sun 20/08/2017

CDs/DVDs

DVD/Blu-ray: The Tree of Wooden Clogs

Winner of the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 1978, Ermanno Olmi’s The Tree of Wooden Clogs (L’albero deli zoccoli) is a glorious fresco that reveals, over the course of an unhurried three hours and with a pronounced documentary element that virtually...

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CD: ZGTO - A Piece of the Geto

The term “hip hop” has become a catch-all that now includes a multitude of autotuned chart-pop rubbish which bears no relation to the genre’s origins, central tenets or recognised sonic imprint. Is Fetty Wap’s “Trap Queen” hip hop? Many would...

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CD: Offa Rex - The Queen of Hearts

Offa was an Anglo-Saxon king of Mercia, and now his name is attached to this outstanding collaboration between English singer and multi-instrumentalist Olivia Chaney and Portland indie band The Decemberists. The record draws on Seventies English...

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CD: Rat Boy - SCUM

At the start of 2016 shouty Essex bedroom musician Jordan Cardy – AKA Rat Boy – was on all those media tastemaker lists of stars about to imminently explode. Maybe he’s been in major label development hell since. His debut album’s been a long time...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Wakefield

The story of the man (and it usually is a man) who voluntarily disappears has been told and told again. Wakefield is based on an EL Doctorow short story which is itself inspired by a short story by Hawthorne, so it’s a narrative with deep ancestral...

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CD: James Heather - Stories From Far Away on Piano

The blossoming of modern classical into a serious commercial contender has been an unexpected recent development. Then again, it should come as no surprise that in a world raddled by stuff to hear and look at 24/7, people are turning to music that...

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DVD/Blu-ray: The Levelling

Hope Dickson Leach’s debut dissects lives in a wintry English landscape. The catastrophic 2014 floods in the Somerset Levels are the background to the return of Clover (Game of Thrones’ Ellie Kendrick) to a farmyard home which simmers with unspoken...

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CD: Girl Ray - Earl Grey

Girl Ray. Man Ray. Geddit? Earl Grey, the debut album from London female three-piece Girl Ray isn’t as freewheeling as the art of the man whose name they rework, but it is strikingly reminiscent of a particular strand of introspective 1980’s British...

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CD: Randy Newman - Dark Matter

Think of Randy Newman and the image conjured up may be of a lugubrious piano man with a sardonic streak. Or perhaps the composer responsible for countless Pixar soundtracks. But there is more to the bespectacled songsmith than just his witty...

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CD: Black Grape - Pop Voodoo

It’s a rather shocking 20 years since the somewhat unfairly maligned second Black Grape album Stupid Stupid Stupid was released, after which the band went into freefall before imploding. To celebrate this anniversary, or more likely because it might...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Der müde Tod

"Weary Death" – "Destiny", the English-language title, is weak by comparison – settles in a small German town, an impressive simulation constructed on a back lot of the Babelsberg Studio outside Berlin. He buys a plot in the churchyard, builds...

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CD: Ben Lukas Boysen & Sebastian Plano - Everything

The orchestral-electronic sounds which the Erased Tapes label epitomises exist balanced on a knife-edge of extreme tastefulness. Not quite fitting into either the classical or the club-electronica worlds, the style is closest to film composition –...

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