Review: Oxford's Foals, now ten years old and some seven years on from their debut, have pulled the neat trick of elevating themselves to dizzy heights without essentially compromising their kinetic mixture of art-driven experimentation and widescreen melodic grandstanding. Yet 'What Went Down', their fourth salvo thus far, shows a band newly reinvigorated, and somehow managing to be both heavier and more danceable in turn. As angry and inventive as ever, the howls of mainman Yannis Philippakis have lost none of their cathartic charge, the chime of their guitars remains as seductive, yet so vibrant and vivacious is this collection of songs that their elevation to festival headliner status seems a foregone conclusion.
Review: If you've followed Mica Levi's work over the years as part of avant pop act Micachu & The Shapes, you'll know the London-based musician is a unique talent. It was apparent on their debut album Jewellery and has been demonstrated again and again (see the 2011 live LP Chopped & Screwed recorded with the London Sinfonietta for the most compelling example) Levi's work on the soundtrack for Under The Skin has rightly been praised, with her original score a crucial element of Jonathan Glazer's critically acclaimed Scarlett Johansson vehicle. Removed of the film and pressed on vinyl here, Levi's compositions sound all the more captivating in isolation and they should hopefully open all manner of interesting doors for the musician.
Review: Legend has it that David Bowie was so lost in a vortex of cocaine and ego during the making of this record to such a degree that he now can't remember anything about its creation at all. Typically of the Dame though, in the midst of all this madness he created a masterpiece, and arguably his greatest album of all. With a hint of the funk of influence of 'Young Americans', yet filtered through a glacial European sensibility, it's a genre-transcending tour-de-force of boundless scope and imperious swagger. Forty-one years on, this record still sounds like the future.
Review: 'We had drugs, we had booze' is what perhaps receives the biggest ovation on this live album taken from a 1976 Neil Young American tour. The 22-track album includes live recitals of all-time classics "Heart Of Gold", "After The Gold Rush" and "The Needle & The Damage Done", but sadly, no "Rockin' In The Free World" this time round. Neil Young devotees will also be pleased to learn of "No One Seems To Know", a number that has not appeared on any other official release. Just like a live concert too, the most entertaining parts of this album are usually heard between the songs, with Young joking that this could last as long as George Burns' cigar.