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The Wolf (uk)

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Like I'm A Warrior
Like I'm A Warrior
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Norwegian Wonders, 6 July 2015
This review is from: Like I'm A Warrior (Audio CD)
I'm pretty sure that Norwegian Emilie Nicolas' debut 'Like I'm A Warrior' first saw the
light of day in 2014 but seems not to have made the mark it deserves in The Listening
World as yet. It is an extraordinarily beautiful album, full of light and shade and finely
wrought melodies. Yet another commendable talent from the cold lands of the North.

Ms Nicolas possesses an enormously flexible voice and this, together with her charming
diction, brings a soft glow to almost every line she sings; a sinuous instrument which can
switch from a whisper to an elegant roar in the blink of an eye when the moment demands.

'Grown Up' is one of the most affecting numbers in the set but there is an unsettling undercurrent
in the words; a bid for some kind of release and freedom from past memories and experiences.
Whose were the ears for whom this song was written? The ambiguity is part of its troubling magic.
'Melancholia', a jazzy invention, in contrast, bubbles along in an almost nonchalant manner but
'Fail' is a huge, powerful, lumbering beast of a thing grinding everything that gets in its way to dust!

It's not easy to pick a winner (and perhaps I shouldn't try) but I have become more than a little
besotted with 'Pstereo' largely because of the uplifting vocal harmonies of its stunning chorus.

I entreat you not to let this marvellous recording dip under your radar.
It's right up there on top with the very best you are likely to hear this year.


Price: £9.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mindless Fun, 30 Jun. 2015
This review is from: LOVE SOMEBODY (Audio CD)
Decidedly dubious artwork aside, Alexandre Paounov (I shall call him M.Popof henceforth
as this would seem to be how he wishes to be known) puts in a half-decent turn down at
the disco. This uncomplicated dance music wins through largely by virtue of the beats which
are crisp, forthright and relatively uncluttered. If I may be forgiven for saying so it's a very
French affair. Our Gallic cousins have always been rather good at making party music which
exists somewhere at the tipping point between cheesy pop and stripped-down funky techno.

The eleven tracks in this collection would sit well within an evening of lager/sauvignon-soaked
excess. There's nothing wrong with that of course; I'm not judging (I have been the occasional
guilty participant too!) It's important that there is some music in the world one doesn't have to
think too much about and 'Love Somebody' ticks a good few boxes in this important category.

Repetition is all in M.Popof's muse. Find a frisky beat; drop in a big fat bouncing bass line and
away we go. The retro-disco shenanigans of opening track 'Words Gone' (vocals courtesy of
Arno Joey) gets us off to a good start in a Daft Punk(ish) kind-of way; 'Lidl Girl' (nothing to do
with an employee of the redoubtable discount supermarket chain!) too, bumps and splutters
along gamely and has some quite amusing flatulent synth decorations for good measure.
A special mention must also be given to 'Always In My Mind' as it features Miss Kittin and
anything which finds a cosy corner for Miss Kittin to purr in gets a thumbs up from yours truly!

File under mindless fun. Suspend judgement. Play it loud. Enjoy.

Price: £10.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Under My Skin, 29 Jun. 2015
This review is from: HUMAN INTERFACE (Audio CD)
Producer Citizenn (aka Laurence Blake) may have a winner on his hands with his debut
album 'Human Interface'. If you like the kind of electronic dance music which is not afraid
to mix up ideas and jump from genre to genre without ever quite settling down into anything
approximating mediocrity then this might be right up your street. It's certainly totally up mine!
This is truly inventive stuff. Big bruiser beats you can feel. Massive bass lines. Hissy hi-hats.

There are eleven numbers in the set and whether dancing or just listening they're all winners.

Two of the best are collaborations with singer Aisha. 'Tied' is a four-to-the-floor thumper with
some nicely dreamy keyboard chords holding up a breathy but soulful vocal performance from
Ms A and final track 'Lady', which, once it gets going, hunkers down into a splendidly lurid groove
of sweat-infused dark house with more than a little whiff of Danny Tenaglia at his best about it.

Top of the pile for me, however, is 'Lacefront', an invention which is impossible to listen to and
sit still at the same time; razor-sharp rhythms, brooding fizzy sci-fi synth and doomy spookfest
vocal fragments coalesce in one of the most addictive slices of electronica I've heard this year.

Something about this album has really gotten under my skin. Interface complete perhaps?!

Terrific stuff!

Helios / Erebus
Helios / Erebus
Price: £7.92

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sounds For A Summer Solstice, 28 Jun. 2015
This review is from: Helios / Erebus (MP3 Download)
As far as contemporary rock bands go (sorry I'm not running with any of this "post-rock"
nonsense!) Irish outfit God Is An Astronaut have more than a little to recommend them.

