Review: There's a reason that Massive Attack's Blue Lines frequently appears in "greatest albums" lists. To put it simply, it's brilliant, and arguably remains the Bristol-based outfit's finest work to date (though some would argue that the dark and paranoid Mezzanine is possibly better). As this weighty vinyl reissue proves, it's lost none of its hazy, dub-propelled trip-hop charm. All-time classics such as "Unfinished Sympathy", "Safe From Harm" and "Hymn of the Big Wheel" have lost none of their soulful, mood-enhancing brilliance, while lesser celebrated cuts such as "Five Man Army" and "Lately" still sound great despite their vintage.
Review: By the time they headed into the studio to record Protection, Massive Attack were still riding high on the success of their peerless debut album, Blue Lines. While the resultant set, released in 1994, does quite hit the same dizzying heights, it remains a thoroughly great album. Of course, we all know the highlights by heart - the stoned bounce of "Karmacoma", evocative downtempo bliss of Tracey Thorn hook-up "Protection", string-drenched lusciousness of "Sly", and the gentle dub-house soul of the Horace Andy-voiced "Spying Glass", for example - but even the forgotten album cuts (see "Weather Storm" and "Better Things") have aged remarkably well. If you don't own a copy on vinyl already, you definitely should.
Review: The Chemical Brothers are back with their 10th studio album (mixes and soundtracks not withstanding), and they're sounding especially fired up. The widescreen stadium psychedelia they've made their own spills out in abundance across "No Geography", but it's also matched with a feverish energy. The more up-tempo tracks, like "Gravity Drops" and "Eve Of Destruction", spit and snarl with the best of their classic, down and dirty dancefloor material, but there's plenty of space for the starry eyed songwriting they've made their own in more recent times. Just cop "The Universe Sent Me" and be immediately transported to a festival field, where you'll no doubt be catching The Bro's this summer.
Review: Given Massive Attack's background, it was almost inevitable that they'd release a dub overhaul of one of their albums at one point. That time came in 1995, when British sound system legend Mad Professor - responsible for some of the greatest UK-made dub records of all time - put his distinctive twist on Protection. 21 years on, the set still sounds sublime: a radical translation that frequently bares only a passing resemblance to the Bristol band's original. It's packed with highlights, from the spaced-out, dub-house rework of "Spying Glass" ("I Spy"), to the ricocheting percussion hits and twinkling pianos of "Weather Storm (Cool Monsoon)", and creepy, delay-laden string surges of "Eternal Feedback (Sly)".
Till The World Falls (feat Mura Masa, Cosha & Vic Mensa) (5:18)
Boogie All Night (feat NAO) (3:29)
Sober (feat Craig David & Stefflon Don) (3:08)
Do You Wanna Party (feat LunchMoney Lewis) (3:22)
State Of Mine (It's About Time) (feat Philippe Saisse) (4:44)
I Dance My Dance (3:28)
Dance With Me (feat Hailee Steinfeld) (3:30)
"New Jack" Sober (feat Craig David & Stefflon Don - Teddy Riley version) (3:10)
I Want Your Love (feat Lady Gaga) (4:56)
Queen (feat Elton John) (3:57)
Review: When co-founder Bernard Edwards passed away in 1996, it seemed unlikely that Nile Rodgers would have the stomach to record another Chic album. Yet here we are, two decades later, with Rodgers and his reborn Chic collective enjoying a career renaissance. "It's About Time", the first Chic album since 1992, is an all-star affair, with Rodgers calling on the services of a range of high-profile pals - Sir Elton John, Lady Gaga and Craig David included - to sing or rap over backing tracks that draw on sounds and styles dominant during the band's near 50-year career. That means there are plenty of nods to disco, of course, but also new jack swing, hip-hop, R&B, boogie, synth-pop, house, '80s soul and much, much more.
Review: Tangerine Dream's 1975 album Ricochet gets a vinyl reissue. Consisting of only two tracks, both parts of "Ricochet" are shifting soundscapes in the best arpeggiated 70s tradition and bonafide classics of the genre, influencing everyone from Emeralds through Oneohtrix Point Never. Essential.