Review: If there were still justice in the digital age, and artists really got what was owed to them exposure-wise, Alex Cameron would be a safe bet for leftfield pop sensation. A multi-faceted songwriter, his previous two albums took us through a horror show of horrible characters and their innermost thoughts, twin roads that have somehow veered onto another course altogether for "Miami Memory". Here a much friendlier face is donned. Nevertheless, opener "Stepdad" makes intentions clear, with uptempo keyboard lines invoking the emotional qualities of mid-80s Prince. "Far From Born Again" tells the story of a "her" who's making bad choices, and the potential fallout of that, set to a Bruce Springsteen-sounding chorus, the likes of which can be found again on "Divorce". Not holding back, but instead holding a light up to a different side of his personality, it's Cameron's most positive to date and his best.
Review: It seems everyone has their own story when it comes to Cat Power; from first albums purchased, to seeing her perform live on stage with a broken ankle, all the while never ceasing to maintain her blissful air of elegance and withdrawn charisma. Chan Marshall's latest album, six years from her last, provides her debut on Domino, bringing with it three defining aspects, most notably a collaboration with Lana Del Rey on title track "Woman". A Rihanna cover version of "Stay" also makes an appearance mid-way through while tinges of auto-tune inside "Horizon" only add to her continuous extension of folky, blues & roots Americana.
Review: Chicago's chilled out space rock collective Cave have been puttin' funk in their step for around 15 years now, with local label Drag City a trusted home to their most recent music. Having released their last two records, this third effort provides their first in five years which delivers yet again an instrumental bevy of hypnotic jams, maintaining their penchant for psychedelia that touches on '70s inspired krautrock, island percussion and of course a gluttonous amount of free jazz fusion. A recording spate in Chile has no doubt added some spice to the six tracks here with "Sana Yago" cooler than strollin' down the neon streets of south-side Chicago itself. Listen up!
Sound-Magic's Death Ray Destroys The Vortex & Has Union With Infinity
Rotation & Particle Density In D
Adventures In One Octave
Movin' On Static
Dystopian Shopping Mall
Acid Death Picnic
Kool Boy Narcosis
Lament For Cement
Review: Since slipping out in 2013 in frustratingly limited quantities, Cavern of Anti-Matter's epic debut album, Blood Drums, has become something of a sought-after item. Those lucky few who managed to secure a copy back then - or pay three-figures for a second-hand one online - will tell anyone willing to listen that it is a modern-day krautrock classic. Happily, Stereolab has persuaded the German trio to agree to a re-issue, now expanded to three slabs of wax to allow for a louder pressing. It's certainly an impressive set, offering up tracks that combine a krautrock sensibility with elements of lo-fi indie-rock, and leftfield electronica experimentation. There's not that many copies of the reissue knocking around, either, so you're advised to move quick before they're all gone.
Review: You could be forgiven for questioning the Californian roots of Ceremony. Then again, it's a big old state. Big enough, apparently, to hide one of the most vital movements in British music in its midst. Evidently no coincidence that the band's name nods to a seminal slice of Joy Division, while post punk never disappeared this 14-strong collection is enough to trick anyone into thinking they'd woken up in the genre's explosive heyday. "Turn Away The Bad Thing" sets the record straight as album opener. Intense, punchy, visceral and- crucially- incredibly catchy, Ross Farrar's lyrics arrive with rock 'n' roll's unapologetic edge. It's a case of one track and you're in. It's also perhaps the rawest offering here, synths and electronics gradually demanding more attention as the LP progresses. "From Another Age", for example, places bouncing keys centre stage as pseudo-guitar riffs. Basically buy it, buy it now.
Review: Sporting something of an appearance that looks like it could have come out of Harmony Korine's Gummo, Cherry Glazerr reappear once again on their homely label Secretly Canadian. There's a mass of pop culture appeal to band, and considering they surfaced early on [Adult Swim] it's no surprise maybe to see everything from mid-western emo to punk motifs alongside more cosmo R&B beats. It's an album that wears its hair up or down, experiencing softer and more introverted moments to thrash guitars and punk stances. With angst and distortion never far from earshot, the album's flex is acoustic and electronic with the imaginations of talented kids dosed up on MTV Americana coming to the fore.
Review: Chicago Odense Ensemble is a unique proposition that came together out of a chance meeting between Danish musicians Jonas Munk and Jakob Skott and a host of notal improvisational musicians based in Chicago, including members of Tortoise and the Chicago Underground Collective. After a now highly sought after first album, the loose-fit collective emerges once more with another wild collection of pieces that span jazz, psychedelic rock, kosmische and so much more besides. As deep and smoky as it is freeform and vibrant, you could spend years listening to this album and discovering new things.