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A.Burns

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Price: £13.68

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb development from Transverse. Essential., 16 Sept. 2015
This review is from: f (x) (Audio CD)
It's been worth the wait for this. So glad that Chris & Cosey continue to be the custodians of the soul of TG, and Nik Colk once again gives them even more of an edge and is even more a crucial part of the alchemy than on Transverse. It'll be hard to beat this one for album of the year IMO.

Wonder what happened, though, to the extra X-TG recordings that we were told (circa release of Desertshore/Final Report and Transverse) were still in the can for future release?


Travel Guide
Travel Guide
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £12.93

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolutely gorgeous, essential guitar trio date, 4 Nov. 2013
This review is from: Travel Guide (Audio CD)
One of my favourite personal discoveries this year has been the music of Ralph Towner. He's been a master of melody and atmosphere for the last 40 years, and I was happy to discover that a new album, with two other guitarists who I was unfamiliar with, was to be released in October.

What I wasn't expecting was the surprise of just how wonderfully spellbinding each track on this album would be, and that it would be catapulted straight into my top 10 ECM albums, alongside the lofty company of The Köln Concert, Bright Size Life and Towner's own Solo Concert. The three guitars here blend perfectly, and through highlighting each player at different times gives the album so much variety that, alongside all the gorgeous tunes, means that you'll want to listen to this over and over again. Hard to pick a favourite, but The Henrysons opens the album with a slowly unfolding melody that captivates you right away, and Duende was also a standout on early listens.

Unreservedly recommended! Finally, a quick word about the CD itself; I'd be interested to know if anyone else has this little oddity. Instead of the usual blue 'ECM' logo above the artists' names and album title, there's just a thin blue line which I'm used to seeing on New Series releases, underneath the New Series words - but there's no wording at all on this disc, just the blue line. Is this just an interesting misprint, or are other ECM discs starting to be released this way?


Lua Ya
Lua Ya
Price: £8.71

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique, sparse, and quite lovely - another ECM delight, 5 Sept. 2013
This review is from: Lua Ya (Audio CD)
I wasn't previously aware of Korean singer Yeahwon Shin before this album came up in ECM's release schedule. I found that she had released one previous album, of primarily Brasilian material. It's worth seeking out (titled simply 'Yeahwon') - evergreens such as 'Dindi' and 'Inutil Paisagem' are given fresh life.

This new album is on a different level entirely, though. As you can read from the liner-notes quote in the product description, this music is improvisatory in nature, inspired in part by Korean children's lullabies. Yeahwon's voice floats lightly and beautifully over Aaron Parks' sensitive and minimal piano accompaniment, with Rob Curto's accordion proving to be the perfect instrument to add a splash of colour to the backdrop. I assume the words she sings are in the Korean language, and as I don't know how to speak that tongue, the whole album therefore may as well be filled with wonderous, gossamer vocalising; you don't need to understand a word of these songs to be moved by the absolute beauty of them.

All in all, 'Lua Ya' (named for the singer's young daughter) is a salutory reminder of why I love the ECM label: every time you think you know what's coming (eg more Jarrett trio concerts - not necessarily a bad thing in itself, of course!) something like this comes out of left field and captures a moment of serendipitous perfection between groupings of musicians who are really listening to each other to come up with something truly unique. And at 13 tracks in 40 minutes, this album is also refreshingly succinct in an age where almost every album (and it must be said, ECM frequently fall foul of this) seems to be bloated way past the hour-mark.

So whether you want to use this music to relax, to contemplate, to be inspired, or just luxuriate in its beauty - buy it!!


Dobrinka Tabakova: String Paths
Dobrinka Tabakova: String Paths
Price: £13.49

20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely, invigorating music. A real find., 3 Aug. 2013
I remember how saddened I was by the passing of Henryk Gorecki, and thinking then that I hoped Arvo Part would still have a good few years left in him to write more wonderful music. I wondered if any younger composers would come along who would move me in the way that these two have - and now, by chance, on an Amazon recommendation, I find this CD, featuring works by a composer mere months younger than me, who I was previously unaware of.

There are moments throughout this album where I'm reminded of Gorecki and Part, but Tabakova's writing style is still very much her own. I love string pieces that feel invigorating, and are striking and powerful, and thus find myself listening to this disc on a daily basis, spellbound. The only work featured that I'm not 100% connecting with at the moment is the Suite in Old Style; I'm starting to think however that this is just its placement in the running order, and when listening to it on its own it's starting to make sense. All in all, this is a highly recommended release showcasing some wonderful work by the composer.


