An air of inquiry suffuses Laura Marling's third album, a mood of experimentation as cerebral as it is playful. Opening song The Muse is like nothing she has released before: swaggering and brassy, with her voice pulling angular shapes across saloon-jazz piano and tight brush drums. Salinas and Rest in the Bed are like miniature western movies, with spit and sawdust in the guitar and banjo lines, melodrama in the backing vocals and Marling squinting at a relentless sun as her characters glare fate in the face. As on last year's I Speak Because I Can, Marling can sound curiously dispassionate, slurring the chorus of Don't Ask Me Why, maintaining a studied cool at the start of Sophia as she murmurs: "Where I have been lately is no concern of yours." But when Sophia unfurls into a glowing country romp, the distance between her and us suddenly shrinks – and the feeling is exhilarating.
The Brain Box is the first deluxe collection celebrating the Hamburg based label who paved the way for many Krautrock and German Psych artists. Limited to 3300 units worldwide, and containing 83 tracks on 8 cd's, a 74 page hardcover book, a Brain records tote bag, and all housed in a green linen wrapped box. CD's 1-6 feature artists like Guru Guru, Cluster, Jane, Embryo, Harmonia and more. CD's 7-8 contain music the from Brain Festivals in Essen during 1977 and 1978.
Climax Blues Band had undergone a few changes by the time they cut Sample And Hold in 1983. While Peter Haycock (guitar and vocals) and Colin Cooper (sax and vocals) were still holding the fort, they had sampled a new rhythm section. The latest recruits were George Glover on keyboards, Dave Markee on bass and Henry Spinetti on drums. Together they kept the Climax flag flying. This song-packed ten original LP track CD kicks off with an upbeat and optimistic sounding Friends In High Places , with the vocal harmonies set in place by the old firm of Haycock and Cooper. Peter's guitar solo on this song is especially effective. Although the overall band sound veers towards modern Eighties pop, the guitar and drums, while still rock and strings are brought into play on The End Of The Seven Seas . A fine album with informative CD liner notes that put a much loved British band's career and this album into perspective.
Instrumental Quartet open to the sounds of the world. The Camerata Flamenco Project comes from the friendship and communication during the many years of work of their members touring around the world with big dance companies, orchestras and, above all, composing and performing for the theatre, where the project took shape naturally as chamber music …until it took a life of its own with certain features that make it not only absolutely original, but also so intense in its live appearances that it's very difficult to match.