sun 19/02/2017

CDs/DVDs

CD: Aurelio - Darandi

It's a monstrous cliché – all too often laden with problematically patronising overtones – to describe African, Caribbean, or Afro-Latin music in terms of “sunshine”, with all the carefree holiday brochure imagery that brings. But damn, the music of...

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DVD: The Spring River Flows East

There’s rich irony in the timelining of 1940s Chinese blockbuster The Spring River Flows East. Cai Chusheng and Zheng Junli’s melodrama dates its 14-year timespan – events unroll from 1931 to the end of the war in 1945 – with reference to the...

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CD: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - The Tourist

There was a time, a decade or so ago, when US indie bands would adopt such idiosyncratic names it almost felt like a ploy to stop them selling out. No band epitomised this trend more than Brooklyn's Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. But...

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CD: Vera Lynn - Vera Lynn 100

She hasn’t sung a note in a year or too and her regular appearances at veteran reunions have come to an end. In 2015 Dame Vera Lynn wasn’t well enough to attend the 70th anniversary celebration of VE Day. But she is still among us and on 20 March...

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CD: Right Said Fred - Exactly!

Right Said Fred, in the wave of global fame that followed their 1991 mega-smash “I’m Too Sexy”, were unlikely celebrities. The two shaven-headed Fairbrass brothers seemed to have accidently wandered into pop and were laconic, likeable stars. There...

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DVD: Marc Isaacs - Two Films

There’s a nice pairing to these two character-led documentary films, as reflections on concepts of partnership presented from different ends of the spectrum of innocence and experience. Treating innocence, Someday My Prince Will Come (2005) is the...

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CD: Six Organs of Admittance - Burning the Threshold

The keeper on Burning the Threshold is “Around the Axis”, a glistening, three-minute instrumental rooted in the finger-picking of Davy Graham’s classic 1961 arrangement of “Anji”. Building from its inspiration, “Around the Axis” deftly interweaves...

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CD: Dreadzone - Dread Times

Dreadzone make feelgood music, but with serious intent and a historical dimension.  Dreadzone‘s new album reaches back, in a style they have made their own, to the origins of Reggae – with the opening track “Rootsman” that lilts forward...

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CD: Ryan Adams - Prisoner

Ryan Adams’s 16th solo album since he debuted in 2000 with Heartbreaker reveals many influences, including AC/DC and the Electric Light Orchestra - notably on the opening track and single, “Do You Still Love Me”, where keyboards are to the fore. But...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Black Society Trilogy

Mixing up your yakuzas and your triads can be a bloody business, as Takashi Miike’s films show in the goriest detail. The title of the earliest work in his “Black Society” trilogy, Shinjuku Triad Society from 1995, says it all – a Chinese...

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CD: Sherwood & Pinch - Man vs Sofa

British bass music has played a gigantic role in contemporary pop. Twenty years ago it nearly crossed over when the major labels wrongly assumed that, post-Goldie, drum & bass was going to explode commercially. It didn’t and the whole scene...

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CD: Joel Culpepper - Tortoise

For a young singer like Joel Culpepper, blessed with a fine set of vocal chords and remarkable skill in using them, there is a wellspring of black singing tradition to draw from – from gospel and blues through to soul and contemporary R&B. There...

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