Amazing new CDs including box-sets and more!

7 album cover

Check out some of these newly catalogued CDs in our AV collection including the fantastic box-sets by Simple Minds and Brian Eno’s Music for Installation. We also have the amazing 22 CD-set by the legendary guitarist of Canterbury scene Steve Hillage (Gong). Also check out the new albums by the likes of Beach House and Tami Neilson which have already proven popular.

Beach House – 7
“Their approach in the creation of 7 was one of rebirth and rejuvenation. Scally and Legrand used to limit themselves to what they thought they could perform live, but this time that limitation was ignored. Also, instead of one long studio session, Beach House recorded when inspired by batches of songs, which resulted in five mini-sessions over the course of eleven months. Unlike the last four albums, 7 didn’t have a producer in the traditional sense.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Parquet Courts – Wide awaaaaake!
“Parquets Courts’ fifth album Wide Awake! – produced by Danger Mouse – is a groundbreaking work, an album about independence and individuality but also about collectivity and communitarianism. The songs, written by Andrew Savage and Austin Brown but elevated to even greater heights by the dynamic rhythmic propulsion of Max Savage (drums) and Sean Yeaton (bass), are filled with their traditional punk rock passion, as well as a lyrical tenderness.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Neko Case – Hell-on
“Producer/singer/songwriter Neko Case has won a large and loyal audience for her smoky, sophisticated vocals and the downcast beauty of her music. Hell On is an indelible collection of colorful, enigmatic storytelling that features some of her most daring, through-composed arrangements to date. Produced by Neko with help from Bjorn Yttling (Peter Bjorn & John), Hell On is simultaneously the most accessible and most challenging album in a rich and varied career that’s offered plenty of both.” (adapted from realgroovy.co.nz)

Tami Neilson – Sassafrass!
“She’s back, the gloves are off and she is coming out swinging. Tami Neilson won’t be staying New Zealand’s secret for much longer. With her new album, Sassafrass!, Neilson takes a giant step forward. On this 11-track knock-out, she places a heavier emphasis on soul music without abandoning her country and rockabilly roots. Neilson conjures up a wonderfully retro style that sounds like it could be a lost gem from the late ’50s or early ’60s; however, beneath the classic veneer are frank, highly relevant lyrics.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Kody Nielson – Birthday suite
“From Unknown Mortal Orchestra Songwriting Collaborator and Drummer. Kody Nielson’s groundbreaking production, songwriting and exhilarating live performance with art punk pioneers The Mint Chicks helped to secure the group fans worldwide. Since the group’s disbanding in 2010, his solo project Silicon has been praised by the likes of Pharrell Williams and Justin Timberlake, as well as winning the prestigious Taite Music Prize for the 2016 album Personal Computer. Now, Nielson returns with Birthday Suite, notably the first full-length to be released under his own name. Set for release via Flying Nun Records this marks Kody’s own birthday; with each of the record’s 12 songs written for one of the artist’s family and friends’ birthday.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Simple Minds – New gold dream (81-82-83-84)
“Originally released in 1982, New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84) was Simple Minds’ fifth studio album and turned the band into a major force in pop music, spending a full year on the UK album chart. This stunning new deluxe box set consists of six discs including an Abbey Road remaster of the original album and a swathe of remixes, 12” versions, radio edits and an entire disc of previously unreleased John Peel and Kid Jensen radio sessions, recorded in 1982. The set is completed by a DVD, featuring the 2005 5:1 Mix of the album by Charlie Burchill and Ronald Prent as well as promo videos and, being made available commercially for the first time, Top Of The Pops performances of ‘Promised You A Miracle’ and ‘Glittering Prize.’” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Brian Eno – Music for installations
Music For Installations is a collection of new, rare and previously unreleased music, all of which was recorded by Brian Eno for use in his installations covering the period from 1986 until the present (and beyond). Over this time, he has emerged as the leading exponent of “generative” music worldwide and is recognised as one of the foremost audio-visual installation artists of his time. Eno’s visual experiments with light and video have proved to be the fertile ground from which so much of his other work has grown and they cover an even longer span of time than his recordings, paralleling his musical output in recent decades.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Todd Rundgren – All sides of The Roxy
“In May 1978 Todd Rundgren performed a series of concerts at The Roxy Theater in West Hollywood, California. The highlight of this residency was a concert on the 23rd May 1978 which was the largest concert simulcast on American FM radio at that time with an estimated audience of over ten million listeners. Hosted by the legendary DJ Wolfman Jack, Todd tore through a wonderful set that included material from both his solo albums and his work with Utopia. He was joined on stage by such illustrious company as Hall & Oates, Stevie Nicks, Spencer Davis, Rick Derringer & Kasim Sulton.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Steve Hillage – Searching for the spark
“Extremely limited deluxe 22 CD box. Searching For The Spark is a set containing all the work guitar great and electronic music innovator Steve Hillage recorded from his studio debut (1969’s Arzachel) to the first System 7 album in 1991, and four discs (Sparks Volumes 1-4) packed with previously unheard and unreleased tracks, demos and alternate takes. Accompanying the recordings is a magnificent 188 page – 32,000 word – coffee table book. Written and assembled by Steve Hillage and Gong family expert Jonny Greene, the book contains hundreds of rare and previously unseen photographs and cuttings.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Local to international: New CDs

Dirty Computer

Check out some of these newly catalogued CDs in our AV collection including the fantastic new albums by Kimbra and Arctic Monkeys. The gorgeous box-set by Procol Harum and the 30th anniversary edition of Bruce Springsteen’s classic Born To Run offer rare footage as well. We have a lot of box-sets and they keep coming. Come in and check them out!

