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D. J. Dix (London, England)

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Modern Chrome Touch Table Lamp with New York Skyline Shade
Modern Chrome Touch Table Lamp with New York Skyline Shade
Offered by The Light Factory
Price: £17.99

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars They seemed so nice that we bought them twice, 21 Nov. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
We chose a pair of these as our bedside table lamps because they appeared stylish, affordable and contemporary. Aesthetically they're not unpleasant, but using the highest rated bulb recommended for the product and on the brightest setting they're not quite bright enough to comfortably read. They're also not particularly well made or robust, one of the lamps is now irreparably slanted after being knocked off the table by a cat. We also felt them to be bit smaller than you might expect.
I would say they might be useful for people without pets/children who just require ambient lighting, but not quite fit for the purpose we purchased them for.

Bwyd Time
Bwyd Time

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 years ago I thought Bwyd Time was the best album in the world! I still do..., 28 Jun. 2007
This review is from: Bwyd Time (Audio CD)
...and that's no small feat. I listen to hundreds of albums every year from a variety of styles and eras.

I first heard Bwyd Time on tape at 14, in an incense-filled bedroom, slumped in a wicker chair, captivated by what I was hearing. Since then I've listened to this album probably nigh on 1000 times and it still holds up.

The seemingly throwaway opening track, 47 seconds of keyboard backings and screechy mock-soul vocals is in fact a sorbet, clearing the pallet of whatever you may have been listening to before and calling you to the table in preparation for something wonderful. It's not by chance that the bi-lingual title translates as Food Time. This album is a meal, which both satisfies and has you craving more of the same.

First on the menu is the light but tangy Miss Trudy, lead track on the Llanfwrog EP (the rest of which appears on the 2nd disc). We're introduced to the basic line up for the album: piano, startling but beautiful countermelodies provided by violin and standard rock 3-piece. Although this ensemble forms the basis of many tracks on the album there are plenty of interesting layers of sound built up on each to give them their own magic. Sound effects, recorders, chorus effected backing vocals, sitar, an incredible array of analogue synths and some luscious Hammond organ. Miss Trudy starts with a brief narrative about a schizophrenic violin teacher, followed by the angelic beauty of Euro's vocals.

Sections of Paid Cheto Ar Pam seem to suggest Gorky spawned the OTT Welsh rockout sound that Anskt label-mates SFA would exhibit so classily on Fuzzy Logic (after being picked up by Creation during the post-BritPop frenzy for all things Wales) - of course sharing top class engineer Gorwel Owen also helped.

John gets to exhibit his trombone skills on instrumental Oraphis Yn Delphie, it has a Lennon-esq chord progression, but don't hold that against it.

Suddenly we're stripped down to a couple of acoustic guitars for Eating Salt Is Easy, wearing the Incredible String Band influence proudly on its sleeve and with Richard James' fragile vocal taking the lead.

In my humble opinion Gewn Ni Gorffen (Let's Finish) is not just the highlight of this album, but also musically the finest thing you'll ever hear. The "Magical Mystery Tour" styled intro is where similarities to anything you'll have heard before end. From the irregular phrase lengths of the divinely perverse chord sequence; the alien backing vocals; the emotive Euros delivering lines like "the problem is that we wake up expecting a future, But now everything has been hit to the floor" (sentiments that would be echoed 5 years later in Desolation Blues, but all the more poignant presented here in Welsh); to the synth and viola harmonising a countermelody direct from another dimension. This track is in a league of its own.

However we're reaching the end of the first course and things have gotten a little heavy, so let's turn that frown upside-down with Iechyd Da (Good health), a feel-good drinking song with some friends joining the table, co-written with (and featuring) label-mate RHEINALLT H.ROWLANDS and Saffs of Cornershop providing sitar. It ends with a drunken chorus sinking under reverb. Sitar and synth promising things will get stranger on side two. Gorky's don't disappoint.

We begin again with a brooding mystical instrumental Ymnelwyr A Gwrachod (Visitors and Witches) lifted straight from the Pagan ritual of your choice. A bodrhan thumps away under a droning B minor guitar loop, over which an inconceivably beautiful medieval synth melody slithers alone, until being joined by similar lines on recorder and violin.

This melts into The Telescope And the Bonfire, wah wah guitar and organ weaving around another alien chord progression punctuated by cymbal rolls create an occult atmosphere for this Pagan spoken word piece. With the introduction of two harmonising distorted guitar lines we're almost in Mike Oldfield territory. But let's not forget Mike did sterling work as part of Kevin Ayers early 70's backing band The Whole World - another oft cited GZM influence.

A strange synth loop and a burst of poetry provide the link into the Man With Salt Hair, which starts in an Incredible String Band vein, but soon injects many stranger elements and ends up with sounds of various weapons over a song which from the line "Get those kids over there lined up against the wall" appears to be about a school massacre. Remember, this was in the heady carefree days when ACTUAL school massacres weren't a monthly occurrence.

This leads us into the other single from the album The Game Of Eyes, deliberately packed full of strange sounds and voices, but somehow upbeat and energetic.

As we're reaching the end, Blood Chant slows things down again. Sitar, synths, organ, flute and a gorgeous violin line weave about over another medieval ritual, this time complete with a deep male voice choir.

Bringing this masterpiece to a close, a droning JX-3P and the sound of an unplugged guitar jack provide the intro to Ffarm Wr. A number harking back to the Tatay-era - reminding us how young they still were at this point. So the meal ends with synth and jack sound gurgling under a sitar and flute coupling, as though digesting the sensual feast.

Through word of mouth and support from DJs like John Peel, Bwyd Time made it to Number One in the Indie chart, and Gorky's were wooed away to Fontana Records - where they released the equally stunning (but slightly less mystical Barafundle.

GZM fans have petitioned for years for a Bwyd Time reissue, and should be especially salivating over the after dinner treats on the 2nd disc.

Most should already own the first 11 tracks from the Ankst EPs and singles or the "20" compilation Castle released in 2003. But the Radio One sessions are on CD for the 1st time here and they alone will be worth buying everything else again for.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 2, 2009 10:41 PM GMT

Wyrd Sisters From Terry Pratchett's Discworld [DVD]
Wyrd Sisters From Terry Pratchett's Discworld [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jean Flynn

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not Wyrd Enough, 1 Jun. 2007
Yes, I agree - the all star cast turn in some good performances and it is nice to have a Cosgrove Hall production which doesn't have David Jason all over it. BUT this is where the good ends.

Aside from the introduction where we're reminded that the world is on the back of the turtle, there is not enough in the feel of the piece to make it Discworld - and let's not forget the cardinal sin of seeing the flashback to the Fool making a joke about Christmas quackers... what is this Christmas malarkey? On Discworld we have Hogswatch - bit of a school boy error, plently of other jokes about ducks that could have been slipped in to be faithful to the book.

That said I thought Soul Music was a much better prodution, and if you are illiterate and wish to dabble in the Discworld it would be worth getting instead of this. However if you're reading this you're clearly not illiterate and there is no excuse not to read one of the 30 odd wonderful books - I'd recommend Small Gods a good place to start (unless you want to start at the beginning)...

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