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Philippe Petit (and Friends) – Off to Titan/ A Taste of Garmambrosia & Various Artists – Nonclassical: Remixes and Originals Volume One

Karl/Aagoo/Nonclassical

Classical music, for some, is burdened with various odd stigmas – that it’s somehow posh, academic or too expensive to watch live. In my experience none of these are true – I have the stub of an £8 ticket for a five hour Messiaen opera attended by a musically self-taught scumbag (myself) that will attest to that. And, as purse-strings constrict further day-by-day, the classical music world will episodically fret about bringing in fresh blood. This sometimes leads to pretty ill-advised ventures – Paul McCartney‘s Liverpool Oratorio, for instance being the single most hideous piece of ‘classical’ music I’ve had the misfortune to be assaulted with; more irritating is that it grossed massively.

Phillipe Petit and Nonclassical‘s CDs fall under these ‘making classical appealing to the kids‘ auspices because, in different ways, they’re engaging with the classical world while using external musical developments – turntablism, digital manipulation, remixes and

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Vex’d – Degenerate

Label: Planet Mu Format: 2CD,2LP

Degenerate - sleeve detailLondon duo Vex’d are to be found operating at the murky point where dubstep meets bleep, where grimey shivers fuss and bass drops rumble. The sounds collected on Degenerate take the momentum of dark drum’n’bass into yet edgier territory; the kind of places Witchman was hinting at years back, but with a particular atmosphere which is yet more gloomy — if that’s possible — and sure to bounce chiaroscuro shadows off the walls with the weight of its intensity.

That density can become ponderous under the minor key inflections of shivery electronics and the febrile rhythms, but the maismic dub undertow propels matters into convincing plateaux of low end dynamics set off by flurries of MDMA spine tinglers and tearing, doomy percussion. As the album progresses, elements of the best of breakbeat scientists and industrial gloom

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