Total Pageviews

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Gareth Emery featuring Christina Novelli – Concrete Angel

Pick of the Week 53 – Gareth Emery featuring Christina Novelli

Hardly obscure, with 18million+ views on YouTube, but Christina is one of my favourite trance vocalists. Here she showcases her mellow tones and soaring tonsil gymnastics in this tantalisingly commercial euphoric trance floorfiller. It’s well worth checking out some of her other vocals, some obscure and others monsters, but she always delivers.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Celldweller – Soundtrack for Voices in my Head

I hate soundtracks and this one doesn’t change my opinion any. After his stunning debut at number one in last year’s festive fifty, I had high hopes for this offering from space rock pioneer, Celldweller. Sadly however, the whole thing falls flat on its face. It’s basically one song from the last album ‘Voices in my Head’ which is great, but I’d heard it before. And then loads and loads of chugging guitar based instrumentals.

It’s like listening to the soundtrack of some mildly engaging video game, but without actually playing the game! I’m guessing it’s a soundtrack for a mythical game that exists somewhere inside Celldweller’s head. It’s not offensive but it really doesn’t work for me.

Buy the song ‘Voices in my Head’ instead and you won’t be disappointed.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

In a nutshell EMCD 'from Norway and Beyond' Compilation

Another high quality Songlines compilation focusing on music from Norway, and more circumspectly, beyond Norway. Lovers of Scandinavian music will find no surprises in the Norwegian selections. They’re stark, fiddle driven ditties that could just as easily been sung by an attractive Scandinavian witch in a hut with turf for its roof or by a snaggle toothed sailor on the bow of a Viking longship. I think being ginger gives me a predisposition to like this kind of stuff, it’s a genetic throwback.

Sadly this is a game of two halves, as the ‘beyond’ Norway selections are much weaker and break the flow and atmosphere of the CD. But that’s a small criticism as there’s so much to enjoy here.

My personal favourites are the timeless ‘L’Autre Jorne’ by Five Men in a Boat, the ultra stark ‘Stev’ by Gunhild Tommeras, and the eerie ‘Tankens Runer’ by Bodil Haug. Best of all is the nasal sea shanty from Jon Anders Halvasen ‘Skomakarvisa’.

It’s another low key, slow burning Scandinavian gem from Songlines and well worth hunting down from  

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Ladytron – Witching Hour 2005

After buying their first album ‘604’ in 2001 I never returned to Ladytron until now, which is strange as I’ve always had a soft spot for them. For some reason I’ve gone out of sequence and bought 2005’s ‘Witching Hour’, but I’m so glad I did. This is a return to simpler more innocent times when a decent indie tune and a melodious voice was all I needed to be away with the fairies. It’s solid, but gorgeous unspectacular indie tinged with flecks of electronica and it’s like a breath of fresh air in 2014.

It’s an uncomplicated album, unfazed by fashion or expectations. Guitars, base and drums intertwine with subtle synth rhythms and the girls’ voices lash the whole thing together ribbons of pure digital clarity. There’s a nod to the old Russian influences on 604 but by and large this is indie music at its simplest and most organic.

‘High Rise’ will take most of the plaudits with its robust soundtrack complete with delicate vocal like a more accessible and direct version of My Bloody Valentine. It sets the tone for the rest of the album with its uncompromising beauty. ‘Destroy Everything You Touch’, ‘International Dateline’ and ‘AMTV’ are all worthy of a mention, but every track is a winner.

A great album from a great band rediscovered. Now to search out one of their other albums for next year.