Review: While Juan MacLean, LCD Soundsystem's Nancy Whang and Holy Ghost!'s Nick Millhiser have always had one eye on the dancefloor, their albums have tended to be slightly more eccentric and esoteric affairs that lack some of the sparkle associated with their more joyous, club-ready cuts. It's perhaps for this reason that they've spent the last six years releasing DJ-friendly 12" singles, thus avoiding making a new album altogether. In hindsight, it seems a wise choice because "The Brighter The Light" - a compilation of those dancefloor-focused releases shot through with references to various vintage club styles and bottom-end weight to match - is their most vibrant, colourful and enjoyable full-length to date.
Review: If you're not sold based on album title alone allow us a moment to convince you of the genius of Howe Gelb's latest. And indeed his work to date. Never a dull moment, in this lifetime he has flirted with flamenco, adventured into Americana and gone for it with gospel choirs. The result is a back catalogue packed with great ideas, and inspiration for more great ideas. Enter Giant Sand, where artist dons disguise and revisits his old classics to make them fresh and different. Here Gelb, or Giant Sand, takes on the second Gelb album, "The Ballad Of Thin Line Man". First released in 1986, when New Hollywood was kicking Reaganite attitudes to the curb in favour of modern high plains drifters influenced by the preceding LSD decades, that same ethic is here, only louder and more urgent. A strange but familiar and abstract Americana, with roughness turned up to 11.