Arctic Monkeys – Tranquility Base hotel + casino
“To the fact that Alex Turner was a mere 32 years old when he unleashed Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino onto the world, a young age that seems older because Arctic Monkeys released their debut when he was just 19. Throughout Tranquility Base, Turner comes across as if he were much, much older than his actual age, cocking an eyebrow to a potential paramour who has the audacity to have never seen Blade Runner, and reminiscing about the ’70s — a decade he never saw.” (adapted from fishpond.co.nz)

Janelle Monae – Dirty computer
“2018 release, the third studio album by singer Janelle Monáe. Dirty Computer is the follow up to her critically acclaimed studio albums, The ArchAndroid (2010) and The Electric Lady (2013). Includes the singles ‘Make Me Feel’ and ‘Django Jane’.” (adapted from mightyape.co.nz)

Laurie Anderson – Landfall
“The piece, which was inspired by Anderson’s experience of Hurricane Sandy, is the first collaboration between the iconic storyteller/musician and the groundbreaking string quartet, who perform together on the recording. Landfall juxtaposes lush electronics and strings with Anderson’s powerful descriptions of loss, from water-logged pianos to disappearing animal species to Dutch karaoke bars.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Kimbra – Primal heart
“For her follow-up to The Golden Echo, Kimbra could have expanded on any one of its eclectic sounds. Instead, on Primal Heart she combines all of the styles she explored on that album into a more cohesive — and immediate — approach. A consistently winning album, Primal Heart finds Kimbra hitting the sweet spot between imagination and accessibility — if her nods to the mainstream get more ears pointed her way, so much the better.” (adapted from fishpond.co.nz)

Delaney Davidson – Shining day
“Delaney Davidson looks wryly at the packed suitcase, nailing the last things into place for his 2018 migration. It was supposed to be a year of settling in but the world has other plans for him, starting with his new album release. 50 days into 2018 and Davidson has ticked off a 6 song writing session with SJD (Sean James Donnelly), album production for Belladonna (Lytteltons black metal doom band). UK label Glass Records Redux (Spaceman 3, Spiritualized) has picked up Shining Day his 9th solo album. It has been 2 ½ years since the release of his last studio album Lucky Guy.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Julia Deans – We light fire
“With the release of bold first single ‘Walking In The Sun’ in September 2017, Julia Deans whet the appetite of fans and critics alike for her new album. The album has been recorded in a home studio in Northcote, Auckland, which Julia’s partner David Wernham built over the course of six months 2011, and she began writing the songs not long after. While writing the songs was a very solo pursuit, the recording of them was less so, with Deans working closely with Wernham on “pulling the musical story together”.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Procol Harum – Still there’ll be more : an anthology 1967-2017
“This eight disc set comprises five CDs and three DVDs, of which the first three discs draw upon the key tracks from Procol Harum’s illustrious career. Disc four features the band’s legendary concert at the Hollywood Bowl on 21 September 1973, whilst disc five features a previously unreleased concert at the Bournemouth Winter Gardens on 17 March 1976. Still There’ll Be More is the most elaborate celebration of Procol Harum’s music released to date and this deluxe boxed set is a fine tribute to fifty years of one of Britain’s greatest bands.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Miles Davis – The final tour : the bootleg series vol. 6
“The latest entry in the award-winning Miles Davis Bootleg Series focuses on the final chapter in the landmark collaboration between Davis and saxophonist John Coltrane: their last live performances together, in Europe in the spring of 1960. These historic performances marked Miles and Trane’s last outing together and showcased both musicians’ incredible influence on the changing sound of jazz. The beautiful music they made together is presented here officially for the very first time.” (adapted from amazon.com)

The Who – Live at the Fillmore East 1968
“April 2018 – the 50th anniversary of these legendary unreleased recordings from the Fillmore East, New York City, Friday April 5 & Saturday April 6, 1968. Both nights were recorded by Who manager Kit Lambert with the intention of releasing as the Who’s fourth album after Sell Out and before Tommy. Remastered for optimum sound quality, this will enhance The Who’s reputation as the best live act of the time, regarded by fans as something of a ‘holy grail’ in live shows.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Bruce Springsteen – Born to run
“Personally supervised by Bruce Springsteen and Jon Landau, the bookset includes Hammersmith Odeon, London ’75, an astonishing film of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band’s legendary 1975 concert at the Hammersmith Odeon in London; the new film Wings for Wheels: The Making of Born to Run; the classic album in remastered cd form; and finally, a 48 page booklet of previously unpublished photographs. With its two DVDs, the package offers approximately four hours of previously unseen footage.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

New CDs from New Zealanders and rock legends

Sex and Food

New CDs in our extensive AV collection feature the new album by Unknown Mortal Orchestra led by our very own Ruban Nielson as well as the fantastic box sets by the rock legends such as Bob Dylan and Frank Zappa. Check them out!

Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Sex & food
Sex & Food is a delightfully shapeshifting album that filters real-deal serious themes through a vibrant sonic lens that spans battered drum machine funk, doomy and thrashing rock and pinkhued psychedelic disco.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

David Byrne – American utopia
American Utopia is Byrne’s first solo album since 2004’s Grown Backwards, and fits hand-in-hand with Byrne’s vision for his series ‘Reasons To Be Cheerful’ – an ongoing series curated by Byrne of hopeful writings, photos, music, and lectures – named for the song by the late Ian Dury. Over the last year, Byrne has been collecting stories, news, ideas, and other items that all either embody or identify examples of things that inspire optimism, such as a tech breakthrough, a musical act, a new idea in urban planning or transportation.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Moby – Everything was beautiful, and nothing hurt
“Following a pair of angsty punk blasts with the Void Pacific Choir, Moby dipped back into what he does best: soulful electronic soundscapes. If the VPC albums were Moby’s outward displays of anger and frustration surrounding the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Everything Was Beautiful, And Nothing Hurt was his depressed and introverted response to the subsequent societal fallout. Despite the overwhelming melancholy that drenches the album, it remains a gorgeous collection that is mostly indebted to trip-hop and his pre-millennial output.” (adapted from fishpond.co.nz)

Yo La Tengo – There’s a riot going on
“While there’s a riot going on, Yo La Tengo will remind you what it’s like to dream. The sound burbles and washes and flows and billows. If records were dedicated to the cardinal elements, this one would be water. They did not rehearse or jam together beforehand; they turned on the recorder and let things coalesce. Songs came together over long stretches, sometimes as much as a year going by between parts. You’d never guess this, since the layers are finessed with such a liquid brush.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Frank Zappa – The Roxy performances
“43 years ago in December 1973, Frank Zappa played a series of legendary concerts at the famed Roxy Theatre on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood. Considered a high-water mark of his career, owing to the incredible, virtuosic performances of himself and his stellar band The Mothers, the five shows. The Roxy Performances, a definitive seven-CD box set that collects all four public shows from December 9-10, 1973, and the December 8th film shoot/soundcheck, each presented in their entirety for the first time, along with bonus content featuring rarities from a rehearsal, unreleased tracks and highlights from the Bolic Studios recording session.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Bob Dylan – 1974 tour live
“For Dylan’s first proper tour since 1966, he was joined by his longstanding colleagues The Band. Expectations for both acts ran high, with huge venues swiftly selling out and immense media interest. It was no nostalgia act, though: whilst Dylan performed old material, he did so with considerable attack, as well as showcasing songs from his new Planet Waves LP. The Band also played alone, showing themselves to be arguably the finest group of their sort in the world. This release offers two historic shows from the early part of the tour, both originally broadcast on FM radio.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

