Review: Richard Fearless returns to his Drone imprint with a hand stamped, white label album sampler leading up to his forthcoming album "Deep Rave Memory". Feel the power of "Atlas Of Insanity" on the A with its noir-ish, metal edged intensity that's equally as brutal as it is elegant. On the flip, "New Perspective" is a deeper and more hypnotic affair with its mesmerising chime melody and ethereal layers of pads supported by a broken beat which keeps you on the edge. All material from the forthcoming album was recorded at the Death In Vegas main man's Metal Box, overlooking the Thames where he drew from the studio's industrial environment for inspiration.
Review: Emptyset have been innovating in the world of electronic music for over a decade now. James Ginzburg and Paul Purgas' music is challenging yet poignant, artful yet immersive and fuses sound design with raw audio synthesis. "Blossoms", the new record for Thrill Jockey was developed by a process of "seeding a software model with a sonic knowledge base of material to learn and predict from". That base material was then embellished with 10 hours of improvised recordings using sources such as wood, drum skins and metal, giving rise to this bleakly beguiling album of drone, industrial and audio experimentation.
Review: It's not just in the album title that Newcastle bard Richard Dawson is ahead of his time. His dark sense of humour and sweaty barroom gig sonics break through the noise, identifying, tackling but not seeking to solve the problems currently facing British society. What could be more post-modern than that? The UK right now is a fractured and somewhat broken island struggling to come to terms with its own place in the modern world. It's also filled with people struggling to come to terms with this reality. Focusing on portraits of those lost souls, it's poignant, cutting and lyrically hard-hitting. A bold and mammoth concept for an album, the instrumentation is even bigger, easing up on the blues and folk of his formative years to allow more room for pop to break through. The result is proof that in times of desperation a nation can at least rely on its artists to offer some hope that all is not completely lost.
Review: Eight albums in and Elbow still know how to keep us interested. This time round it's a record that seems caught in perpetual motion, refusing to stay still even for a minute off its proggyness, with this the LP most removed from their standard modus of hyper-emotive, string-capped anthemia. Not that the contents aren't huge and destined to fill main rooms and outdoor arenas. A refreshing break for a band that, while unarguably talented and accomplished craftsmen, may - in the eyes of some at least - have at times been guilty of opting for the safety of familiarity rather than braving the great unknowns of sound. If anything, then, "Giants Of All Sizes" is the final pour that cements their place in the pantheons of British music. Exquisite, innovative and highly original stuff.