mon 25/05/2015

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CD: Speedy Ortiz - Foil Deer

To let you understand the spontaneous grin that burst across my face when I first heard Foil Deer probably needs a little context: I studied, and now have a job involving, corporate law. Still, there’s no getting away from the fact that the powerful...

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CD: Calexico - Edge of the Sun

I often think that, once a band hits certain milestones – longevity, moderate commercial success, critical acclaim – it can be difficult to know where to begin. I don’t mean the big bands, with the songs you’d recognise if you heard them in an...

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CD: Sufjan Stevens - Carrie & Lowell

Let’s get one thing straight: Sufjan Stevens’ Carrie & Lowell is not a folk album. Folk, in this case, is a word used as a comfort blanket in an attempt to summarise the Michigan songwriter’s return to simple, acoustic music after the...

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CD: Samiyam - Wish You Were Here

The hip hop music of California has always been deeply stoned, and the wave of instrumental beats that have emerged from LA in recent years have taken this to quite some extreme. The scene around the Brainfeeder collective and Low End Theory club...

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CD: Mazzy Star - Seasons of Your Day

Some people are lucky enough to have the sort of friends that, no matter how rarely you see them, you can call them up and instantly pick up right back where you left off. Some people are even luckier, and have the sort of friends that they see even...

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CD: Manic Street Preachers - Rewind the Film

The punchline about angry upstarts journeying to po-faced middle-aged is an easy enough one for a band to make, but over the past few years the Manic Street Preachers have managed something far harder: they’ve started to make good records again....

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The Orb Exclusive: Thomas Fehlmann DJ mix and Alex Paterson interview

If anyone in British music still deserves that rinsed-to-death term "maverick" it is Battersea-born "Dr" Alex Paterson. From roadie for postpunk industrialists Killing Joke in the early Eighties, he went on to work as an A&R then - originally...

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CD: Morris Cowan - Six Degrees

Some 20 years ago, a series of albums called Artificial Intelligence on WARP Records aimed to promote techno as home-listening music. They made up a frequently sublime collection, but unfortunately the word “intelligence” in their title was picked...

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Preview: Denovali Swingfest London

We're pleased to announce The Arts Desk is a media partner of the Denovali Swingfest London on 20 and 21 April at London's The Scala. It's a good match, as Swingfest and the Denovali label, like The Arts Desk refuse to acknowledge...

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5 Broken Cameras

A story of six years of conflict in the West Bank set against more timeless details of life in the Palestinian town of Bil’in, 5 Broken Cameras brings the reality of resistance to the expansion of Israeli settlements – a conflict between unarmed...

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CD: David Byrne & St. Vincent - Love This Giant

There's a lot that's right with this album. Love This Giant sounds like Talking Heads for one, suggesting that David Byrne has made his peace with what made him great in the first place, and has seemingly stopped his slide into becoming a...

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The Grammys: A Night of Surprises?

Well, who could have predicted that? For once the Grammys proved that the US recording industry establishment is up for the challenge of reflecting the sense of a world in social and cultural flux by throwing surprise after surprise, bombshell after...

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