George Harrison – Concert for George
“On November 29, 2002, one year after the passing of George Harrison, Olivia Harrison and Eric Clapton organized a performance tribute in his honor. Held at London’s Royal Albert Hall, the momentous evening featured George’s songs, and music he loved, performed by a lineup that included Clapton, Jools Holland, Jeff Lynne, Paul McCartney, Monty Python, Tom Petty, Billy Preston, Ravi and Anoushka Shankar, Ringo Starr, Dhani Harrison and more. This new combo package comprises 2-CDs and 2-DVDs.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Joni Mitchell – Transmission impossible : legendary broadcasts from the 1960s-1990s
“This three CD boxed set features a number of live recordings of Joni from concerts and sessions recorded for FM Broadcast in the 1960s, 70s, 80s and 90s. Starting with a number of live cuts from shows she performed in the mid to late 1960s, her full set from the Newport Folk Festival in 1968, and a couple more cuts recorded in the early 1970s.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young – Transmission impossible : legendary radio broadcasts from the 1970s & 1990s
“This 3 CD Set contains broadcast recordings from CSNY’s heyday, which together form a majestic collection of their live work. Kicking off with an early show recorded at the Fillmore East in New York, in June 1970, the set continues with a fine gig from the group’s 1974 reunion tour, at the Roosevelt Raceway on Long Island, also in New York. Completing this collection is a set the foursome performed at the Bill Graham Memorial Concert, held in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco in 1991.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Recent staff pick CDs

We’ve put together a list of of our favourite CDs from this year’s new releases so far, check out our staff picks below! There’s bit of everything genre wise, so we hope you find something new or something you may have missed when it first came out.

Record.
Tracey Thorn’s ageless voice returns with another album of mature pop, her first solo album of entirely original material for seven years. Her female worldview informs the 9 songs on this short album. The beats are back for the dance jam ‘Sister’, with Warpaint’s rhythm section and BVs from Corinne Bailey Rae, and closing track ‘Dancefloor’, but have a more sombre feel on tracks like ‘Face’. Topics include the on-going struggle for female equality (Sister), her musical beginnings (Guitar), motherhood (Babies) & the impact on Social Media of failed relationships (Face). (Mark)

Wallflower.
Born in New Zealand, grew up in Australia and a London resident now, neo-soul singer Jordan Rakei first grabbed the spotlight by working with Disclosure in 2015. His sophomore album ‘Wallflower’ is surprisingly released from Nnija Tune, and is a delicately crafted, beautiful work, featuring his quality songs and silky voice. In comparison with other new-generation soul artists such as The Internet, Hiatus Kaiyote and Nick Hakim, he seems to be a more personal, introspective singer-songwriter, and it’s showcased here. (Shinji)

Singles 1978-2016 / The Fall.
Made especially relevant by Mark E Smith’s recent sad demise, this excellent box set compiles, over seven discs, every single – both A and B sides – from one of the greatest indie bands ever – The Fall. Mark E Smith was a true legend and, unlike artists like Keith Richards who similarly defied established health beliefs, Mark E Smith maintained a high artistic credibility, continuing to produce great, challenging music for close to 40 years – and there are not many artists who can lay such a claim. This set lays it all out, from 1978’s ‘Bingo Master’s Breakout’ to 2016’s ‘Wise Ole Man’. For those less in need of completism there is also a smaller box-set – ‘A-Sides 1978-2016’ which, over three discs, omits the B-Sides. (John)

Scorn of Creation.
An outstanding 8-track self-titled debut album from Wellington death metal outfit Scorn of Creation. The band pay tribute to traditional old-school death metal without compromising on a modern, fresh sound. Energetic and raw. I loved it start to finish! (Theresa)

Part 2 / Brix & The Extricated.
Fall fans who are especially fond of the slightly more rock oriented ‘Brix era’ albums will be pleased to learn that Brix Smith has got together with ex long term Fall members Steve Hanley (bass guitar), his brother Paul Hanley (drums) and Steve Trafford (guitar and vocals) to make a record that is anything but the cash-in one may dread. Featuring mostly originals plus new versions of three Fall songs, this is a great hard rocking indie record, surprisingly so from a bunch of musos in their fifties, that was described by Drowned In Sound as “One of the great indie-rock releases of 2017”. (John)

Woodland echoes.
It’s very good news that he is still making music. Out of the blue, Nick Heyward, the former 80s pop sensation Haircut 100’s front man, released an album for the first time in 18 years and it’s a charmer. His genius songwriting is still up there with the best, such as Paul McCartney, offering dazzling breezy pop music. It’s perfect music for a lazy afternoon. (Shinji)

World wide funk.
Since the ‘60’s, US bass player Bootsy Collins has defined funk bass. Starting out as James Brown’s bass player, playing bass on “Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine”, he went on to form Parliament / Funkadelic with George Clinton, collaborated with Deee-Lite on “Groove Is in the Heart”, and in 2010 formed ‘Bootsy Collins’ Funk University’, on online music school. His first album in six years features the 67-year-old laying down grooves as cool and funky as anything he has ever done with guest appearances including Doug E. Fresh, Buckethead, Snoop Dogg, Stanley Clarke, Big Daddy Kane and Chuck D. (John)

Ponguru / Al Fraser, Phil Boniface.
Ponguru is a truly unique album fusing seamlessly the sonic worlds of acclaimed jazz bassist Phil Boniface and leading Nga Taonga Puoro player Al Fraser . The resulting album has many faces and facets its Jazz tinged rather than Jazz, ambient in places and like a complex sonic landscape in others, throughout all its pieces it’s always fiercely original , rewarding and hugely atmospheric. Phil’s bass work is of the highest calibre imbuing the whole piece with a core of beautiful rhythmic structure. And Al’s emotive, nuanced playing shows that he is rightfully regarded as one of the finest musicians working in NZ today. (Neil J.)

