, but hey, here goes... Essentially, this is the sound of an American songshow spilling out on to the streets and breaking into a riot of colour, noise and beautiful rushes of harmony. The flute and piano that rocket out halfway through 'Life in the Empire State', the saxophone break in 'Sudden ray of hope' that should go on for days, the squall of 'Racing the tide' and the fragile, exhilarating moments abound everywhere else (gospel, blues, country, soul, showmusic, rock and invariably, roll) make this sound like everything and nothing you've heard before. This seems to be the beginning of the trilogy (hopefully more though) that 'Deserter's Songs' and 'All is dream' are part of; a wonderful testament to the sheer beauty of American music.

Smiley Smile/Wild Honey
Smiley Smile/Wild Honey
Offered by Revolution Media
Price: £5.93

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amongst the weeds lies a little flower..., 2 Oct. 2001
This review is from: Smiley Smile/Wild Honey (Audio CD)
This is two albums and some extra bits worth of the most fragile and beautiful music there is. It's all in the details and the fun to be had finding them. The squeeze boxes, the hidden melodies at the end of tracks, the contrast of the two 'big' songs on 'Smiley Smile' with the rest of the album, 'Country Air' and its overwhelming melancholy, I could go on, but you should have got the idea by now. The bonus tracks are essentially 'Good Vibrations' in free jazz form, 'Well, You're Welcome,' a frail cut of pure harmony, a wobbly version of 'Heroes and Villains' and 'Can't wait too long,' more free jazz (or sessions stuck together, but the description sounds better...). Buy it, play it and treasure it. This is the lost masterpiece of the Beach Boys, pants to the 'Smile' fans. Although a box set of that would be nice. Eh, Capitol? Eh??

Sigur Ros - Agaetis Byrjun
Sigur Ros - Agaetis Byrjun
Offered by Side Two
Price: £14.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the sound of the quiet before the winter storm, 27 Mar. 2001
Slowly the album unfolds, instruments come and go; a little Icelandic jazz here, some Avalonian orchestra there. Yawning, the band blink into the Arctic sunlight, and they play. And oh, how they play. 'Hopelandic' is a language spoken by few and understood by many, it might just be the language of the sound that we hear. The way the loops open up the album, the way 'Ny batteri' could be a dirge for a Polar explorer, the joyous redemption of 'Olsen olsen' and the chance that that could be us hearing the Hopelandic national anthem. The way the piccolo tries flailingly to carry on after everyone else has gone home, the sound of 'Avalon' as it falls off a small boat into the deep, dark Arctic Ocean. The way words fail to describe the beauty of all of this, and the way that I ramble incessentally to try to convince you to join us at the border control for Hopeland. They've shown us how it could be, damn it if they are pretentious, but I want to be there too.

Niun Niggung
Niun Niggung
Offered by westworld-
Price: £14.98

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And they say the Germans don't have a sense of humour..., 14 Mar. 2001
This review is from: Niun Niggung (Audio CD)
If you can picture a brass band standing in mud in the year 2040 and their exploits being recorded by a couple of slightly Python-esque scientists, then you have the jist of this little treat. It opens with said brass band burbling to a gorgeous climax before they all fall over, and then they get up again and celebrate their misfortunes by getting into ska, beach boys bubblegum pop and some sort of new orleans gumbo too. The scientists wreck havoc by knocking over every test tube to look for a beat they may have constructed and 'distroia' highlights the fact that the french haven't got all the best tunes. Then, ten minutes after the band have slipped down a well and the mud has hardened, one of the scientists tip toes back into the lab and begins to tinker away, out come some more phials and the workings of a new experiment emerges. They made Stereolab into a wonderful pop machine, they let you into their workshop here, what happens next is anyones guess.

Little Lost Soul
Little Lost Soul
Price: £12.08

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's 3am, do you know where you are?, 14 Mar. 2001
This review is from: Little Lost Soul (Audio CD)
There is this idea that sound, like image, never disappears, it just floats out into the ether, beyond our range of hearing. Matt Elliott seems to have made some sort of machine to collect these sounds, and now he wants to share his findings with us. Pinned to a scattershot drum and bass background, like butterflies to a collector's case, the noise of something and someone is slowly unravelled. Ghosts waiting to be exorcised somersault through the entire album, and the intense melancholy piles up with the sounds of lost opera singers and the rantings of the strays. Yes, I love this album, it scares me stupid in the wee small hours, but it's that feeling that you're listening in on someone's experiments to contact lost souls that makes this truly exciting. Be afraid, but bask in its intensely human warmth aswell. Beautiful.

Young Team
Young Team
Price: £11.90

17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars music for the stranded..., 8 Nov. 2000
This review is from: Young Team (Audio CD)
You may have heard a little about them in the music press, their tiffs with most of the recording artists in the world today, their reluctance to sell out (who can blame them?) and general praise stacked upon the sounds they create. Currently they are making quiet things, before though, there was a lot of loud thrown in aswell. Anyway, the record opens with a girl failing indescribably to put words to how relentlessly beautiful this music really is. She stutters and stumbles, the scripted words too much for her, and it sums this record up perfectly. You will, I guarantee jump in fright at 'Like herod' when the riffs kick in again, you will well up to the beauty of 'Tracy' and you will suddenly find yourself very alone if you play 'with portfolio' in the company of others. As track 9 shuffles away the chords to 'Mogwai fear satan' start to trickle through, words start to fail you, it is 16 minutes of listening to an immense storm, the noise of the earth as it shows us just how powerful physics can be. If we were to have a musical definition of the word 'music' then this really should be it. So simple yet so powerful, only the euphoric rush of 'helicon 1' can come close to it. If that was on this record then we might aswell have given in and stopped writing music, it isn't so we try to keep up. Beautiful life affirming music that really deserves the credit it gets, there is no other way of describing it.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 20, 2012 5:20 PM GMT

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