Review: Having previously issued Akiko Yano's 1976 debut "Japanese Girl" - an eccentric set of East-West pop fusions marked out by the artist's distinctive vocals - Wewantsounds has returned to raid her vaults once more. "Iroha Ni Konpeitou" first appeared in 1977 and garnered great hype in Japan thanks to the success of its predecessor. It's a similarly eccentric but inspired set, with Yano confidently flitting between synthesizer-heavy instrumental soundscapes (see superb opener "Kawaji"), drowsy country-inspired songs ("A Long Wait"), seductive jazz-funk ("Hourou"), head-nodding reggae-boogie ("Hai Hai Gasa") and breathy, post-soul ballads ("On The Way Home", a song that boasts both pedal steel and synthesizers).
Review: It's taken a while, but finally Thom Yorke's impressive third solo album, "ANIMA", is available on wax (and in a fetching shade of orange, too). A future classic that continues the legacy he started with XL Recordings back in 2006 (with his solo debut The Eraser), ANIMA is well worth picking up, as Yorke and co-producer Nigel Godrich offer up evocative, off-kilter songs built around the twin attractions of the Radiohead man's distinctive vocals and skewed backing tracks rich in layered electronic noise, body-bending sub-bass, discordant synthesizer parts and intriguingly jaunty drum loops. Highlights are plentiful throughout, from the creepy, lo-fi ambient swirl of "Last I Heard (...He Was Circling the Drain)" and "Dawn Chorus" (a blissfully dewy-eyed early morning soundscape), to the low-slung, post-trip-hop hum of "I Am A Very Rude Person" and the fizzing, jazz-fired thrust of "Impossible Knots". Melancholic, yes. Deep and self-effacing, of course. Nihilistic, not really. Percussive futurist sub-pop is back.
Review: Given his innate ability to craft intensely atmospheric and often fundamentally unsettling music, it seems apt that Thom Yorke has finally got around to producing a film soundtrack. It's fitting, too, that said soundtrack is for Luca Guadagnino's weirdo remake of 1977 Italian horror flick "Suspiria". Yorke nails the brief, delivering a string of chilling, otherworldly instrumentals that not only draw on his well-established love of dark ambient and gruesome electronica, but also foreboding neo-classical movements and sparse, wide-eyed arrangements. There are a smattering of superb vocal moments, too, with recent single "Suspirio" - described by one broadsheet reviewer as "the saddest waltz you'll ever here" - standing out.
Review: Earlier in the year, Yves Tumor announced the release of this album by releasing 'Gospel For a New Country', a low-slung chunk of post-punk pop brilliance that mixed weighty grooves and emotive vocals with flash-fried guitar riffs amd sampled big band horns. Fittingly, it's this fine track that kicks off 'Heaven To A Tortured Mind', a notably fuzzy, live-sounding set that continues his evolution from quirky electronica maker to alt-rock artist. While there are some electronic sounds dotted across the set, for the most part it's funk-rock riffs, ESG style basslines, organic drums and his own heartfelt vocals that dominate. It could win him many new fans; certainly, it's a very good album.