Black sea.
This re-release of UK post punkers XTC’s 1980 follow up to their chart breaking ‘Drums & Wires’ album gains a lot from Steven Wilson’s remastering. In fact it sounds like a different record from the muddy original with lovely crisp drums and excellent deep bass which allow the songs to fully breathe. The album captures the band in full flight as they played over 150 live gigs in 1980, a couple of years before they stopped playing live altogether to become a strictly studio based band. Consequently the musos are very tight, playing with real precision and fire throughout what is an excellent example of ‘80’s post punk / new wave power pop. (John)

Shadow of the sword.
Wellington based speed metal maniacs Stalker deliver a debut full-length of pure, unadulterated speed metal in all its thrashing, shrieking, shredding glory! A great listen – guaranteed. (Theresa)

Continue reading “Recent staff pick CDs”

New CDs in our AV collection

Check out some of these newly catalogued CDs in our AV collection including the new albums by Franz Ferdinand and Calexico. The fantastic 3 CD box set How is the Air Up There? offers 80 recordings from more than 50 New Zealand’s artists in the 60s and should not be missed.

Nils Frahm – All melody
“For the past two years, Nils Frahm has been building a brand new studio in Berlin to make his 7th studio album titled All Melody. Since the day Nils first encountered the impressive studio of a family friend, he had envisioned to create one of his own at such a large scale. It is here where he has spent most of his time deconstructing and reconstructing the entire space from the cabling and electricity to the woodwork, before moving on to the finer elements; building a pipe organ and creating a mixing desk all from scratch. All Melody is, in fact, proof that music is limitless, timeless, and reflects that of Nils’ own capabilities. From a boy’s dream to resetting the parameters of music itself.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Calexico – The thread that keeps us
“The ninth studio album from Calexico, The Thread That Keeps Us is a timely snapshot of the Arizona-bred band: a family portrait capturing their stylistic variety and unpredictability while still finding solace in limitless creativity. In bringing the album to life, vocalist/guitarist Joey Burns and drummer John Convertino found a spiritual home in unusual surroundings—not in Arizona, but on the Northern California coast in a home-turned-studio called the Panoramic House.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Justin Timberlake – Man of the woods
“The fifth studio album by pop superstar Justin Timberlake. Man Of The Woods was produced by Timberlake, The Neptunes, Timbaland, Danja, Eric Hudson, and Rob Knox. As with FutureSex/LoveSounds, recording sessions for the album were loose and had multiple studios open for work.” (adapted from realgroovy.co.nz)

Franz Ferdinand – Always ascending
“Franz Ferdinand present the new album Always Ascending. Nothing short of a rebirth, the album’s 10 songs are a triumphant recasting of the group, bursting with fresh ideas and vigorous sonic experimentation. Always Ascending was recorded at RAK Studios, London and Motorbass in Paris, with the help of French producer extraordinaire Philippe Zdar (Cassius, Phoenix, The Beastie Boys), the mutual affection between band and producer seeping into every dazzling groove.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

How is the air up there? : 80 mod, soul, RnB & freakbeat nuggets from Down Under
“Inspired by The Looking Series collections on RPM of UK 60s Nuggets, we now look in the world mirror at New Zealand. For the latest in the RPM/Frenzy Music collaborations, following sets from Larry’s Rebels, The Fourmyula, Ray Columbus, The Dave Miller Set, and the Girl Group Sound down-under on Come and See Me, we explore the mid 60’s club scene and the various classic singles tailored for that scene.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Revolutionary spirit : the sound of Liverpool 1976-1988
“Features classics, rarities, album tracks and previously unreleased gems from Echo And The Bunnymen, Teardrop Explodes, OMD, The La’s, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Dead Or Alive, China Crisis, A Flock Of Seagulls, Wild Swans, Big In Japan and many more.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Woody Guthrie : the tribute concerts
“Exclusive 3-CD set accompanied by two beautifully illustrated books containing historic liner notes and Guthrie biography, original concert reviews and photographs, attendees interviews and artists bios, and concert ephemera. Two ”Tribute to Woody Guthrie” concerts were planned after Woody Guthrie’s death on October 3, 1967: at New York City’s Carnegie Hall on January 20th, 1968, and at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles on September 12, 1970. Appearing at the January concert were Judy Collins, Bob Dylan with members of The Band, Richie Havens, Tom Paxton. Appearing in Los Angeles were Joan Baez, Jack Elliott, Arlo Guthrie, Odetta, Country Joe McDonald, Richie Havens, Earl Robinson and Pete Seeger.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Jethro Tull – Heavy horses : new shoes edition
“Disc 1 contains the Steven Wilson stereo remix of the original album plus previously unreleased material (CD). Discs 2 and 3 contain Jethro Tull’s live performance in Berne, Switzerland, May 1978, remixed in stereo by Jacko Jakszyk (CD). Disc 4 contains the DVD audio of the full Heavy Horses album, with 7 additonal tracks, mixed in 5.1 DTS & DD surround sound and 96/24 LPCM stereo (DVD). Disc 5 contains the DVD audio of Jethro Tull live at The Festhalle, Berne, Switzerland.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

New CDs in our AV collection

More new CDs, including fantastic box sets from The Fall and Wilco, have been added in our popular CD collection. Check also the exciting newcomers such as Moses Sumney and Sunflower Bean.

Sunflower Bean – Human ceremony
“Drawing inspiration from a vast pool of influences such as Black Sabbath and The Cure, Sunflower Bean refine their sound and take it to the next level on Human Ceremony. It is a crystalline, bright, sparkling record, tipping its cap to the likes of The Vaselines, The Velvet Underground, The Feelies, and more, loaded with an innate artfulness that belies the band’s young age: all three members are under 21.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Eminem – Revival
“Eminem releases his new album and it features collaborations with Beyonce, Ed Sheeran, Alicia Keys, Pink, Kehlani, Skylar Grey, X Ambassadors and Phresher.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Moses Sumney – Aromanticism
Aromanticism is a concept album about lovelessness as a sonic dreamscape. It seeks to interrogate the social constructions around romance. The debut includes single “Doomed,” as well as new versions of standouts “Lonely World” and “Plastic.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

The Fall – Singles 1978-2016
“The band is noted for its prolific output: as of autumn 2017 they have released over 32 studio albums, and more than triple that counting live albums and other releases. This is the first collection of all The Fall singles recorded across a multitude of labels and this edited 3-CD set features all of the A-Sides.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Wilco – Being There [bonus tracks]
“The DELUXE EDITION builds on the original with 15 bonus tracks released for the first time, including alternate versions of tracks “I Got You” and “Say You Miss Me”. It also features Wilco’s 20-song performance at the Troubadour from November 12, 1996, combining songs from A.M.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