They're given to making big, dense, atmospheric, long-breathed instrumental anthems.
Rather like their Nordic counterparts Sigur Ros they are not afraid to take the time to
let their muse unwind and expand around us, often sprouting from a tiny musical motif.

Truth-be-told the overall effect of one piece is not very unlike any other in the set but I
eventually found myself getting absorbed by the sounds in a not at all unpleasant way.

I couldn't find anything which would be possible to call a favourite but 'Obscura Somnia'
(GIAN are much given to metaphysically-inclined titles!) sort-of washed over me like a
warm ocean wave and 'Vitus Memoria' delivered a welcome bit of welly once it got going.
(I found it difficult to listen to 'Pig Powder', however, without an image of a little old bearded
man finely grating pork scratchings into a silver bowl shifting in and out of my mind's eye!)

A worthy soundtrack for the Summer Solstice. Druids will doubtless love it.

Price: £7.49

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Master Of His Craft, 28 Jun. 2015
This review is from: Still (MP3 Download)
A new Richard Thompson album is always something to celebrate and his new recording
'Still' is no exception. Mr Thompson remains one of the finest singer/songwriters and
guitarists of his generation. From the early work with Fairport Convention until today his
music has been a part of the soundtrack to my life. A touchstone and an inspiration.

This twelve track collection is full of all the hallmarks for which we love him. Music forever
rooted in the English folk tradition but subtly morphed into something endearingly timeless.

There are some wonderful compositions here. Not least of all the deliciously melancholy
opening number 'She Never Could Resist A Winding Road' which is up there with 'Where
The Drunkards Roll' as one of his most affecting ballads; 'No Peace In The End', a rock-
and-rollicking invention built for ripping up the rug and letting what's left of my hair down
and 'Josephine', a sublimely moody piece with pathos to equal that of 'Eleanor Rigby'.
The final showpiece 'Guitar Heroes' demonstrates a true Master at work and having fun!

There's not a moment wasted here. It's all great stuff from one of the best in the business.

Highly Recommended.
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 2, 2015 6:57 PM BST

Philips HC9450/13 Series 9000 Hair Clipper with Motorised Adjustable Comb
Philips HC9450/13 Series 9000 Hair Clipper with Motorised Adjustable Comb
Price: £75.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Wolfie Gets A High-Tech Buzzcut, 28 Jun. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
For the follically-challenged there can only be one dignified solution : a crop!
I’ve been buzz-cutting my own hair with electric clippers for three decades and
consider myself an expert in this field. I was grateful for the opportunity, therefore,
to test-drive this new Philips model. I aways use the shortest setting (0.5 mm), so
this review is not based on using the three graduated combs included in the set
(my lovely locks have not been allowed to get that curly for many a long year!)

The main body of the clippers is very light in weight and has an integral "digital
swipe" control which allows you, rather cleverly, to vary, by degrees, the cutting
length. It also retains a "memory" of the last setting used for the next time around.

Fully charged it delivers 120 minutes of buzz-time but it can also be used attached
directly to the mains. My only small quibble with the product is that the mains cable
gets into a bit of a tangle. There's a little brush included to clean the cutting mechanism.

It does the job just fine but doesn't possess the more "solid" feel-and-sweep delivered by my
ancient and considerably weightier Wahl model. (Hi-tech doesn't always equate with better).

Expensive but impressive.

Philips HR1868/81 Avance Collection Quick Clean Juicer, 2.5 Litre, 700 Watt - White
Philips HR1868/81 Avance Collection Quick Clean Juicer, 2.5 Litre, 700 Watt - White
Price: £99.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top Juicer, 27 Jun. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This Philips juicer really is a superb piece of equipment. It's solidly made and quite
hefty to move around but once you've planted it firmly on it's suction feet (which
incidentally are really effective at stopping it slide around) on a work surface and
are ready to go, any effort involved is worth it. It does the job fantastically well.

The parts are easy to put together and take apart and it's very easy to clean up
afterwards. The powerful motor and deadly circular blade pulverises any fruit or veg
which you feed it to a fine mush which stays in the internal collection compartment.
The debris is surprisingly dry in texture; evidence that the machine has extracted
maximum juice from your chosen ingredients. It pours out of a stainless steel spout
on the side directly into the plastic jug which is included as a part of the ensemble.

There's a diagrammatic instruction leaflet for putting the thing together and a little
booklet with a few ideas for delicious flavour combinations. There's a warning in
the info about NOT using fruits which contain starch such as bananas, papayas,
avocados, figs and mangoes which I am assuming would clog up the blade.

It's not a cheap item but given how good a job it does I think it's worth the outlay.

