sat 25/01/2020

New Music Reviews

Robert Henke CBM 8032, Barbican - a vision of possibilities from 40 years ago

joe Muggs

Robert Henke is to techno fans as Leo Fender and Les Paul are to rock lovers. The Ableton Live software which he co-created is every bit as influential as any guitar they built, and probably more used. However, of course, being just a piece of code, it could never be iconic like a guitar. This performance was partly inspired by that fact: as Henke explained in his preamble, he's fascinated with a time when computers were a whole lot simpler and, perhaps, cooler to look at.

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Album: Ruby Turner – Love Was Here

Sebastian Scotney

One can only marvel at the versatility of Ruby Turner. As a vocalist, she spans the whole blues/soul/ R&B spectrum, and has been a major presence on the British scene since the late Seventies.

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Celtic Connections 2020, Glasgow review - fine feast of Scottish music

Miranda Heggie

Celtic Connections, Scotland’s annual festival of folk, world and fusion music, has been brightening up dreich Glasgow Januaries since its inception in 1994. Originally proposed partly as a way to fill a scheduling gap in Glasgow Royal Concert Hall’s post-Christmas period, Celtic Connections is now a major event in Scotland’s cultural calendar.

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Reissue CDs Weekly: The Beloved - Where It Is

Kieron Tyler

Commercially, The Beloved’s peak years kicked off in autumn 1989 when their electro house-pop began its chart run. The band called it a day in 1996 after the X album and its attendant singles.

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Judy Collins, Grand Central Hall, Liverpool review - how sweet the sound, even at 80

Liz Thomson

It’s a good few years since Judy Collins last toured Britain and Ireland, though in the US she’s rarely off the road. Over the last couple of years she has notched up more than 100 concerts (and an album) with Stephen Stills, who famously celebrated their 1960s love affair in the magnificent “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes”.

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Album: Gabrielle Aplin - Dear Happy

Lisa-Marie Ferla

According to Gabrielle Aplin, the delicate piano ballad which closes, and provides the name of, her first album in over four years was written as a letter to herself; and one penned at a particularly turbulent point in her life. “It’s not easy for me, but I know that I’m close,” she sings, as if willing the emotion into being.

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Reissue CDs Weekly: She Came From Liverpool! - Merseyside Girl-Pop 1962-1968

Kieron Tyler

In July 1961, the first issue of the Liverpool music paper Mersey Beat put three items on its front page. One was a surreal article by John Lennon titled Being a Short Diversion on the Dubious Origins of The Beatles.

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Albums of the Year 2019: Little Simz - GREY Area

Jo Southerd

In 2019, music kept its place as a vital means for expression and escapism in an increasingly troubled and troubling world. Happily, there were plenty of brilliant albums to get lost in over the course of the year. 

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Jon Savage's 1969-1971 - Rock Dreams on 45

Kieron Tyler

As one decade gives way to the next, the beginning or end of the ten-year cycle rarely yields anything cut and dried. With pop music, a host of decade-related platitudes have no respect for the decade-to-decade switch. Depending on points of view, the Sixties didn’t begin until 1962, 1963 or 1964.

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Albums of the Year 2019: Liz Lawrence - Pity Party

Owen Richards

Picking the best album at the end of the year is always unfair on the early releases. Recency bias means the newer albums carry more excitement. Better Oblivion Community Center's self-titled debut would be a major contender if it had released in September as opposed to January. It feels like part of the furniture now, a testament to the songwriting of Phoebe Bridgers and Conor Oberst...

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