The Residents – 80 aching orphans
“Extended, 4CD anthology set chronicling the career of the legendary San Francisco experimentalists and curated with the band themselves, from the debut 1972 single to the band’s most recent album, The Ghost Of Hope. •Singles, fan favourites, album highlights, live recordings and material never before available on CD.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

INXS – Kick 30
“4-Disc 30th Anniversary Edition featuring the remastered original album, B-Sides, rare mixes & more across 3CDs plus a Blu-ray disc with the full Kick album mixed in Dolby Atmos immersive surround sound by Giles Martin & all the music videos. Housed within DVD sized ‘fan-deluxe’ packaging including 48-page booklet with interviews, essays & rare photos.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Jam – 1977
“40th anniversary five-disc box set (4CD/1DVD), celebrating the Jam’s debut year when they released two albums and three hit singles. Features ‘In The City’ & ‘This Is The Modern World’ – original albums re-mastered as well as unreleased demos and live recordings. The DVD features TV appearances and promo videos from 1977.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Dr. John – The Atco albums collection
“All seven studio albums included in the collection have been remastered for the first time. The set features: Gris-Gris (1968), Babylon (1969), Remedies (1970), The Sun, Moon & Herbs (1971), Dr. John’s Gumbo (1972), In The Right Place (1973), and Desitive.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Staff Picks CDs: The Best of 2017 Part 2

From our very own Wellington bands to Kendrick Lamar and soundtracks, check out more of our best music picks of 2017!

Mark’s Picks

Patriotic grooves. [VINYL]
Awesome anarcho-punk feminist diatribe against everything from Trump to neo-liberal politics, capitalism, misogyny, patriarchal violence, oppression, misogyny, transmisogyny, sexism, and cissexism. If this sounds didactic it’s not. It’s just relevant and timely. Also has great tunes that channel all the best elements of the classic Riot grrrl aesthetic.

Miles Calder & the Rumours.
Following on from their 2013 EP ‘The Crossing Over’, which was nominated for the 2014 NZ Taite Music Prize, Miles Calder & The Rumours deliver their eponymous debut 5 years after forming as a band. The culmination of a couple of years work, the self-produced album was engineered by Lee Prebble but mixed by Grammy-award winning engineer Trina Shoemaker, and features a large array of local talent (Lisa Tomlins, Ed Zuccollo, Dayle Jellyman, Finn Johansson, Chris Winter, Matthew Benton and Lucien Johnson) who add musical shadings from piano to horns to organ on various tracks. From the first track it’s easy to see just how much the songs benefit from the richness of sound the studio environment provides, and there’s a consistent calibre of songwriting across the whole album.

Dark arts / The Nudge. [VINYL]
The 2nd album from The Nudge only has 3 tracks, one of which clocks in at 13 minutes, the other at 24. The four minute opening title track (and single) is just a hint of the genre mashing that is about happen, but provides a basic reference point for the bands diverse sound. If you’re not enamoured with anything vaguely ‘prog’ and hate tracks that are basically longer that 3 and half minutes, be prepared to have your opinion changed by this addictive record. With relatively few vocal interludes, it’s all about the structure of the sound here and they manage to weave in out of different styles and atmospheres within the same track with nothing feeling overly laboured or obvious. All the tonal shifts seem like smaller songs within the larger canvas of the track and by the end of 13 or 24 minutes they leave you wanting more not less.

The weight of melted snow.
Lovely new meditative album from French For Rabbits based around the dissolution of the romantic relationship of band members Brooke Singer and John Fitzgerald. Male vocals provide a counterpoint to Singer’s softly lilting voice, and the dreamy atmospheric ambient sounds that the fully fleshed out band provides. Previous albums have drawn inspiration from nature and the physical, but ‘The Weight of Melted Snow’ while not short of imagery of the natural world is all about the internal, the dynamics of the heart and how to keep it beating when you lose part of it.

If you’re born on an island the ocean heals you.
With the exception of bass and drums on a few tracks and backing vocals everything is played by Lake, along with all the writing and arrangements. The synthy pop structure of a lot of the tracks enfold the layered vocals (and lovely backing voices of Seamus Maguire, Penelope Esplin, Felicity Herbertson and Nadia Reid) with a sense of warmth rather than cold beats. He uses a distinctively ‘kiwi’ voice on the brilliant ‘Good Keen Man’ that cleverly updates a series of iconic NZ images with the realities of the now. A mini-album exits within the larger work, with ‘Renters’ & ‘The Cost of Living’ addressing what he sees as the social crises’ facing people in NZ today. A love of nature, the land and the beauty that surrounds us pervades against the avarice and capitalism of modern life.

Teeth.
When you heard that Luke Buda & Tom Callwood (Phoenix Foundation) were teaming up with David Long (The Mutton Birds), & Anthony Donaldson (The Labcoats) you could be forgiven for thinking that the result would be more along the experimental spectrum. But Teeth turn up the indie guitar dynamics to just rock out, in a straight ahead way that differs from its members previous bands. You get the feeling that the entirety of Teeth is a great palette cleanser for everyone involved. Trippy guitars, riffy bass lines, shimmery reverby vocals, songs that bounce from the cosmic to the angsty to tongue in cheek and back. Every song is so catch & melodic it’s hard to pick highlights but ‘Glass Ceiling’ & the wry ‘Looking Good, Feeling Great’ are both super fun.

Harmonies.
Super funky new album from Lord Echo. A melange of analogue dance floor grooves that take in everything from ‘Rebirth of the Cool’ Acid Jazz, Caribbean disco vibe, African funk, classic American R&B and back. The ever awesome Mara TK takes vocal duties on 4 tracks, with Lisa Tomlins on 2, and Toby Laing & Echo himself on one each. Lucien Johnson’s sax & flute float around the beats with Daniel Hayes synth’s. It all somehow meshes into a groove that becomes more than the sum of its parts and the funky retro-ness always seems genuine and never a deliberate pastiche.

Unearthing.
As with listening to Into Orbit’s debut album ‘Caverns’ it still seems amazing that the group just consists of two people, guitarist Paul Stewart and drummer Ian Moir, as their immersive soundscapes sound so epic. The hybrid post-rock/metal/experimental template of the first album is expanded on. Elements shift up against each other, heavy guitar riffs meld into moments of calm and delicate playing, only to explode into crushing drums. But it’s not just a series of loud/quiet/loud moments tied together as ‘tracks’. Into Orbit never seem to be welded into a particular set definition of what each track should be in terms of sound and atmospherics, and the subtle layering of complex patterns & textures make each track a unique experience.

