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Reviews Written by
Colin McCartney (United Kingdom)
(VINE VOICE)   

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JACKMASTER DJ-KICKS
JACKMASTER DJ-KICKS
Offered by mrtopseller
Price: £8.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great selection from a great selector, 19 July 2016
This review is from: JACKMASTER DJ-KICKS (Audio CD)
Jack "Jackmaster" Revill holds his own, given the not inconsiderable task of following up Moodymann's DJ Kicks mix from earlier in the year.

Like that release, Jackmaster's DJ Kicks works well both in mixed and unmixed formats. Whilst the mix is good, I think you really need to get hold of the digital unmixed version (which also includes the mix, as a single long track) to appreciate the full power of some of these selections. Amongst newer pieces, Revill also includes bona fide classics "Q1.1" by Quadrant/Basic Channel and Robert Hood's "The Pace". Also interesting inclusions are two very rare early 1990s Underground Resistance cuts: "Forever Free" by Tomahawk and "Convulsions" by Overmow - both of which appeared on the subsidiary Shockwave label. The Tomahawk track has a UR production credit and sounds like one of the UR crew if not Mad Mike himself. The Overmow selection is somewhat a-typical UR - an Orb-sampling piece that sounds more like a Nu Groove Records than a UR release. Neither artist has ever been identified (not even on Discogs) but if I had to guess I'd say Overmow sounds like the work of Frankie Bones or Joey Beltram.

Other than a touching message to Jack's late mum, the packaging of this CD (a digipack) is nothing to write home about so I would recommend just getting the download for the full experience (or, if you buy the CD from DJ Kicks' website you will get the download for free).


Cheetah
Cheetah
Offered by jim-exselecky
Price: £7.95

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another seemingly effortless record from Richard D. James, 13 July 2016
This review is from: Cheetah (Audio CD)
At 33 minutes long this "EP" actually has a slightly longer running time than Aphex Twin's masterpiece (one of them, anyway) LP Richard D. James Album.

"Cheetah" sees James in beatdown mode. The overall sound of this record is similar to, though less layered than, Syro (his last proper LP). In fact according to the sticker on the sleeve, Cheetah was recorded before Syro - but who knows whether or not that's actually true. Whereas much of Syro's influence came from Detroit, by (subtle) contrast, Cheetah is more of a Chicago affair - in particular it reminds me of the work of Larry Heard. Although this EP is technical perfection, I can't help notice that a lot of Aphex's releases nowadays lack that one killer track (the "Flim", the "Mookid", the "Avril 14th" etc). I wouldn't say that he's lost his touch exactly, but compared to his earlier output the melodies aren't quite what they once were. On the other hand, I would say that his production skills have improved. Anyway Cheetah is excellent - and in particular benefits from a headphone listen, but it's maybe not up there with his very best work (- the highest of benchmarks, which would always be difficult to reach).

The CD is packaged in a glossed gatefold. The aforementioned sticker has the credits and the tracklisting on it (which aren't printed anywhere else) and is stuck on the outside of the shrink wrap - so discard that at your peril - probably a bit if a joke on the part of RDJ and/or the sleeve designers, Designers Republic.

And so Cheetah does more than enough to tide us over until the next, hopefully earth-shattering Aphex Twin release.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 14, 2017 6:02 PM BST


Hiroshi Watanabe - Multiverse (2CDS) [Japan CD] UMA-1078
Hiroshi Watanabe - Multiverse (2CDS) [Japan CD] UMA-1078

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Trancey-sounding techno 2CD on Transmat, 7 July 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
One of a trilogy of EPs recently released for the 30th anniversary of the legendary Transmat label (all of which boast full Abdul Haqq artwork see also Echoic Memories and Paradox), Multiverse is the only one of the three so far to see release as an expanded CD edition.

This is certainly decent techno music but there's nothing on here that stops you in your tracks either - and there was a time for me when pretty much every Transmat release did that. Derrick May (the label owner) would be well advised to check out recent releases like Cosmic Bebop and Victorious to remind himself of just how to do that. Of course, this is not a "full" Transmat release - in as much as it's Japan-only, so maybe it's the case that this is more of a "for the fans" version as opposed to the vinyl EP?

The second disc is basically a mixed version of the first and doesn't add much (and no track separators which is always a nuisance).

Whilst this is a very nice edition, and (currently) sold at a good price for a Japanese import, overall it's maybe a little flat: good, but not one to lose any sleep over.


Victorious
Victorious
Price: £9.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Robert Hood and his 20 year old daughter deliver a winner, 6 July 2016
This review is from: Victorious (Audio CD)
"Victorious" sees Detroit techno veteran Robert Hood collaborate with his daughter, Lyric, under Hood's Floorplan alias - which is usually reserved for his housier, more sample-based music.

In fact what we get here is something of a slight departure from Hood's previous material and I suspect this is probably Lyric's influence. I would say this is closer to techno than house, but it's also very funky and very listenable and not as repetitive as Hood's techno releases. Somehwat reminiscent of Jeff Mills Purposemaker series, the first four tracks draw you right in and make it almost impossible to press the stop button. Best of all is track 6 "Mmm Hmm Hmm", which is the record's most techno track of all and guaranteed to do damage either on the dancefloor or on your living room floor. The LP maybe starts to tail off a little after that but the opening tracks are so good that it's difficult to see how things could get any better.

