Browsing All Posts published on »May, 2013«

Brooke Sharkey – One Dress (folk)

May 23, 2013

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It can be quite hard to find your place as a singer-songwriter; it’s an idiom whose audience mainly appreciates acoustic music, and mainly doesn’t appreciate anything too weird. Its audience also has a seemingly inexhaustible appetite for frankly indistinguishable assemblages of strummed steel-string guitar and predictable vocal melodies; it’s asking an awful lot of vocal timbre and lyrical conceit to make them the sole repositories of individuality and personality, and it is conversely very easy to go with the flow, knowing that if you can spin your simple songs out with enough polish in the delivery there is probably an audience out there for you, one that will be in awe of your talent simply because you’re able to get through a song without …

Guapo – History Of The Visitation (avant-rock)

May 16, 2013

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Guapo is a band with some form; since 1995 they have released a fistful of EPs and nine albums, and although the line-up and sound have changed considerably over that time, the name has been attached to music that shows a consistent and determined belief in the value of creative exploration. This music is progressive; it is also rock music, but if I were to juxtapose those terms too closely you’d likely jump to certain erroneous conclusions about the character of the sound. Although it has to be said that the prog-rock fraternity is a pretty broad church these days, and a noticeable proportion of its listening public would probably be eager to claim Guapo for their own; because what Guapo demonstrate emphatically is that there is room …

Monday Musing: If Property Is Theft, Who Stole Our Music?

May 13, 2013

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Meaningful utterances can be represented in physical form: a spoken sentence may be represented symbolically by writing, or mimetically, by an audio recording. Such representations may be reproduced indefinitely, whether by a symbolic process (someone reads the words and writes them down again) or a mimetic one (someone makes a photocopy of the writing). Each time this happens, a physical object becomes the conduit for an idea, for some units of meaning. You may be able to guess where I'm going with this: I'm going to be talking about music, as is my wont, and the reproduction thereof. This has been something of a hot topic since information technology made it so easy, and it raises a number of questions that anyone with much

Various Artists – Singles and EPs

May 8, 2013

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Positive vibes abound on this perfectly formed EP produced by the estimable Rich Huxley, whose main gig Hope And Social sits in exactly the same affective territory; clear-sighted optimism is the order of the day, and because the songs are notably lacking in trite sentiment or spurious closure the effect is genuinely uplifting. The musical engine that drives the feeling is a light but deep acoustic groove, which swings hard with an upbeat lift on even the most laid-back of the tunes. The band is locked in so tightly that it’s hard to credit how relaxed they sound, and the dynamics are shaded and weighted with real sensitivity; the mix strikes a perfect balance between separation and integration, or more to the point, it has a shedload of both, so although