Morningside.
Fantastic new album from Auckland based Amelia Murray (AKA Fazerdaze). Fuzzy guitars, programmed drum patterns and the odd sinewy keyboard line make up the sonic palette of most tracks, but her sweet airy vocals soar over all of it. The shimmery reverby guitars invoke a summery sense of well being, but the ‘poppy’ musical framework hides a lyrical disillusionment and uncertainty. A pervading sense of anxiety permeates nearly every track, inhabiting every relationship and interaction, and hovering cloudlike over the future itself.

Otherness.
Fantastic next level sophomore album from Grayson Gilmour, filled with superbly textured sounds and catchy melodies. His voice is moved up in the mix so it floats upon the layers of often dichotomous sound he builds into the tracks. There is an almost academic level of focus on the soundscapes & chord structures but it is more an organic exploration rather than fussy cleverness, and moulded around the album’s overarching themes of growth and acceptance.

Ennui.
The songs on ‘Ennui’ form themselves through shifting styles, overriding an easy definition or pigeon-holing, subsuming genres, metres, keys, & vocal styles into the original narratives of each of the songs rather than being in service of them. With 3 vocalists at play and elements of everything really from post-hardcore/sludge, psych Rock, post-Rock, stoner riffs, desert rock, doom layers it’s impossible to delineate the trajectory of each track adequately, suffice to say that each is challenging and complex and overall it’s an alum that reveals its musical and emotional layers after repeated immersion.

Perfect body.
Vibrant second album from the Mermaidens trio scored a flurry of great reviews upon its release, and rightly so. The tracks wind in and out of indie rock influences (newer bands like Warpaint, and older classic exponents like Sleater Kinney), elements of shoegaze , brighter Britpop, & echoy layers of early Cure’s goth. As a whole the album sounds fantastic, the breathy vocals merging perfectly with the dense drum patterns and creeping sinuous guitar lines, creating a cavernous sound that builds and releases. The precision of the music is aligned with the murky melodicism of the vocals which shift between an intense attack and detached emotion, as they dissect the juxtaposition of animalistic physicality and the sensory experience of the natural, with the pressure of the modern digital world of social media, fractured relationships and uncertain interactions. Bold and accomplished, enigmatic and intense at the same time. Continue reading “Staff Picks CDs: The Best of 2017 Part 2”

Exciting new CD arrivals

Check out some of these newly catalogued CDs in our AV collection. They include the new albums by Bjork and Taylor Swift. Fantastic box-sets keep coming to our extensive collection and REM’s much-loved Automatic for the People is back as a super deluxe box-set!

New Albums

Björk, Utopia
“2017 release, the ninth studio album from the Icelandic singer/songwriter. Björk began working on Utopia almost immediately after releasing Vulnicura in 2015. The artwork was created by Jesse Kanda.” (adapted from realgroovy.co.nz)

Taylor Swift, Reputation
“2017 release, the sixth studio album from the pop singer/songwriter. Reputation is the long-awaited follow-up to her 2014 album 1989. One of the leading contemporary recording artists, Taylor is known for narrative songs about her personal life, which have received widespread media coverage.” (adapted from realgroovy.co.nz)

Charlotte Gainsbourg, Rest
“The eleven essays on Rest are nothing if not sure-footed, proffering a compelling fusion of gleaming, string-emblazoned modern electro-pop and cinematically textured avant-chanson – their magical music box melodies kissed by bruised, introspective, occasionally disquieting lyrics.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

U2, Songs of experience
“U2 return with their hotly anticipated new studio album ‘Songs of Experience’. The new album – their 14th – is the companion piece to 2014’s ‘Songs of Innocence’, the two titles taking reference from English poet William Blake’s ‘Songs of Innocence and Experience’. ” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Morrissey, Low in high school
“Low in High School is Morrissey’s first studio album since 2014 and was recorded at La Fabrique Studios in France and in Rome at Ennio Morricone’s Forum Studios. Morrissey’s talent for combining political statements and beautiful melodies is more prevalent than ever on Low in High-School, capturing the zeitgeist of an ever-changing world.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Box Set/ Reissue

Bob Dylan, Trouble no more : the bootleg series vol. 13, 1979-1981 : deluxe edition
“30-track set spanning his controversial ‘gospel years’ 1979-1981. Includes 14 previously unreleased songs + live performances, rare studio outtakes and more.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

REM, Automatic for the people : 25th anniversary deluxe edition
“Commemorating the album’s 25th Anniversary, this remastered Deluxe edition boxset features previously unreleased material, including 20 never-before-heard demos, and the previously unreleased tracks “Mike’s Pop Song” and “Devil Rides Backwards.” A Blu-ray disc offers the full album (with bonus track “Photograph” featuring Natalie Merchant) mixed in Dolby Atmos, plus a high-resolution master of the album, music videos, and the original 1992 EPK. Also included is Live At The 40 Watt Club 11/19/92 – a live set performed in R.E.M.’s hometown of Athens, GA.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Black Sabbath, The end
“The End is a celebration of Black Sabbath’s final hometown concert at Birmingham’s Genting Arena on February 4th, 2017. This unforgettable farewell show from one of the biggest bands in the world will be released by Eagle Vision on November 17th, 2017. The limited deluxe collector’s edition contains: The End on DVD and Blu-ray; The End on double CD; The Angelic Sessions on CD; a 32-page perfect bound book.” (adapted from amazon.com)

Ramones, Rocket to Russia [deluxe].
“Contains two different mixes of the album: a remastered version of the original and a new 40th Anniversary Tracking Mix by originalRocket To Russia engineer/mixer Ed Stasium. The collection also includes a number of unreleased studio recordings, plus a previously unissued recording of the band’s 1977 concert in Glasgow, Scotland.” (adapted from amazon.com)

Monkees, Monkees 50 : classic album collection
“THE Monkees 50 is a three-CD set packed with 50 unforgettable songs from the band’s historic career, including She Makes Me Laugh and You Bring The Summer” (adapted from mightyape.com)

Have a browse of recent additions to our CD collection

New albums by big names such as Beck, Robert Plant and Pink are now here in our proud CD collection. The new star Kelela’s debut album and Cat Steven’s The Laughing Apple which celebrates his 50 year career, have also arrived. Check them out!