The CD is packaged in a fold out gatefold with a typically UR-style message on the back cover about surviving adversity.

In these days of internet information overload this is a record that still manages to generate the sort of excitement that Detroit techno records used to generate 20 years (or ore) ago - which is no mean feat.


Free Fall Galaxy
Free Fall Galaxy
Price: £26.97

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Other-wordly sounds, 4 July 2016
This review is from: Free Fall Galaxy (Audio CD)
Free Fall Galaxy is perhaps Jeff Mills' tightest concept album yet. Mills' music takes us to other dimensions; takes us to the future. It's not a comfortable future, or an easy ride - but it is strangely compelling.

Jeff has slowly but surely developed his sound with every release. Free Fall Galaxy takes him almost into Eno territory, which is no bad thing.

As I type this I read that Mills is in the process of completing his homage to Gustav Holst's "The Planets", due out next year. Can't wait for that one either.


Cosmic Bebop
Cosmic Bebop
Price: £7.92

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wigged out, 3 July 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Cosmic Bebop (MP3 Download)
This is (apparently) another collection of Hieroglyphic Being tracks - a follow up to 2014's The Seer Of Cosmic Visions. "Cosmic Bebop" is, comparatively speaking, more straightforward than its predecessor. As such, it serves as a much better access point to the works of Jamal Moss (the man behind the alias). Not just that - this is an essential electronic music release. Whilst many people (admittedly, myself included) may yearn for the days of seeking out releases like this on vinyl/hard-copy, there is so much energy in this music that the format doesn't matter. The music itself is, technologically speaking, old school but Moss wrings so much emotion out of his machines that listening to these songs really is like hearing an early (MS1 - MS18) Transmat for the first time.

Available as a double-pack 12", download or (sorry Amazon) to stream, Cosmic Bepop serves to demonstrate Moss's status as one of the "main guys" in electronic music today - equal to, if not exceeding, Richard D. James.


Zootropolis - Maths Practice, Ages 6-7 (Disney Learning)
Zootropolis - Maths Practice, Ages 6-7 (Disney Learning)
by No author
Edition: Paperback
Price: £4.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good way for for children to learn basic arithmetic, 23 Jun. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I really enjoyed the film Zootropolis and thought that this book would appeal to my nephew who is also a fan of the movie - and I wasn't wrong. The stickers in the book are used to complete the puzzles. Added motivation is given for your kid to complete all of the puzzles by the award of a certificate at the end.


Zootropolis - Times Tables, Ages 6-7 (Disney Learning)
Zootropolis - Times Tables, Ages 6-7 (Disney Learning)
by No author
Edition: Paperback
Price: £4.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An entertaining way for kids to learn their times tables, 22 Jun. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I really enjoyed the film Zootropolis and thought that this book would appeal to my nephew who is also a fan of the movie - and I wasn't wrong. The stickers in the book are used to complete the puzzles. Added motivation is given for your kid to complete all of the puzzles by the award of a certificate at the end.


101 Chillies to Try Before You Die (101 to Try Before You Die)
101 Chillies to Try Before You Die (101 to Try Before You Die)
by David Floyd
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Actually a very informative reference book, despite its slighly silly title, 16 Jun. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
"101 Chillies to Try Before You Die" reminds me of the old "Observer's Guides". The book is a similar (slightly larger) "pocket" size and format (hardback). Arranged in ascending order of hotness (0 - 2,000,000 SHU) There are colour photos of all 101 chillies featured - which should make them easily identifiable to spotters. Written descriptions are provided too, together with suggestions for what sort of recipes (where applicable) the chilli in question could be used for. Growing and supplier information is also given, though how easily some of the hotter varieties are to actually get hold of, it doesn't say.

This book is probably best suited for someone with a serious interest in chillies, or a chef. It's one to file under the cookery or gardening sections, not under humour.


Kids by Oral-B Stages Power Star Wars Replacement Heads 4 Pack
Kids by Oral-B Stages Power Star Wars Replacement Heads 4 Pack
Offered by Ozaroo UK
Price: £12.47

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not as clumsy or random as a manual toothbrush; an elegant toothbrush for a more civilized age..., 14 Jun. 2016
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The old Oral B Spiderman toothbrush head my 7 year old nephew had was getting more than a little worn, though had more than done its job in building his enthusiasm for brushing his teeth. So what better way to maintain this than by getting some Star Wars-themed replacements?

This pack contains 4 replacement brush heads for your kid's Oral B toothbrush. The Amazon illustration isn't that clear in terms of what characters you get - my pack contains two Yoda and two Darth Vader brushes - I'm not sure whether this was just the luck of the draw as you don't seem to be able to choose when ordering (there are StormTrooper ones in the range as well).

Anyway the kid is really pleased with them and will continue to have cleanest of teeth thanks to this trusted brand.

Just one thing though - I presume Master Yoda didn't use these himself, as his teeth weren't very nice?...


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