thu 22/02/2024

New Music Reviews

Music Reissues Weekly: Fantastic Voyage - New Sounds For The European Canon

Kieron Tyler

In October 1977 Glasgow punk band Johnny & the Self Abusers decided to change their name. This was a problem for Chiswick Records, who were about to release their debut single. The records were pressed, the sleeves printed and the press release issued. There was no time to recall any of it and alter the band’s name. The single was credited to Johnny & the Self Abusers.

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Music Reissues Weekly: The Long Ryders - Native Sons

Kieron Tyler

Native Sons joyfully reframed musical styles of the past for the present. Even so, the freshness and oomph of The Long Ryders’ debut album meant revivalism was sidestepped. Originally issued in October 1984, it was a landmark in helping to nurture what would later be habitually defined as Americana. The word had been around, but Native Sons was pivotal to it gaining traction.

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Music Reissues Weekly: Mike Makhalemele & Winston “Mankunku” Ngozi - The Bull And The Lion

Kieron Tyler

The Bull And The Lion was originally released in 1976 by Jo'burg, a South African label which opened-up for business in 1973 with a couple of singles and the first album by black singer Margaret Singana. Her debut LP was titled Lady Africa. The same year, the imprint issued the second single by Rabbitt, a white pop-rock band whose guitarist Trevor Rabin became internationally known when he played with Manfred Mann and then joined Yes.

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Album: Nailah Hunter - Lovegaze

Kieron Tyler

Nailah Hunter’s debut album occupies a domain where trip-hop, Lana Del Rey were she recording in a deep, echo-filled cave and ambient-slanted pop overlap. There’s a kinship with FKA Twigs and Julia Holter, but Hunter’s propensity to channel what feels like a mystical experience means that Lovegaze is more inscrutable than what’s generated by first impressions.

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Music Reissues Weekly: East Village - Drop Out

Kieron Tyler

The album’s opening track is titled “Silver Train.” Built around a choppy acoustic guitar refrain, it features Hammond organ, spindly electric guitar lines, pattering percussion and has a vibe – with a gospel edge – suggesting a familiarity with Let It Bleed- and Sticky Fingers-era Rolling Stones. Or, in a different time, the Primal Scream of “Movin’ On Up.”

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Best of 2023: Music Reissues Weekly

Kieron Tyler

In the Light of Time - UK Post-Rock and Leftfield Pop 1992-1998 was unexpected. Collecting 17 tracks, it brought a fresh perspective on a particular aspect of the UK’s independent-minded music. This ground-breaking, agenda-setting release was effectively the soundtrack to what has been written about post-rock.

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Music Reissues Weekly: Hawkwind - Space Ritual

Kieron Tyler

As Britain headed towards the end of 1972, pop fans had fair cause to scratch their heads about a single which first charted in July. In mid-August, Hawkwind’s “Silver Machine” peaked at number three behind Terry Dactyl and the Dinosaurs skiffle-esque “Seaside Shuffle” and, in the top spot, Alice Cooper’s “School’s Out.” Donny Osmond’s oleaginous “Puppy Love” was number four. At 11, David Bowie’s “Starman.”

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Albums of the Year 2023: Scott Dunn with Claire Martin and the RPO - I Watch You Sleep

peter Quinn

A flawless song list comprising Richard Rodney Bennett originals plus some of his favourite standards, stunning arrangements by conductor Scott Dunn, plus the mellifluous vocals of Claire Martin magically aligned in my Album of the Year, I Watch You Sleep, an extraordinarily beautiful tribute to Bennett marking the tenth anniversary of his death.

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The Loveless, Castle & Falcon, Birmingham review - a proto-punk Xmas from Marc Almond’s new band

Guy Oddy

Back in those halcyon days of 2017, before the pandemic, Marc Almond did a tour of large concert halls, singing songs that had influenced him over the years. Needless to say, there was something of a focus on glam and proto-punk tunes from the likes of Lou Reed and David Bowie – which all seems to have sown the seeds for his latest musical direction.

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Music Reissues Weekly: Brinsley Schwarz - Thinking Back: The Anthology

Kieron Tyler

Typically tagged as the originators of pub rock, Brinsley Schwarz were where Nick Lowe honed his muse. But there were twists, turns and a waywardness which makes approaching them as a linear proposition difficult. Sometimes, they pointed one way yet then headed in a different direction. Next, off elsewhere. The complete-catalogue, seven CD set Thinking Back - The Anthology 1970-1975 encapsulates all of this.

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