Music Record Reviews
Based In Edinburgh
all these talented folk.’
at that point.‘
THIS ISSUE: CRYSTAL WISH
Roster 7VWWVW. Kyon 8. Dyems. Albaross. Spells Tower. The Kittens
Bosses Crystal Wish is an artist-run group. not ‘a typical company as such': 7VWWVW's (pronounced ‘Mammal') Nick Munro is just one of the group involved in setting it up.
Sounds like ‘There's no charter to what we do and no limitations on what people on the label play. At the moment what we have is electronic music. electronica music with rapping and folky
How was the label formed? “It was about a year ago. The 7VWWVW album had been put out on CD by (Edinburgh independent) KFM the year before. but everyone in the band wanted to have something a little more solid for posterity. Personally. we listen to music on vinyl and always have. so we decided to put it out that way ourselves. Then we thought if we were doing that we might as well start a label up. and from there we realised we were surrounded by
Broadly, how did you all meet? 'Completely randomly. I used to work in a skateboard shop in Edinburgh: I met a few of the others that way. And Rory MacLeod (Spells Tower) used to live upstairs from one of the boys in my band; he came round for a jam one night and turned out to be this incredible. enigmatic talent, although he was just Rory From Upstairs
What’s the plan for the future? ‘To create quality vinyl album releases. and to make them available by free download too. No-one cares about CDs. but l like to picture myself sitting down in 40 years time and still enjoying a vinyl record from beginning to end.‘ (David Pollock) I 7VWWVW, Kyon, Albaross and Spells Tower p/ay Sneaky Pete '8, Edinburgh, Fri 12 Jun.
LABELS OF LOVE
ARENA ROCK SIMPLE MINDS Graffiti Soul (Universal) 000
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A worthy attempt to reinstate the band as Stadium-filling rock contenders (while also marking their glittering 30-year anniversary). studio set number 15 ticks most boxes for fifty-somethings. Simple Minds.
Four years on from the
fart that was 505050. Kerr. Burchill and co. shake off the shackles of that set to claw back some credibility.
OK. it is commercial (and it's intended to be). but tracks Such as opener ‘Moscow Underground“ and flagship downloader 'Rockets'. remind us of just how potent the band can be. Stalwart fans should be mildly ecstatic with at least two other songs. 'Kiss & Fly' and 'Light Travels'. while the deluxe edition features an additional disc of various odds'n'sods covers from the likes of contemporaries
72 THE LIST 11-25>.Jtli12000
Siouxsie. Magazine and The Stranglers. (Martin C Strong)
ROCK PLACEBO Battle For the Sun (PIAS) O.
Yet another nail is plunged into Placebo's coffin as this sixth studio album finds Brian Molko taking his lyrics to a whole new levels of cringe. ‘I tore the muscle from your chest. used it to stub out cigarettes“. he sneers ridiculously on ‘Ashtray Heart'. Musically. not even the addition of young whippersnapper drummer Steve Forrest can lift the band's spirits. In fact it's clear from these 13 forgettable and lifeless tracks that Placebo have now completely run out of ideas. And it's sad. because somewhere beneath the heap of egotistical bluster and ever- produced gibberish there is a genuinely thrilling little rock act screaming to get out. We don‘t fancy its chances. (Camilla Pia)
LORD CUT- GLASS
Lord Cut-Glass (Chernikal Underground) 0...
It‘s taken a while to get round to it. but five years since his sometime band The Delgados split. and following collaborations with Aidan Moffat. Alasdair Gray and David Shrigley, Alun Woodward is finally making his album debut under this new alias. Delgados fans won‘t be disappointed: this is a record that revels joyfully in sonic possibility while barely disguising an undercurrent of
Woodward pines for dreams which are ‘spent like next month's bills' on the waltz-timed oddity ‘Even Jesus Couldn't Love You' and carves an elegiac love- hate affair in “Look After Your Wife’. The album sparkles with orchestral flourishes and even the odd Spaghetti Western soundtrack influence, but most of all its lyrical execution is convincingly spirited. (David Pollock)
JAZZ IF DESTROYED STILL TRUE
Seven Dials (GLP) .000
This Leeds-based sextet were winners of the Jazz Services Promoters Choice Award for 2008. although I don't think
Scottish audiences have ;
yet had a chance to check them out. On the evidence of this debut CD, they were worthy winners of the accolade. Their music is uncompromisingly contemporary. creating knotty swathes of high- energy improvisation around their own spiky compositions. leavened with a more folk-ish feel here and there. Saxophonist Simon Taylor and trumpeter Simon Beddoe are both strong and imaginative players. while pianist Johnny Tomlinson and guitarist Nick Tyson weave a rich and complex harmonic web. and add their own meaty solo contributions. The band's rhythmic energy, fuelled by bassist Seth Bennett and drummer Tommy Evans. is equally striking. A name to watch. (Kenny Mathieson)
ROBERTO FONSECA Akokan
(Enja Montuno) 0000
Thrillingly lyrical Afro- Cuban jazz set from the supremely talented Fonseca who came first
to fame as the young pianist who replaced veteran Ruben Gonzalez in the Buena Vista Social Club. Recorded in the sacred Egrem studios. Fonseca's second album with Omar Gonzalez on double bass. drummer Ramses Rodriguez and percussionist Joel Hierrezuelo has Cape Verde’s Mayra Andrade
the ‘Siete ponencias’ (‘Power of Seven'). While the inspirational power of Akokan (which means 'heart') stems
viz Fonseca's red and white Chango bracelet. the sound is refreshingly international.
DIRTY PROJECTORS Bitte Orca (Domino) om
Don't be misled by their boffin-esque rock tag: Brooklyn's Dirty Projectors may meld and dissect musical genres from hardcore and gospel to afro-beat and R&B. but their analytical riffage and bookish poly-rhythms are amplified by a pure pop heart.
Bitfe Orca — the follow-up to 2007’s excellent Black Flag homage. Rise Above — sees lead crooner. ‘musical director' and aural non-conformist David Longstreth conjoin the legacies of Talking Heads, Outkast. Aaliyah, Prince and Joanna Newsom.
The album's sucker- punch. however, is in ‘Stillness is the Move': a fractured soul psalm wherein guitarist/vocalist Amber Coffman emerges as alt.rock's answer to Mariah Carey. (Nicola Meighan)
Until The Cows Come Home
(Artes Records) «0.
An unusual twist on the kind of Euro
collaborations that have . become familiar on the Scottish folk scene.
often with Scandinavian musicians. 2Duos
combines well- established pairings offering potent words for
from Scotland and
. Germany as Aaron
Jones and Claire Mann
team up to good effect with Gudrun Walther
and JUrgen Treyz on a from ritual Santeria belief
mixed set of songs and
3 tunes from their
respective home bases. Jones and Walther offer strong and contrasting lead voices on a mixture of traditional and contemporary material.
including Jones' fine take on Richard , Thompson’s classic
‘Beeswing' and David Francey's 'Saints and
i Sinners'. The
instrumental sets and
‘ accompaniments reveal a high level of skilful ; interplay, featuring
3 ; Walther’s fiddle and
accordion and Mann‘s
; flute. whistles and fiddle f alongside Jones's
bouzouki and guitar and
Treyz' guitar and dobro. I (Kenny Mathieson)
ROCK snouxsne AND ; THE BANSHEES At the BBC (Universal) 0.”
SIOUXSIE AND THE BANSHEES
. This magnificent three- CD set doesn't really
unearth anything brand new but gathers
- together huge hunks of
the quartet 's varied
career via radio sessions
and live sets. starting
( with their John Peel ; debut in November
1977, filled with the poisoned kisses of