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Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds – Abbatoir Blues/The Lyre Of Orpheus

Label: Mute Format: 2CD

Abbatoir Blues - sleeve detailNo question has ever divided the civilised world more than this one: “What did you think of Nocturama?” For every devotee willing to bask in the righteous glory that was “Bring It On”, there’s a hater who’s all too keen to remind you of the less-than-spectacular “Rock Of Gibraltar”. Me? Well, I liked it. Except for “Rock of Gibraltar”, obviously. That was shit. That said, if a band with a career as long and varied as Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds have only managed to record one song in that whole time that makes me reach for the Skip button, they’ve gotta be doing something right. It also means this review isn’t going to be particularly impartial.

And then Blixa Bargeld left. Surely it must all have been over at that point? But no. Like

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Aalfang Mit Pferdekopf – Mezethakia Mukabalatt

Label: Aalfang Format: CD

 Aalfang Mit Pferdekopf ‎– Mezethakia Mukabalatt Bit of a weird one, this – even by the usual standards. It consists of two tracks, the first (“Geschwärtzte Milch” – blackened milk) lasting four minutes long and sounding a bit like late Swans in strummy guitar instrumental mode, and the second (the title track) being three quarters of an hour long and comprising a textbook example of Surrealistic klang-honk-tinkle-“boo!” Electroacoustic tomfoolery in the same zany tradition as Nurse With Wound, Roger Doyle and Bladder Flask. It’s not often you describe something as “zany” and mean it as a compliment. They sound a bit like all those IRCAM types like Xenakis and Oliveros, only without being so stuffy and academic – like dinner music for a pack of

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