wed 27/08/2014

New releases on CD & DVD

CD: Simian Mobile Disco - Whorl

Thomas H Green

For their fourth album Simian Mobile Disco - AKA London producers James Ford and Jas Shaw – have taken electronica to the Joshua Tree. The area in the South Californian desert where Keith Richards, Anita Pallenberg and Gram Parsons bathed their minds in LSD inspiration in 1969 (and where the latter died of a heroin overdose four years later), has long been a place of pilgrimage for musicians looking to widen their perceptions, from U2 to the Arctic Monkeys. Simian Mobile Disco actually went to...

DVD: Frau im Mond

Graham Rickson

So much of Fritz Lang's 1929 silent film Frau im Mond rings true that you're inclined to forgive its shortcomings – notably a protracted, slow first act which takes far too long to set the plot in motion. Which involves brooding engineer Helius (an intense Willy Fritsch) whose space programme is hijacked by a sinister, cigar-smoking cabal intent on plundering gold reserves located on the moon's dark side. Lang's slow opening does have some choice moments – there's an entertaining robbery in the...

CD: Andy Milne & Dapp Theory - Forward In All...

Matthew Wright

Andy Milne cut his teeth in the 1990s playing with the influential saxophonist and musical theorist Steve Coleman, whose structurally experimental...

CD: J Mascis - Tied to a Star

Lisa-Marie Ferla

When you listen to J Mascis’ solo work – 2011’s Several Shades of Why in particular, and now this follow-up – it’s hard to imagine him doing anything...

CD: Basement Jaxx - Junto

Katherine McLaughlin

It’s been five years since British duo Felix Buxton and Simon Ratcliffe released their last studio album after deciding to take a few years out in a...

DVD: Cycling with Moliere

Tom Birchenough

High theatricality and countyside capers in winning French comedy treat

CD: Roni Size - Take Kontrol

Thomas H Green

Drum & bass don returns with an album whose quality improves as it progresses

CD: Royal Blood - Royal Blood

Guy Oddy

Muscular blues-rock debut from Brighton duo

DVD: We Are the Best!

David Nice

Love, life and the last days of punk embraced by three winning girls in 1980s Sweden

CD: James Yorkston - The Cellardyke Recording and Wassailing Society

Joe Muggs

A soft delivery and deceptively conversational tone hide a powerful writer

CD: Anja McCloskey - Quincy Who Waits

Russ Coffey

One of the year’s prettiest albums from the quirky German-American

DVD: The Changes

Kieron Tyler

Fantastic mid-Seventies dystopian children's drama from the BBC

CD: Mirel Wagner - When The Cellar Children See The Light Of Day

Lisa-Marie Ferla

Sparse compositions from Finnish songwriter's haunted pen

Morton Valence - Left

Thomas H Green

A banquet of exquisitely related misery from undersung London outfit

DVD: Starred Up

Graham Rickson

Explosive, claustrophobic prison drama punches above its weight

CD: Cats on Trees – Cats on Trees

Kieron Tyler

Anodyne French best-sellers attempt to export their success

Reissue CDs Weekly: Front Line – Sounds of Reality

Kieron Tyler

Exhumation of Richard Branson’s John Lydon-assisted Seventies reggae label

CD: The Gaslight Anthem - Get Hurt

Lisa-Marie Ferla

Blue-collar rockers channel heartbreak on fifth album

CD: Benjamin Taubkin - Al Qantara - The Bridge

Peter Culshaw

Unlikely fusion of Brazil and Morocco is surprisingly delicious

DVD: The Unknown Known

Nick Hasted

A fog of words from an unrepentant Donald Rumsfeld, in Errol Morris's doc

CD: Jerry Léonide - The Key

Matthew Wright

Mauritian pianist's debut release impresses with a cosmopolitan group of tunes

CD: Sinéad O'Connor - I'm Not Bossy, I'm the Boss

Guy Oddy

Somewhat middle-of-the-road offering from the Irish singer-songwriter

DVD: Swallows & Amazons

Kieron Tyler

Stiff Seventies film adaptation of Arthur Ransome’s classic children’s book

CD: FKA Twigs - LP1

Joe Muggs

Highly mannered high-tech R&B from the young Brit, but can it touch the soul too?

Reissue CDs Weekly: Hadda Brooks

Kieron Tyler

The Queen of the boogie still casts her spell

CD: Angus & Julia Stone - Angus & Julia Stone

Matthew Wright

Aussie siblings’ folk-rock is finely crafted but lacks emotional ballast

CD: Trans Am - Volume X

Guy Oddy

Post-rock types thrill with an eclectic mix on their tenth outing

CD: Eric Clapton & Friends - The Breeze: An Appreciation of JJ Cale

Jasper Rees

Tom Petty, Willie Nelson and Mark Knopfler summoned to salute the late guitar hero

CD: Jenny Lewis - The Voyager

Lisa-Marie Ferla

California girl's return confounds expectations

newsletter

Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters

latest in today

CD: Simian Mobile Disco - Whorl

Electronic duo take us on a spaced out - but dynamic - analogue adventure

Worst Place To Be A Pilot, Channel 4

Fascinating and original concept only partially ruined by condescending dir...

Mystery Road

A raw take on Australia in potent outback crime drama

Prom 52: Budapest Festival Orchestra, Fischer

Whole string sections with the ability to phrase cleverly and subtly as one

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

Frank Miller's 3D return to the world of Basin City proves a grotty an...

John Kearns/ Alex Edelman/ This Is Ceilidh

Winning shows at the Edinburgh Fringe

Al Murray's Great British War Films, BBC Four

Military intervention might have helped spark some life into this panel cha...

DVD: Frau im Mond

Fritz Lang's lunar epic shines in a gleaming new print

Richard Attenborough, 1923-2014

As filmmaker and man, Attenborough had a tireless energy for useful work

Prom 50: Weilerstein, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Bělohláv...

An overly impulsive Dvořák, and a disappointing Beethoven from distinguishe...