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Silver Apples – Whirly-Bird / Oscillations

Play Loud!

Silver Apples - Whirly Bird Oscillations

Since first appearing in 1968, Silver Apples‘ “Oscillations” — and perhaps to a lesser degree the flipside track, “Whirly-Bird” — have gradually become to be recognised as key pioneering moments in the history of electronic music that they most assuredly are. Play Loud! have pulled out all the stops for this, the first re-release of the single since its first appearance nearly half a century ago, giving it the remastering treatment along the way and faithfully reproducing the Kapp Records sleeve in facsimile.

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Niels Lyhne Løkkegaard – Sound X Sound: Music For 9 Pianos

 

Niels Lyhne Løkkegaard - Sound X Sound Music For 9 PianosNiels Lyhne Løkkegaard has been busily investigating the particular qualities that can come from quantity on his Sound X Sound series of seven 7” vinyl releases. In this third instance, he has nine pianists playing two very different pieces in a veritable fall and resurgence along the keyboard, descending and rising up from the depths with results that are on occasion remarkably similar to some of the impossible to play black MIDI tunes that were all the rage for a while.

As ever, Løkkegaard’s compositions are more about the properties of the sounds that each instrument generates rather than having a specific musical character. This is of course what some sections of the avant-garde have

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Maëror Tri – Hypnobasia / Sensuum Mendacia / Somnia

Zoharum

Maëror Tri - HypnobasiaRecorded between 1989 and 1992, Maëror Tri‘s Hypnobasia, Sensuum Mendacia and Somnia were originally released on cassette by various European labels, the latter appearing as one side of a split tape with Nostalgie Eternelle.

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Peter Baumann – Machines Of Desire

Bureau B

Peter Baumann - Machines Of DesireI was overjoyed to hear that Peter Baumann was stepping back behind the keyboards to record a new album after so many years. Most people know Baumann for being part of the classic line-up that produced huge galactic-sounding Tangerine Dream albums such as Phaedra and Rubycon during the mid Seventies. And its seems that the death of Tangs founder member Edgar Froese in January 2015 was the catalyst for Baumann to work on Machines Of Desire.

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Max Richter (live at The Barbican)

London 17 May 2016

This is the first of two sold-out shows for Max Richter at The Barbican and there is a buzz around the audience about how two beautiful and intense albums will translate live. For starters this is no rock’n’roll concert, so there is no-one viewing the entire gig down their phone, in fact no one even takes a photo, which was quite wonderful. The mood in the hall has a kind of beautiful, tranquil quality about it, as if people don’t want to make too much noise before the performance even starts.

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Little Annie (live at Café OTO)

London 20 May 2016

Little Annie live at Café OTO May 2016Tonight, Matthew, Café OTO will be a smoky jazz club, only without the smoke due to it being 2016. It’s Ellroy for vapers, a healthier Lynch movie. Because tonight Little Annie is here delivering the latest instalment of her nearly forty-year career of eclectic awesomeness, on the back of her wonderful new album Trace. Accompanied by double-bass, understated drums, piano and sax, she takes the stage shrouded in a bright neon yellow scarf, and it’s this combination of the shrouding and the vivid colours that’s to typify the evening’s entertainment.

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Electric Moon / ENOS (live at Baba Yaga’s Hut)

Electrowerkz, London 13 May 2016

ENOS live at Baba Yaga's Hut May 2016It’s Friday the thirteenth, the day of bad vibes, things going wrong and surreal killers with ski masks. Some people even refuse to leave the house on this day, in case they accidentally fall over a black cat or walk under a ladder. The thing is, you know when Electric Moon are in town, any heavy bad luck nonsense will dissipate in a glow of psychedelic goodness.

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Lucifer – Black Mass

Black Mass Rising

Lucifer - Black MassCanadian composer Mort Garson stands among the likes of Jean-Jacques Perrey and Wendy Carlos as one of the more interesting innovators who explored the weirder extremes of popular music with the aid of the Moog synthesizer from the late 1960s on into the next decade and more.

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Guru Guru – UFO

Play Loud!

Guru Guru - UFOOozing an off-kilter chemistry, Guru Guru were full of escape plans and wormholing excess filled with a real “let’s see what these toys can do” verve. The first three tracks of their début album UFO (re-released at last on both black and turquoise vinyl by Play Loud!) hold court to a certain rock joie de vivre, a freeform adventure that surges at you both explosive and mesmerizing, its gritty lo-fi-ness devoid of that modern hi-def, Blu-rayed smoothness that totally misses the point.

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Iggy Pop (live at the Royal Albert Hall)

London 13 May 2016

Blow my cool. Bite my lip. See me through on my death trip.

Once the needle had finally run out from the closing grooves of “Death Trip”, the concluding song of Iggy and The Stooges’ 1973 white-hot masterpiece Raw Power, there was no shortage of occasions when it looked like the title was truly a prophecy rather than merely youthful braggadocio.

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46,000 Fibres – Blue Field Entoptic Phenomena

TRI

46,000 Fibres - Blue Field Entoptic PhenomenaThis is the first 46,000 Fibres release in eleven years and it’s been well worth the wait. I first experienced The Fibres back in 1995, snapping up their début offering Emanates at a local record shop that has long since disappeared back into the anodyne dullness of town. A strange brew that exacted a curious pull – a joy of glinting directions and vascular honeycombs. Now, years later, I’m pleased to say they are back with a brand new slice of improvised action, culled from a recent two-hour session.

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Eurovision 2016

Eurovision 2016It’s that time of year when Kev Nickells undertakes his annual mammoth hatchet job feature-length review of every entry in the Eurovision Song Contest. Let the ritual ruination and Eurotunnelvision enthusing literally begin.

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Yes / Moon Safari (live at the Royal Albert Hall)

London 10 May 2016

Yes live at the Royal Albert Hall May 2016Tonight initially felt like it was going to be a strange experience. As a Yes fan for many years and seeing them play live quite a few times (oddly, the first time was on the Drama tour) this would be their first London outing without founder member and bassist Chris Squire, who passed away last year. So in a strange way, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Sure, the band has had several key members leave before (Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman beingthe two most famous), but Chris had always been there throughout all those different line-up changes.

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Interkosmos – Hypnotizer

Sulatron (CD) / Pancromatic (vinyl)

Interkosmos - HypnotizerIn the TV series Cosmos, Carl Sagan travelled the universe and beyond in his spaceship of the mind to transport the humble viewer at home to worlds beyond our imagination, taking us into the deep realms of space. While he sat there at the controls of his craft, Sagan would offer thoughts on humanity and how small we really are among the vast ever expanding universe. This re-release (on both CD and black and coloured vinyl, both mastered by Eroc) of Interkosmos‘s 2008 album is kind of like the soundtrack to that trip.

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Desertfest London 2016

London 29 April – 1 May 2016

Oranssi Pazuzu live at Desertfest 2016 (Picture: Richie Ruchpaul)Desertfest is the place where the stoned immaculate of Britain (and several other countries) meet in one of London’s coolest areas, watch some of the heaviest (and out there) bands over a three day period in five different venues.

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