Beck, Colors
“The album is cheerier and more experimental than Beck’s last album, something attributed to his happiness with his wife, Marissa Ribisi. Those good feelings permeate the music, an experimental collage of bright pop sounds. Possibly the most aptly titled work in Beck’s storied discography, Colors unfolds in an intoxicating rainbow of auditory tricks and treats, making it a shoo-in for summeriest smash of the autumn season.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

St. Vincent, Masseduction
“Themes of power and sex, imperiled relationships and death slice through the album, St. Vincent – aka Annie Clark’s first since her 2014 breakout ‘St. Vincent.’ The thirteen tracks on ‘MASSEDUCTION’ swirl with guitar and piano, synths and strings, and drum beats that punch with purpose. ‘MASSEDUCTION’ is the culmination of years of writing, with songs crafted from voice memos, text messages, and snippets of melodies that came to Clark while traveling the globe.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Robert Plant, Carry fire
“Robert Plant’s eleventh solo album and first full-length release since 2014’s acclaimed ‘lullaby and…The Ceaseless Roar’. Robert, who lived in Texas for a time before returning to England three years ago, together with his friends, present the songs Carry Fire, melding unusual rhythms with naturalism and smouldering power.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Pink, Beautiful trauma
“The singer/songwriter is a happily married mother of two, creeping up on her 40th birthday — but her decision to do little more than nod at contemporary musical trends is deliberate, a reflection of how her hits and audience have crept toward the adult contemporary charts, but she’s still as liable to curse as croon” (adapted from fishpond.co.nz)

Sam Smith, The thrill of it all
“Following an incredible success with his debut album In The Lonely Hour – including four Grammy Awards, both an Academy Award and Golden Globe, three Brit Awards, and amassing over eight billion streams to date – Sam Smith is back with his sophomore record The Thrill Of It All. The first single off the album, “Too Good At Goodbyes”, debuted at #1 on multiple global charts.” (adapted from realgroovy.co.nz)

Kelela, Take me apart
“With great anticipation, Kelela’s debut album emerges as an epic portrait of an artist spanning the past and future of R&B. In her hands, however, the genre knows no boundaries and so Take Me Apart exists as an absolutely singular and fearless addition to a canon of recent classics. From her very earliest work, honesty and vulnerability have been cornerstones of Kelela’s art – even when clad in the armor of the avant-garde electronics she so deftly inhabits – and Take Me Apart sees her double down on both the emotional intensity and resonance of her message as well as the sonic seeking she is renowned for.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Yusuf/Cat Stevens, The laughing apple
“The Laughing Apple brings Yusuf’s career full circle, coming 50 years after his first album. It reunites him with producer Paul Samwell-Smith and guitarist Alun Davies, prominent collaborators on landmark recordings including 1970’s multi-platinum Tea for the Tillerman. The Laughing Apple follows the common ’60s template of combining newly written songs with covers from Yusuf’s catalog, presenting some of his earliest material as he has always wished it had been recorded.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

We’ve made a list and we’re checking it twice: Staff pick CDs

Check out more staff pick CDs featuring from Beach House to Alice Coltrane to New Zealand composer Ross Harris. We will be back with our ‘Best of 2017’ early next year so keep checking!

John’s Picks – continued

Wire – Silver / Lead
Highly influential UK post punk band, Wire’s first gig was on April 1 1977 and to mark the 40th anniversary their 16th album, ‘Silver / Lead’, was released on March 31 2017. Less fast and angular than usual, on this record the band explore a slower and darker, introspective realm which opens up a more emotional edge to their characteristic cerebral remove. The slower pace also enables the band to create some gentle and haunting moments within what is arguably their most accessible album to date.

Radiohead – OK Computer OKNOTOK 1997-2017
Radiohead’s ground breaking third album gets a remastered 20th anniversary re-release which includes b-sides and tracks rejected from the original. The album’s prescience in portraying the digital angst and alienation that was just around the corner, coupled with its bravely experimental approach to songcraft has ensured the album classic status and twenty years on that status is definitely justified.

Laurel Halo – Dust
Anyone following US born, Berlin based electronic musician Laurel Halo’s career will be pleasantly bewildered by her third release as it is as different from 2013’s ‘Chance of Rain’, which featured dance based electronics, as that release was from 2012’s vocal leaning ‘Quarantine’. On ‘Dust’ her music remains as unclassifiable as ever and, as much jazz as electronica, has attained a new found warmth and softness with her treated vocals woven through absorbing and often playful sound textures and beats to create a collection of tracks as original and beguiling as anything you will hear this year.

Beach House – B-Sides & Rarities
Spanning the ten years of their career, this compilation flows as well as any of the indie star duo’s releases and offers some lovely peeks into their creative process via demo versions and unreleased tracks alongside remixed and live versions of their woozy lo-fi dream pop. While this album is a treat for established Beach House fans, surprisingly, it would serve well as an introduction for the curious to one of the most consistent indie acts of the 2010s.

Can – The Singles
One doesn’t immediately think of German art rock innovators, Can, as a singles band, but they actually did write the occasional offbeat pop song, and these are all compiled here from the bands most creative period – 1969-1978. Surprisingly, the 1971 single “Spoon,” actually reached the German Top Ten after it was featured as the theme song to a popular television show and the cosmic disco single “I Want More” hit the U.K. Top 30, and even resulted in an appearance on the BBC’s ‘Top of the Pops’. The odd whimsical inclusions, such as an instrumental version of Silent Night, sit well alongside more serious tracks over what pretty much amounts to an alternate universe hit parade.

Beach Fossils – Somersault
NY based Beach Fossils’ third album is possibly their best yet as they take their sweet indie pop one step further with the addition of orchestral and easy listening sounds including strings, flute, sax, piano and harpsichord, a move that is sure to have Brooklyn hipsters drooling into their cupcakes. The melodies, as lovely as ever, are delivered via Dustin Payseur’s wry, weary vocals, accompanied by characteristic jangly guitars, lyrical bass and the aforementioned orchestral touches which help to create gorgeous shimmering soundscapes.

