Monumental! Lavishly conceived, superlative 15-CD Boxset with 160-page (French, English) booklet, a dream come true!!!! François Bayle's itinerary spans over five decades through which music was able to renovate its material through a sensible use of technology. The terms of Musique Concrète, Electroacoustics or Acousmatics, as conveniently proposed by François Bayle, ultimately explore a similar artistic approach: a creative and expressive work on recorded sound. This last half-century saw many major technical mutations and François Bayle - in the fertile context of the Grm seized the right opportunities, often initiating them through his function as director, so as to renovate and update creativity to serve what he called the Light Speed Sound.
A solitaire in French is a single mounted jewel, a concept that seems less than apt for the rather hefty works recorded here by British pianist Kathryn Stott. But this fine recital holds together in another way: Ravel, who so often provides the temporal endpoint for traditional piano recitals, is here, to a greater or lesser extent, the launching point for the other three composers featured. Stott's reading of the neoclassical Le Tombeau de Couperin is beautifully precise and balanced, catching the economy of this Baroque-style suite to the hilt. That economy carries over into the later works, even the rarely performed Piano Sonata of Henri Dutilleux, a work that deftly fuses Ravel's sense of classical forms with a largely dissonant language. The opening Prelude and Fugue of Jehan Alain, actually two separate works that are reasonably enough combined here, is another seldom-played piece that makes an arresting curtain-raiser, and the final "Le baiser de l'Enfant Jésus" of Messiaen, part of the giant Vingt regards sur l'Enfant Jésus, is the splendid climax of the whole, its spiritual, dreamlike ascent at the end superbly controlled. Better still is the sound, recorded at Hallé St. Peters in Manchester: it creates a hypnotic effect all its own.
This marks the 20th Øresund Space Collective release. The music was recorded by a very special group of musicians from Sweden and Norway (plus Dr Space-Denmark) at the Black Tornado studio in Copenhagen. The members are from a wide variety of bands including Tangle Edge, Agusa, Camper von Beethoven, My brother the Wind, and Ex-Siena Root. The mixture of pedal steel, sitar, violin, mandolin, and theremin, presents a new and exciting sound and energy ranging from high energy space rock like Ride to Valhalla to very laid back country space blues with Jam for Jerry G and Indian space trance of the Digestive Raga…
Scaled smaller than 2012's double-album Privateering, Tracker also feels suitably subtle, easing its way into being instead of announcing itself with a thunder. Such understatement is typical of Mark Knopfler, particularly in the third act of his career. When he left Dire Straits behind, he also left behind any semblance of playing for the cheap seats in an arena, but Tracker feels quieter than his new millennial norm. Some of this is due to the undercurrent of reflection tugging at the record's momentum. Knopfler isn't pining for the past but he is looking back, sometimes wistfully, sometimes with a resigned smile, and he appropriately draws upon sounds that he's long loved. Usually, this means some variation of pub rock – the languid ballad "River Towns," the lazy shuffle "Skydiver," the two-chord groove of "Broken Bones" – but this is merely the foundation from which Knopfler threads in a fair amount of olde British folk and other roots digressions. This delicate melancholy complements echoes of older Knopfler songs – significant stretches of the record are reminiscent of the moodier aspects of Brothers in Arms, while "Beryl" has just a bit of the "Sultans of Swing" bounce – and this skillful interweaving of Knopfler's personal past helps give Tracker a nicely gentle resonance.
Widely acclaimed as a classic, Handsworth Revolution not only established Birmingham-based Steel Pulse as one of reggae’s most talented and original groups, it also proved beyond doubt that the UK could produce roots music of the highest quality. The release of this deluxe 2CD set with the original 8 tracks augmented by an incredible 22 bonus tracks. Lovingly packaged and released to coincide with the band’s reunion for a European tour, this 30 track is an essential acquisition for the group’s fans and those simply wishing to discover why Handsworth Revolution is still so revered, some 37 years after its original release.