fri 23/02/2024

New Music Reviews

Korea On Stage, OVO Arena Wembley review - a symphony of lights, beats and empowerment

peter Quinn

Choruses rocked, choreo popped, and thousands of light sticks danced in unison, as an incredible lineup of nine acts lit up this fourth edition of Korea On Stage, celebrating 140 years of UK-Korea relations.

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Album: Bas Jan - Back to the Swamp

Kieron Tyler

Margaret Calvert's creations are never far. She set the rules for the design of Britain’s road signs, as well as drafting typography and graphics for national, regional and local rail signage. Back to the Swamp’s fifth track “Margaret Calvert Drives Out” features the lyrics “maximum information conveyed by minimum means, triangles for warning, circles for limits, blue for instructions, green for directions.”

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The Chemical Brothers, Utilita Arena, Birmingham review - rave veterans play a blinder

Guy Oddy

Since first coming together in 1989, The Chemical Brothers have done more than enough to earn their place in the Pantheon of Rave Legends. They may not have been there at the birth of Acid House, but six number one albums, 13 top 20 singles and six Grammy awards is nothing to be sniffed at – especially for a couple of nerdy blokes who basically push buttons on boxes of electronic gadgets.

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Music Reissues Weekly: When the Alarm Clock Rings - A Compendium of British Psychedelia 1966-1969

Kieron Tyler

“How psychedelic is your pop? This is the demanding question posed to many groups today, struggling for acceptance. It's no longer any good to say: ‘Well, mate, we can play Wilson Pickett, James Brown and all that gear,’ to anybody contemplating booking a band. One has to explain whether one is likely to set fire to the auditorium, or batter the audience’s senses with flame, light and fiendish noises.”

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Young Fathers, Usher Hall, Edinburgh review - powerful set from a band who keep pushing boundaries

Miranda Heggie

Fresh from winning this year’s Scottish Album of the Year Award – for the third time no less! – Young Fathers gave a spectacular performance on Tuesday night on their home turf, at Edinburgh’s Usher Hall. Sure, it seems odd that a competition that’s only been running ten years has been won three times by a band who’ve released four albums.

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10 Questions for the avant-pop icons Stereolab

Cheri Amour

Just over 30 years ago, avant-pop icons Stereolab released their debut album Peng! establishing the early hallmarks of the English-French band’s sound; 1960s pop harmonies, chorus-laden guitar riffs and a borderless world of analog electrics.

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Brian Eno, Baltic Sea Philharmonic, Kristjan Järvi, RFH review - electronica brilliantly re-visioned for orchestra

mark Kidel

There is a great deal of sense in transposing electronic music to a symphony orchestra. However beautifully crafted, imaginatively constructed, and creatively programmed, the sounds that come out of synthesisers and other digital tools lack the knife-edge fallibility of music that is produced with the hand or the human breath. 

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Music Reissues Weekly: Osmo Lindeman - Electronic Works

Kieron Tyler

For Finnish composer Osmo Lindeman, the decision to pursue electronic music was made in 1968 during a visit to Poland. He had recently started using graphical notation for the scores of his compositions and was having problems getting conductors and orchestras to follow what he wanted.

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Album: Mayssa Jallad - Marjaa: The Battle of the Hotels

Kieron Tyler

Atmospherically and musically, the debut album from Lebanon’s Mayssa Jallad swiftly makes its case. It opens with a drifting, elegiac voice singing a wandering melody over a sound-bed including what sounds like a koto and a droning cello. The language employed is Arabic. On the next track, the meditative spell is punctured by the crack of distant gunfire.

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theartsdesk at Salzburg Jazz & the City Festival - perfection in free venues

Sebastian Scotney

As a cultural destination, Salzburg really is hard to beat. Each year, a million and a half tourists descend on this compact city with its baroque architectural delights, and a population of just 150,000. The city of Mozart and of the Salzburger Festspiele was also once home to Paracelsus, Heinrich Biber, Stefan Zweig, Georg Trakl, and more recently – of course – The Sound of Music and Red Bull.

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