Mark’s Pick

Phil Seymour – Prince of Power Pop
Singer-songwriter, drummer-guitarist Phil Seymour was half of Tulsa rockers the Dwight Twilley Band who scored a big hit with the song ‘I’m on Fire’ in the mid 70s. Twilley and Phil Seymour met in Tulsa in 1967 at a theater where they had gone to see The Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night, and soon began writing songs and recording together under the name Oister. Eventually, they went to Los Angeles & signed with Shelter Records, a label co-owned by Denny Cordell and Leon Russell, in 1974.Cordell promptly changed the group’s name from Oister to the Dwight Twilley Band, which set the seeds for future problems arising from Seymour’s anonymity in the partnership. Their first single, “I’m on Fire”, reached #16 on the charts in 1975, but a follow-up single, failed due to distribution problems, as just after the single was released Shelter Records collapsed in the midst of a lawsuit between Russell and Cordell. The Dwight Twilley Band’s first completed album went unreleased for 10 months losing all the bands momentum to that point. A label shift and a second album also didn’t score commercially, leading Seymour to quit the band in 1978. In 1980 he signed to Boardwalk Records and he released his first solo album, titled Phil Seymour, which became a revered power-pop classic. A second album followed in 1982 but was weakened by his drug problems at the time, along with the death of Boardwalk Records founder Neil Bogart who died shortly after its release, collapsing the label. In the mid-80s he joined roots rock band the Textones, as a singer/drummer. While touring he noticed lumps appearing on his neck, and he was subsequently diagnosed with lymphoma. Seymour moved back to Tulsa to undergo treatment for the cancer and continued to record and play on the local scene until his death on 1993 at the age of 41. One of the most respected singers of the power-pop genre, and one who never quite had the career his talent deserved. This compilation collects up some of the best tracks from his first 2 albums with some outtakes and unreleased material, to present a solid picture of another great artist who left us too soon.

Shinji’s Picks

London Grammar Truth is a Beautiful Thing
Working Week, Young Disciples, Portishead – the trio bands consisting of a female singer and two male musicians have been notable in the UK music scene, and London Grammar is the newest and possibly the most important addition. Like the aforementioned bands, the female singer Hanna Reid, who is often compared with Florence Welch, is the centrepiece of their music, and her melancholic, mesmerising voice is truly remarkable. They keep their music simple and the atmospheric otherworldly soundscape they deftly create is the perfect pallet for Reid’s voice. For this sophomore album, they invited eminent producers, including Paul Epworth and Greg Kurstin -both have worked with Adele-, and sharpen up their intimate yet emotional world which impressed us immensely in their successful debut album If you Want. This is a beautiful thing.

Portico Quartet – Art in the Age of Automation
The previous album issued from Ninja Tune was performed by the trio under the name of Portico, but back to the quartet, Portico Quartet presents an excellent album. They also found their new home; Manchester’s label Gondwana Records. The up and coming talents, whose pursuit of new music based around jazz, such as Gogo Penguin and Matthew Halsall, have made a breakthrough from them, and for Portico Quartet it’s the ideal home for their fresh start. They use a unique instrument, hang – a custom made steel drum like percussion – and ingeniously blend its metallic yet lyrical sound into their music. A great variety of musical elements, namely jazz, ambient, post rock, downtempo and so on, can be heard in their music but their genre is none of them. This new effort shows their ability to weave beautifully textured, tonally inventive hybrid music, and it seems as though they make a new departure while summarising their musical journey to date. Brilliant.

Neil J’s Picks

Ibibio sound machine – Uyai
This is a truly global album fusing musical elements and cultures from all over the world from sleek 80s pop synth lines to African jazz and techno it’s all in there in. In this fantastic cultural mash up that never sounds lost or confused. Probably because wherever this eight piece band draws its diverse inspiration from they always infuse it with a heavy sprinkling of Nigerian highlife . An exuberant, joyful and rhythmic album.

Relative Abundance – Ylem
Ylem is a multilayer soundscape album comprising of numerous elements but at its core is one big concept, the band wanted to incorporate sound from the birth of time onwards and from the entire universe. To do this musical explorer Robert Baldock, erected a radio antenna and recorded the background radio transmissions from deep space, these by their very nature span across time and space , from the birth of the universe and the big bang and onwards and outwards and come from all areas of our universe. He then used these radio transmissions to trigger a series of hand built modular synthesisers. Using this as the core sound, fellow band members Emma Bowen and Neil Johnstone added a wide variety of content including auto harps, musical saws, found recorded sound, and a wide variety of synthesisers. The music is strangely in sympathy were with the strange ethereal haunting mood of the original “cosmic” sources . A really out there experimental piece and quite unlike anything else I’ve heard.

Alice Coltrane – The ecstatic music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda
After many years an album featuring a small amount of Alice Coltrane’s mythical Ashram music has finally been released. Alice Coltrane was already a musical prodigy before she married the legendary Jazz musician John Coltrane and after his sudden death she retreated to Sai Anantam Ashram and devoted the rest of her life to seeking spiritual enlightenment. These compositions were made to nourish this community and act as a meditational aids and were never intended to be heard beyond that community. The music is at once South Asian, African American, tranquil and uplifting . Constantly seeking like Alice herself musical and spiritual transcendence.

The Innocent Railway – Sweet pea
A truly beautiful and sad album it feels as if the musicians are exploring what it means to be truly lost . It shifts from delicate melancholic songs to strange haunting soundscapes whilst carefully retaining overall cohesion. It’s difficult to describe but if Nick Drake or Tim Buckley had created a half sung ambient album with Brian Eno it might just have sounded like this.

David Long, Richard Nunns and Natalia Mann – Utterance
This is a truly remarkable album, it is what great music sounds like, this is a major work in any sphere of artistic endeavour and it’s what many musicians strive their entire lives to achieve and is one of the finest albums in any genre from anywhere I have heard in a very long time . It is the culmination of a lifetime for Richard Nunns who knew from the start of the albums production it would be his last work and it sounds as if he has placed some deep aspect of his very being into the piece. It is a modern beautiful abstract work that is very aware of the deep spiritual and cultural traditions from which it springs and embraces these roots whilst being totally unique and new and timeless. Its powerful, emotional, challenging, spiritual and simultaneously personal and universal.

Ross Harris – Requiem for the fallen
Ross Harris is New Zealand’s greatest living classical composer and is arguably the greatest composer this country has ever produced. He is going through a creative golden age as witness by his remarkable output recently his as yet unreleased sixth symphony is a remarkable and beautiful work and will be heralded on its release ( it was premiered earlier in the year in Auckland). In Requiem for the Fallen he brings a lifetime of experience to bear on a deep, serious subject matter and produces a deeply moving, melodic, powerful and compassionate work. Highly recommended.