Review: Following the release of Iggy Pop's last full length, Post Pop Depression, the much loved punk professional has teamed up with pioneering electronic dance musos Underworld (think "Born Slippy") via the request of Rick Smith. Album opener, "Bells & Circles", sees Iggy relive the days when you could smoke on an aeroplane, and in his case pick up an air hostess, while a rich and throaty yet somewhat forlorn 'hey' in "I'll See Big" offers a classic, almost narrated number of nostalgia, with a hint of reverb adding a sweetness to a not so bitter regalement of times gone by. Meanwhile, "Get Your Shirt" pitches the bliss of 80s new wave with mid-90s rave to create a glittering, electro pop jam fit for the stadium or Soho club. The glory years may be a memory for this formidable tripod however their sounds, combined, still hit the sweet spot.
Review: Unknown Mortal Orchestra deliver a second album for 2018 and this instrumental missive as the title suggests, was recorded in Hanoi, Vietnam, with the help of local musician and percussion aide Minh Nguyen, who added some traditional instrumentalism and flair to the album's seven tracks. It follows this year's Sex & Food LP, with the New Zealand psych rock group taking this extension of the LP that extra-step by adding a class of exotica to their radical sound. From grungy Dirty Beaches-like tracks to fourth world experimentalism in the vein of Jon Hassell, there's a profound world of sound to be further discovered here.
Review: The continuously expanding Normoton label reacts to expectations as usual with surprises being only obligated to the whims and fancies of its founder Klaus Burkard. The disregard for having to stick to one particular genre is evident in the release of the latest album from the promising new artist Uphill Racer. Following hot on the heels of Landesvatter and Pupkulies & Rebecca, Uphill Racer crosses boundaries of style and adds to the texture of the Normoton label "No Need To Laugh" is a singer songwriter album full of poetic acoustic images and frivolous hopeful hymns. Behind the curtain of understatement one seems to recognise the silhouette of Beck, Notwist, Eels or Aha. However Uphill Racer is a one man chamber orchestra who composed and played all the tracks himself. Choral riffs, deep basses, rhythm groups, strings, melotron, acoustic guitars, speech samples, frogs, cats, birds and various undefined sounds build the harmonic basis of the songs, which are formed by timeless moods and once having crept into the ears of the listener stay there. Fragile emotions in psychedelic widescreen. Uphill Racer is gifted with a keen sense of beautiful supportive melodies creates dream landscapes, places simplicity together with expressionalistic excess. As little as possible and as much as needed - Minimalistical bombast. The musician aged 25 years celebrates melancholic without Autumn, colourful and blooming. He is an exceptionally gifted arranger and if there are rules by which a catchy universal pop song should be written so that it touches something deep down then they are immaculately followed by him. "Beautiful unobtrusive vocal arrangements embellished with fleecy strings. Multilayered and therefore more warming. The discrete piano cascades sparkle like ice crystals in a window. For those who think that that's laid on a little heavy, you don't freeze that easily" Peter Flore (Intro.de).
Why Do I Lose My Mind When I Have Something To Say?
Review: Through her 'U.S. Girls' project, Toronto-based Meg Remy has released a consistently high quality run of albums that explore issues of femininity with a shaded and angular avant-pop sound. New record 'In A Poem Unlimited' sees Remy continue to explore identity politics, but in a comparatively warmer and more free sound as she collaborates with improvisational group The Cosmic Range. Structurally, the album enjoys an unpredictability of form that sprawls across skulking grunge, found sounds, crunching horn-sections and synth-driven industrial disco. Highlight track 'Incidental Boogie' exemplifies this binding of elements; the contrast of stomping, distorted with Remy's breathy and swaggering vocals is an intoxicating one. The breadth of Remy's palette makes this album an exhilarating listen, and - both as a vocalist and writer - Remy shines as an arresting and formidable talent.
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