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Live In London
Live In London
Price: £15.65

0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Got Live if you want it!, 27 Dec. 2012
This review is from: Live In London (Audio CD)
Welsh superstar John Digweed is back after the somewhat disappointing Cordoba CD. He upped the ante: from the two hours on autopilot of the previous release, to the 5 CDs of "London".

Recorded live at Ministry Of Sound, this collection is a hodge-podge of styles and genres, with dodgy mixing at best. Digweed should stick to the sound he's most famous for, from the legendary Renaissance nights to the banging Bedrock anthems written with Barry Jamieson. This strange blend of emo techno and hipster house kind of falls short miserably. Plus, they could have fit two discs with the whole night, why stop at 80 minutes per cd?

All in all, while still a fan of his Northern Exposure compilations, I didn't quite get this. The copy I've got was also scribbled on the front, not very professional. I gave it 5 stars just for the effort and the packaging (scribbling notwithstanding).
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 22, 2013 4:18 AM GMT

Do You Know How To Feel It?
Do You Know How To Feel It?

5.0 out of 5 stars They don't make them like this anymore, 21 Sept. 2009
Eagerly anticipated and championed in the past months by the great Jody Wisternoff of Way Out West, this pop jewel is finally out. Because that's what it is, a polished, rare gem with harmonies and melodies to rival pop's best and beautiful, soothing vocals by Paul Giles. Even the funkier number of the lot, "Come back to us", has a chorus that will put a smile on every mopey face, quality songwriting and stellar vocals soaring as summer clouds broken by the sunlight. Great work, guys.

No Country For Old Men [DVD]
No Country For Old Men [DVD]
Dvd ~ Tommy Lee Jones
Offered by ReNew Entertainment
Price: £3.73

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ambitious and flawed, 27 Feb. 2009
This review is from: No Country For Old Men [DVD] (DVD)
As another reviewer says: "I'm not sure that this is quite the masterpiece that some are declaring". I agree. I also don't think it works that well at a philosophical level or as an existentialist thriller, what it aims to be.

The apocalyptic source material clashes with the Cohens' stylish gallery of misfits and martians on earth. And clashes with what is left of the Cohens humor in this truly gruesome narration.
The "good" guy (who's really a misfit and a thief), while wounded, has to pay some kid good money for a clean shirt and a half bottle of beer. In the end, the monster Chigurh, also wounded, gets a clean shirt, and apparently sincere and heart-felt sympathy from a couple of teens. A good deed is what will damn Brolin's character. The unstoppable and unrelenting Golem Chigurh is never slowed down by a conscience.

But, in the end, actions and consequences, causes and effects, good or evil deeds, chance and fate, don't really lead to anything.
As if all the anarchy, violence and chaos that fuel McCarthy's tale finally preveiled on the Cohens' vision and their idea of the world. Why characters acted that way, what it all means, why the bad guy gets away in the end, it's not explained to the viewer. Possibly because the film-makers themselves don't have any answer. The intelligent, clever, stylish and often self-indulgent brothers are crushed by their attempt at a philosophical tale as the random victims are swept away by the bad guy.

Dead Mary [DVD]
Dead Mary [DVD]
Dvd ~ Dominique Swain
Offered by TwoRedSevens
Price: £3.49

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Cabin fever, witches, zombies and big chill, 16 Oct. 2008
This review is from: Dead Mary [DVD] (DVD)
Using narrative cliches and turning them upside down is a nice idea if you can actually pull that off. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

Every year a group of close friends meet in a cabin in the woods. It's usually a joyful occasion for happy partying, drinking, toking, sun-bathing and (unconfessed) betrayals. But not this time. One of the couple is bitterly splitting up. Also, the pretty twenty-somethings are starting to lose faith in their once bright futures, stuck with dead-end jobs and/or cheating husbands and wives. Plus, the clique has a new member, a younger girl that doesn't really seem to fit in (and pays numerous and solitary visits to the woods, hmmmm...). There's also a sexy girl that shows up all alone, no boyfriend in sight and this causes further tensions among the bunch. Not even a mysteriously deserted gas station, one member of the group still misssing and the fact that they seem to be the last humans left on earth (cellphones don't work, of course) suggest them that things are going to turn rotten very soon.

