Review: This is when reissues feel like they truly do a service to music that would have certainly disappeared into obscurity - Desmond Coke was a gifted musician who sat in on sessions for the On-U Sound label amongst many other places. His sole solo record was a private press job that very nearly blinked out of existence, but Emotional Rescue have been on hand like the diligent diggers they are to rescue his heartfelt, mightily expressive boogie jams from the one dollar bin. Sunny, sweet and soulful, but also with enough depth and punch to stand up to big budget productions of the era, this is a truly wonderful find that will no doubt be a surprise to even seasoned selectors.
Review: The last ten years have seen no shortage of bands with their delay pedals set to stun intent on capturing an aura of dreamlike radiance. Yet Texas 'pop-noir' troupe Cigarettes After Sex are no ordinary shoegazers, for a variety of reasons - frontman Greg Gonzalez' androgynous and dulcet tones may be part of the appeal, yet moreover it's the quality of the songwriting here, which never falls prey to the style-over-substance traps of their peers. Indeed, this debut is more than enough to justify the considerable hype around this outfit, being a collection of ditties as sultry as they are atmopsheric.
Review: It wouldn't be fare to accuse all jazz cats of overlooking Albert Dailey, but many are guilty of it. One of often unsung greats everyone should know about but few seem to namecheck enough, 'Renaissance' is one of just five full-length albums from a career that lasted over 30 years, so you can add the phrase 'under-recorded' to the list of regrets. Laid down in 1977, four years after his debut full length arrived, for those who do count themselves in the fan club this is not just seminal Dailey but seminal jazz. Expressive, overflowing with emotion and yet also delightfully playful, it veers between freeform segments, such as the closing sections of 'Mr Pogo', to the sophisticated, sensual piano solo of 'Autumn Rain', which brings this display of musical prowess to a grand- or rather intimate- finale.
Review: It's been nearly three years since the release of Christian Fennesz's last solo album, which is almost an eternity given his track record of serving up several albums a year. The gap is in part down to a lengthy period between studio spaces, a situation that forced the Vienna-based experimentalist to go back to basics and record with minimal equipment in his bedroom (a similar process to that used in the early days of his career). Impressively, the results are every bit as beguiling as you'd expect, from the slowly unfurling manipulated guitars, swelling chords and heartbeat pulse of opener "In My Room", to the shoegaze ambient warmth of "We Trigger The Sun", via the fuzzy field recordings, thunderstorm electronics and emotion-stirring melodies of "Rainfall".