I've just bought a kilo of peaches and a bottle of Prossecco so it's Bellinis tonight!

Highly Recommended.

General Theory of Victims
General Theory of Victims
by Jessie Hock
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Compounding The Hurt, 24 Jun. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
What, in these increasingly unpredictable times, should the responsibility of the philosopher or
intellectual be to the reality of oppression, persecution and human wickedness in its many forms?
Who can speak for the victims and how? What kind of thought and words and what kind of voice?

Anyone looking to Francois Laruelle’s book ‘General Theory Of Victims’ for elucidation
will be sorely disappointed. What we must try to remember in attempting to read this book
is that it is preaching to the already converted. Obfuscation has been pretty much the rule
of thumb within the upper echelons of French philosophical academe for at least the past
half-century. Private languages are born of lonely men who see little of life beyond the doors
of the library and the lecture hall. Prof Laruelle’s language is dense, repetitive and barely
navigable and we should ask, with respect to this most important and sensitive of subjects :
When does a wilful lack of clarity become yet another form of human oppression and cruelty?

Although the words “compassion” and “justice” occur repeatedly throughout the text the
author wastes every opportunity for humane clarification of thought, responsibility and action.

Victims, from the singular through to the unimaginably plural need a voice to speak with and
for them; a clear, ethical and compassionate voice which recognises their right to advocacy
defence, justice and empowerment. Although Prof Laruelle speaks of compassion its true
meaning is lost in a labyrinthine quagmire of pseudo-science. His appropriation of the language
of quantum physics (“superposition”, “vector”, “wave”, “strong force”, “weak force”) serves only
to compound confusion and lead us further and further away from any possibility of identifying
solutions. Just occasionally a small ray of light breaks through the darkness : “It is imperative
that victims can make their voice heard over the whole Earth, across the abyss, and ‘call out an
appeal’. ‘Men will remember us.’ This is the imperative of compassion, not a call for pity” (p110)
but all too quickly we are dragged back into the tangle of barely-understandable word games.

I would argue strongly that victims to not require a “General Theory” to explain their suffering.
What is truly needed is a closer connection between heart and mind but I did not find it here.

Whilst reading this book an image kept coming back to me of a weeping mother in Gaza,
cradling her child amidst the rubble of her bomb-shattered home. How do Prof Laruelle’s
words connect with her experience of helplessness and loss and our responsibility to her?

They don’t. They simply don’t.

Bern Men's Watts Bike Thin Shell EPS Matte Neon Green Helmet VM5EMNG XXL XXXL
Bern Men's Watts Bike Thin Shell EPS Matte Neon Green Helmet VM5EMNG XXL XXXL
Offered by Surfdome
Price: £54.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Top Lid, 23 Jun. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I had been looking for a new cycle lid for a few weeks when I stumbled across this one.
I liked the style and the hue suggested it would make me highly visible on the road.
It's designed by Bern, is manufactured in China and weighs in at 500 grams. The
shell is made of ABS* and seems to be of reasonably strong construction. It has
ample padding inside and is very comfortable to wear. The chin-strap is adjustable,
as is the overall fit by turning the black dial at the back of the helmet (clockwise to
tighten; anti-clockwise to expand). There are six ventilation holes in the crown.

The green is not quite as acidly violent in reality as it appears to be in the picture
(closer to pistachio perhaps than lime!) The price was right and I'm more than satisfied.


(* ABS = Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene. I looked it up!)

Don't Weigh Down The Light
Don't Weigh Down The Light
Price: £9.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Effortlessly Beautiful Album, 22 Jun. 2015
Taking time out from her many other projects it is good to hear Meg Baird at home in
the studio again with another wonderful solo project. 'Don't Weigh Down The Light' is
a beautiful album. The spirit of early Joni Mitchell seems quite close at hand at times.
These eleven tracks owe more than a little to the West Coast ambience of the late 60's and
early 70's. Methinks she has a little hippie in her heart and isn't afraid to share the experience!

These are terrific songs; elegiac, touching and true; the purity of her voice simply beautiful.

Among the best : 'I Don't Mind', a melancholy, minor key wonder which at six-and-a-bit minutes
long doesn't overstay its welcome for a moment; 'Mosquito Hawks', a folksy confection within
which Ms Baird shows of the resonating wonders of her crystalline upper-register; the magical
wordless harmonic arrangement 'Leaving Song', which put me in mind of David Crosby's equally
haunting 'I'd Swear There Was Somebody Here' from his 1971 album 'If Only I Could Remember
My Name' and the sublime title track 'Don't Weigh Down The Light' which moved me to tears.

This is easily one of the very finest recordings it has been my privilege to encounter this year.


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