"Dead Mary" jumps awkwardly from The Big Chill to The Book Of Dead and from The Blair Witch to Candy Man. At one point, when the supernatural s**t hits the fan, one character arbitrarily decides that it's really The Thing they're dealing with. Until we jump into Omega Man and zombie movie territory without real explanations. But that's not the worst aspect.
The movie is ambitious in the way it sets its tone. The pace is intentionally slow, the lazy loitering in the sun only a red herring, while the group (and humanity?) is disintegrating. The opening shot of a skimpily dressed Dominique Swain lazily waiting in the car lies to the viewer about what he or she is going to really see.

What causes "Dead Mary" to fail is the lack of any real content behind the elegant form. Also, its attractive cast is too wooden to pull the first act off. Jefferson Brown (as Matt) in particular is not convincing as the bitter, self-deprecating lead.
It's interesting to see a horror movie that relies on atmospherics and unsaid things instead of more obvious scares, kudos for that. But characters questioning their partner's loyalty while all preternatural hell is breaking lose is hardly good horror.

Soulwax - Part of the Weekend Never Dies [2008] [DVD]
Soulwax - Part of the Weekend Never Dies [2008] [DVD]
Dvd ~ Saam Farahmand
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £11.54

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Time to set the record straight, 17 Sept. 2008
Stephen and David Dewaele's self-celebratory "Part Of The Weekend Never Dies" turns out to be a pretty solid rockumentary. It's full to the brim with namesdropping and shout-outs (in true "Teachers" style), as if the electro-house legacy was something to vent about. It even stars James Righton of The Klaxons, as bearer of the torch, even though he candidly admits he never cared much about dance music before Soulwax came around. The rest of the gang is also there: a chatty Tiga, a very relaxed James Murphy, an insightful Erol Alkan, Nancy Whang -telling the story of how "NY Excuse" came to be, Justice, Digitalism, So-Me, Busy P. of Ed Bangers Records and Peaches too.

The dicotomy between Soulwax the rock band and 2ManyDJs, the mega-eclectic music selectors, mirrors the one between Soulwax' "rock album proper", Any Minute Now, that critics hated, and its universally-liked dance counterpart, Nite Versions. "Radio Soulwax" incorporates all of that. So on tour the dj set follows the rock band's performance, back to back, as caught in a very straining loop that audiences seem to enjoy very much. Reharsals, rock show, dj set, then back on the road again.

While it's hard to re-write the rockumentary rule book, Saam Farahmand's take on it is pretty original. He alternates the more obvious sketches of the hectic life on the road with longer shots in a more intimate, fly-on-the-wall style, capturing not only the band, or not the band in particular, but their fans and friends and people -normal and weird- you meet when you're a travelling rock/dance act.

Interesting insights are also offered on how Radio Soulwax works, especially by Erol and Tiga (Steph is "the mind, the Producer", while David "knows everything about machines"). While Murphy waxes sarcastic on the reasons why "everybody wants to be the dj".
The live part, "Night Versions Live At Fabric And 120 Other Places" offers exactly what it says, a 54 minute performance which is actually a frantic collage of "121" different live shows. Watching it with the locality captions on can be too much. Much better is the audio cd, nothing you haven't heard a million times before ok but again the Nite Versions formula seems to work. All the classics are there and a few shout-outs too, to Tomas Andersson, Tiga himself (and Candi Staton/Alternat8) and even "Your Love" gets name-checked, as intro to Another Excuse.

I used to love Soulwax/2 Many DJ's/The effing Dewaele Brothers/Radio Soulwax a lot. I'm not as fond of this sound as I used to be, but this was pretty good. Definitely entertaining.

The Best Of...Later [DVD] [2006]
The Best Of...Later [DVD] [2006]
Dvd ~ Later
Offered by Rapid-DVD with FREE delivery
Price: £4.98

12 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Best of Later's mainstream, 13 Feb. 2008
Even if don't live in UK and you don't have access to the Beeb you can still enjoy the many bands that performed at Later thanks to dvd. In fact, Later's compilations include many legendary performances, often cited as high points in the career of the bands involved (At The Drive-In, the Manics, Sonic Youth). It's in the format itself: it's all about the music, no hidden catch, and the goal is to nail that perfect execution, in a bs-free environment. If the band that plays right before you outdid themselves, you don't feel humbled, you feel compelled to outdo yourself.