Japandorf
Japandorf
Price: £13.26

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dinger comes full circle, 5 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Japandorf (Audio CD)
Phew, now this is starting to look like a properly balanced review page! When I logged back in to Amazon a few hours ago to leave my seller feedback, I couldn't believe that the first review for this album was a desultory one-star putdown. But then, as with any review page or review site, everyone is entitled to their opinion. A little while later, and I find that there is now also a lengthy (and very well written!) positive review on this page. So time to add my thoughts, as a fellow lover of Klaus Dinger's music, from NEU! to La Dusseldorf, to Neondian, Die Engel Des Herrn, La! NEU?, and now Japandorf.

When Klaus Dinger passed away in 2008, I was gutted that one of my favourite musicians had died, and I was aware at the time that he'd been working on new material with Japanese musicians. I wondered if we'd ever get to hear any of the results. So imagine my delight when I found out, just a few weeks ago, that a Japandorf album was ready for imminent release. So, how does it sound?

We start with Immermannstrasse, a nice upbeat J-pop style song about the Japanese heart of Dusseldorf. It's ok, but not my favourite on the album. What it does establish, right from the start, is that - like La! NEU? - this is a democratic, collaborative group, on which Dinger has put his distinctive stamp, whilst still ensuring that the creative results are a combination of all the musicians' efforts. This track is followed by a brief ambient recording from the street itself - I love how Miki Yui has preserved the ingredients of what makes a great Dinger album; this isn't the last time on the Japandorf album that we'll be given a moment of reflection through a snippet of speech or field recording, just as Dinger did throughout his recording career.

Sketch 1-b is the first of two rough-and-ready instrumental pieces with Dinger on fuzzed guitar. I prefer the second one - Sketch 4, which lasts a throughably enjoyable 10 minutes, and just after the 8-minute mark starts to bear an eerie resemblance to a 42-year-old bootleg recording of Dinger, on drums at that time, with Michael Rother on guitar, both of them playing as Kraftwerk with Florian Schneider. It feels like Dinger has come full circle with this album; there are hints of early La Dusseldorf elsewhere in Karnival, and of course in the final recording of Cha-Cha 2000, where I was looking forward to Dinger's best ever lyrics once more, but instead the focus is largely on experimenting with the music, with a few snatches of lyrics throughout the track.

Elsewhere, Japandorf come into their own on Udon, a fun track that gets into a great groove, and the absolutely beautiful Spacemelo, which I think is my favourite track on the album. Kittelbach Symphony is another nice reflective Dinger piece, and Osenbe is a lovely closing song with a nice campfire ambience, reminding me of the La! NEU? track 'Mayday'. Then, as mentioned earlier, we finish with a field recording in the Alstadt, Dusseldorf, of the bells of the cathedral where Dinger sang as a choirboy. This album feels like a worthy tribute to Dinger's final work through-and-through, and a very satisfying and enjoyable recording. Cha Cha Japandorf!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 5, 2013 12:51 PM BST


SanDisk 32 GB microSDHC Memory Card Only - Frustration-Free Packaging
SanDisk 32 GB microSDHC Memory Card Only - Frustration-Free Packaging
Price: £11.99

5.0 out of 5 stars The real deal, 3 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I don't normally leave reviews for items like memory, hardware etc - but in this case thought it was worth adding a further reassurance that I've received a genuine SanDisk product, and that it pays off if you buy things like this directly from Amazon.

I'm also grateful to Dr Sanjeev Sharma and his comprehensive advice about how to detect fake cards. I followed all the steps he recommended - checked that my card came in proper sealed SanDisk packaging, looked up the UPC to verify it, checked the printing on the card itself, and ran h2testw. At just over 29GB, I'm satisfied that this is a genuine and error-free card. One thing I'd say about Dr Sharma's review is that I don't think this card is only made in Class 2 speed anymore - the one I have received is definitely Class 4.

When it came to copying across all the music files from my Samsung Galaxy's existing 16GB card, the new 32GB card took a bit longer that I'd hoped for Class 4 to receive everything (we're talking 14.5GB all at once, took about 40 mins) but got the job done without any problems, so that may have been my PC or USB cable or something. Any subsequent smaller transfers onto the new card went at a good speed.

So I'm a thoroughly satisfied customer! No doubt I'll be back in 6 months when I decide that 32GB is no longer enough for all the music that I want to carry around...


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