tue 21/05/2024

New Music Reviews

Music Reissues Weekly: Niney The Observer Presents Lightning and Thunder!

Kieron Tyler

Winston Holness started his own record label in 1969. Missing a finger, he became known by many folks as Niney. Born 7 December 1944, he had lost a thumb in an accident at work. By the point his imprint debuted, he had sung on a Clement “Coxsone” Dodd-produced track and was working as a salesman for other producers, including Clancy Eccles, Bunny “Striker” Lee and Lee “Scratch” Perry.

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Album: High Llamas - Hey Panda

Kieron Tyler

Hey Panda is unlike any previous High Llamas album. While the characteristic traces of late Sixties and early Seventies Beach Boys, Van Dyke Parks and Steely Dan are here, they have become melded with a sensibility lead-Llama Sean O’Hagan has absorbed from multifaceted US hip hop producer J Dilla – whose approach to rhythm and song structure rewrote standard linear templates.

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WAKE, National Stadium, Dublin review - a rainbow river of dance, song, and so much else

David Nice

In what feels like the beginning, or at least the Old Testament, there was Riverdance. Now, ready to flow through the world once the world knows it needs it, there’s a rainbow-coloured river of just about everything musical and choreographic that’s found its place in contemporary Ireland, performed with a pulsating energy as well as a poetry that stops you wondering too much about all the connections.

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Music Reissues Weekly: The Mystic Tide - Frustration

Kieron Tyler

Crashing chords are followed by a spindly, untrammelled solo guitar. After this subsides, the singer lays out the issue: “I try, I cry, I just can't see why. It's clear, she's near, the sights and sounds I hear.” He’s distressed, his anguish palpable, All the while, slabs of guitar squall get ever-more edgy, increasingly wigged out. There are more solos which aren’t far from those of The Velvet Underground’s “I Heard Her Call my Name.”

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Music Reissues Weekly: Groove Machine - The Earl Young Drum Sessions

Kieron Tyler

A few records changed music. One such was “The Love I Lost (Part 1)” by Harold Melvin & The Bluenotes. Issued as a single by the Philadelphia International label in August 1973, its release introduced what would become a major characteristic of disco music. This was the first time a particular groove was heard; the percussive use of the drum kit’s cymbals with an emphasis on the hi-hat.

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Say She She, Koko review - flawless, pizazz-filled show from rising stars

Kieron Tyler

Back in 1979, Koko operated as The Music Machine. As such, the Camden Town venue lent its name to the film Music Machine, marketed as the British equivalent of Saturday Night Fever. Buying into this vision of the North London setting as a hot-bed of dance-floor action required a suspension of belief: at the time, the then-grubby Music Machine’s staple bookings were metal, punk, post-punk and the emerging Two-Tone bands. This was no disco.

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theartsdesk on Vinyl 82: Human League, Hawkwind, Roberta Flack, Kid Acne, Photek, Rudimentary Peni and more

Thomas H Green

VINYL OF THE MONTH

Mito y Comadre Guajirando (ZZK)

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Music Reissues Weekly: Mark Eric - A Midsummer’s Day Dream

Kieron Tyler

In June 1969, The Beach Boys released “Break Away” as a single. A month earlier, they had announced they were leaving Capitol Records, who they had been with since 1962. The split with their long-term label came after the band sued for unpaid royalties and other business failings. “Break Away,” the last Capitol single, was aptly titled.

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Album: The Bevis Frond - Focus on Nature

Kieron Tyler

Musically, the assured Focus on Nature knows exactly what it is. Fuzzy, psychedelic-leaning, folk-aware pop-rock with an emphasis on guitars about captures it. And what tunes – this 75-minute double album’s 19 songs are immediate, instantly memorable and stick, limpet-like, in the head. Even during “A Mirror’s” backwards guitar coda the song’s melody is still to the fore.

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Music Reissues Weekly: Blank Generation, Just Want To Be Myself

Kieron Tyler

“I hate it, so I guess Eater have succeeded.” NME’s March 1977 appraisal of the debut single by UK punk's teen sensations was direct. In his trailblazing British punk fanzine Sniffin' Glue, Mark Perry was equally forthright when contemplating “Outside View.” “Sorry lads but this single is crap,” he wrote. “It’s not even good crap, it’s just a waste of time.”

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