Unfortunately, this Best Of mostly collects mainstream names, many flavour-of-the-day stars and starlettes, a few plain mediocre acts (Snow Patrol) and novelty pop (James Morrison -seriously?).
Even taking into account the eclectic nature of these compilations, it's still a missed occasion. A double dvd best-of could have been stuffed with memorable performances but very few are actually captured here.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 18, 2010 12:50 PM GMT

Children Of Men Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Children Of Men Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Price: £13.81

11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still running the world, 4 Jun. 2007
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Reading some of reviews here and on other sites is a much more bone-chilling experience than watching the movie itself.

Alfonso Cuarón's portrait of an apocalyptic future where England is the last bastion of whatever is left of the Western Civilization, while based on a PD James' novel, owes much to Terry Gilliam and Alan Moore. While totally haunting and thought-provoking, its dark imagerie is hardly original. Some of its most visionary moments are lifted straight from Meaning Of Life, 12 Monkeys or V For Vendetta (Michael Caine's character, the prog rock references, the run-down cities, the sense of malinchonic abandon to the inevitable catastrophe). Yet, it succeeds, mostly relying on mythical and universal allegories instead of plot twists and a more traditional narration (where characters and situations are introduced and explained to the viewers). The moments of languid nostalgia (again, 12 Monkeys and La Jetée) alternates to brutally realistic violence, ispired by actual war journalism (when such thing still existed, that is). See the masterful steadycam work and the blood-stained lenses during the uprising and the flashes of the Bexhill concentration camp.

Why all the "worst movie ever" reviews, then? Can't people tell quality from junk anymore? If they have access to the Internet and know how to write a review for Amazon or the IMDB, shouldn't they also have some intellectual curiosity, enough to appreciate good movies? Apparently, that's not the case. The "anthropologically just" are still ruling the world AND the Internet, as dummies are still taking global decision that could lead us to the ultimate disaster. And whatever war they're fighting right now (West vs. East, civilization vs. civilization), there's no camera documenting it, in London or in Fallujah. This makes "Children of Men" even more valuable. It should remind people why art, culture and beauty are so important.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 19, 2008 12:07 PM GMT


3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A strangely isolated place, 25 May 2007
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Goodbye (Audio CD)
It's pretty strange to see such a harsh review of an Ulrich album based probably on some leaked or stolen file and a version of Goodbye that might be different from the final cut.

It's strange for many reasons. First of all, I don't think it's fair, comparing the sheer quality and beauty of his work (down to the most obscure remix) to what passes for music nowadays. He would deserve 100 stars only because HE TRIES, only because he dares to put together such elaborate and pain-stakingly beautiful soundscapes.

I know how mind-blowing the first impact can be (for some of us, at least). But I can't hear such quality loss in his output (considering his remixing work too). Is it because it's something so precious, and intimate and unique? If so, why should it be hold against him?

Or maybe the problem is that some people mistakingly filed Trains and A Strangely Isolated Place under ambient or chill-out, missing the larger plan, which is mainly the re-construction of the Robin Guthrie and Kevin Shields textures, tricks and sounds through machines. Goodbye seems to provide a different take on it, maybe not so easy on the ear at first, definitely not as soothing as Clear Day or Passing By.

Still worth it? Yes, still worth of being loved and cherished as the very special thing that it is.


11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Setting the record straight, 21 Feb. 2007
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: PARIS (Audio CD)
While I don't consider Paris as dance music's (or GU's) ultimate masterpiece, and with my feet firm on not being a Nick Warren fanboy, I don't think this album deserves all the negative feedback it has received on this site. And this is where the real issue is, I'm afraid, at least in my opinion.

More and more Amazon reviews are hasty imdb-style reviews where people blame artists and cds for not being what they expected them to be. You can spot more of this attitude on Radio 1's Essential Mix guestbook. Eclectic mixes are discarded as "chill-out", prog is so bad-mouthed and so out of fashion nowadays that any reference to it marks you as stuffy and old. Maybe you're looking for the wrong things in the wrong places, people. Many comments are also completely out of contest, musically and historically, as if reviewers just stopped by, had a quick listen and felt pressured to write down their thoughts. There is no perspective and no critical sense anymore (thanks, in part, to the musical press, now collectively NME-ized).

That said, Paris IS a controversial choice for Warren and Global Underground (most of the same comments were made about James Lavelle's mixes and Warren's Reykjavik anyway). But this is no Cafe Del Mar or Winter Chill. Enough with the story of GU having jumped the shark. They try something different, and people complain. They select Pole Folder and 16 Bit Lolitas and it's more of same.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 20, 2009 9:56 PM GMT

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