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The Ballad Of Shirley Collins

Earth

The Ballad Of Shirley Collins“There are some great female voices around now, but I’m not one of them, and I wish I was…” states Shirley Collins, sadly, on the opening of the LP to the sound of bonfire sparks, following it sincerely with “…but I believe when I was singing at my best I was the essence of English song

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Holger Czukay – Cinema

Grönland

Holger Czukay - CinemaWhere to start with Holger Czukay? His is a name with which any self-respecting music fan will be only too familiar.

Holger had a career that started in 1960 with the introduction of the Holger Schuring Quintet, then time spent as a student of Karlheinz Stockhausen

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Momus – Create 2: Recreate

Cherry Red

Momus - Create 2: RecreateThe second deluxe instalment of Momus albums from the Cherry Red archives (umbrella(ed) as Recreate) spans a period of transition for our protagonist that begins by pushing the boundaries before travelling out into previously uncharted radio-friendly territories.

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Cavern Of Anti-Matter – Hormone Lemonade

Duophonic

Cavern Of Anti-matter - Hormone LemonadeTim Gane has barely rested in the last thirty years. After McCarthy was taken over by Stereolab, it was fascinating watching that band evolve into the well-loved and much imitated melder of genres that it became.

From the lo-fi hypnotic racket of “Goldenballs” to the sublime pop chemistry of “Captain Easychord”, the band were in constant motion. Since their dissolution

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The Residents – Fingerprince / Duck Stab / Buster & Glen

The Residents - Duck Stab / Buster & Glen

Cherry Red

Ah, where was I? Oh yeah, Residents re-issues. Normally, I make a point of not reviewing the same artist more than once for this august organ. Mostly this is driven less by any terribly noble or high-minded critical rationale than by a blind fear of thoughtlessly repeating myself and being found out for just endlessly recycling the same half-dozen tired ideas.

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Ghost Music – I Was Hoping You’d Pass By Here

Arlen

Ghost Music - I Was Hoping You'd Pass By HereAfter twenty years of playing in various groups together and apart, Ghost Music finds songwriters Matt Randall and Lee Hall reunited and plying a fine example of what I would consider to be melancholic English coastal music.

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Ministry – AmeriKKKant

Nuclear Blast

Ministry - AmeriKKKantWhen Donald Trump was inexplicably elected to be the forty-fifth president of the United States of America, social media was abuzz with people making trite comments about “ah well, at least we’ll get some great art out of it”, as if that was really what we should be worrying about. That said, though

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Cocteau Twins – Head Over Heels / Treasure

4AD

Head Over Heels

Cocteau Twins - Head Over HeelsAbsolutely loving the saturated colours of this re-pressed artwork, definitely more reactive than the icy grey of my ’83 original. The spray-painted water waltzing the eye in hiccupping fissure and blurring nitrate. A suggestion of fossilised form and rupturing collapse

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Zoë Mc Pherson – String Figures

SVS Records

Zoë Mc Pherson - String Figures“Tell me the story”, a sibilant voice whispers on the album’s opening track, “i. Sabotage Story (unknot opening)”.

Well, OK; you asked for it.

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The Handsome Family / Drunken Prayer (live at the Round Chapel)

The Handsome Family live March 2018The Handsome Family band play in Clapton, a very recently happening neighbourhood of London. The Round Chapel is such a lovely old venue, and this is not my first time here. In fact, all my times here have always been so emotionally charged. The Handsome Family normally charges me, so let’s see if tradition holds.

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Delphine Dora – Eudaimon

three:four

Delphine Dora - EudaimonThis is a sparse beauty. Eudaimon explores the magic and mysticism of Kathleen Raine‘s poetry in multi-tracked voice and unadorned piano. Delphine Dora‘s borrowed words melt in a melancholic sweetness, floating out on a mandolin of needled ivory.

The Nico comparisons are hard to avoid, but

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Coil – Astral Disaster Sessions Un/finished Musics

Prescription

Coil - Astral Disaster SessionsSo let’s just get this out of the way first. This is going to be a horribly biased review. Coil almost single-handedly squeegied my third ear open. They lit up the left side of my musickal brain like a flare going off in a broom cupboard. I am hopelessly partisan, unutterably in love, deeply impressed by and unashamedly in awe.

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The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing – Double Negative

Leather Apron

The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing - Double NegativeThose of you who are inclined towards the comic book medium may remember a short-lived title that ran in the very late 80s and very early 90s called Baker Street. Created by Gary Reed and Guy Davis, the story was, as you’d expect, yet another riff on Sherlock Holmes. The twist this time, though, was that punk had happened in the Victorian era. It was steampunk without the Victorian computers and stuff.

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Spector – Ex-directory EP

Spector

Spector - Ex-directory EPEx-directory, an embodiment of modernity and the way we, the youth of society, feel now. Spector’s new EP clearly shows off this generation of music’s inheritance and influences from its predecessors in pop, with their own modernity ingrained into every lyric.

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Holy Motors – Slow Sundown

Wharf Cat

Holy Motors - Slow SundownA spectral, dream-inducing five-piece from Estonia is not what I was expecting to be listening to, but that is what Holy Motors are and this, their first album, is a thing of rare beauty.

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