Some good stuff up their Sleeve

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DANCE duo Beyond The Wizard’s Sleeve‘s Re-Animations Volume One sees the group breathing new life into a selection of uber-cool tracks.
The album from Erol Alkan and Richard Norris is value for money, weighing in at an hour and twenty minutes, and the playlist ebbs and flows brilliantly over the course of it – something a lot of remix collections can’t seem to do.
Through a mariachi-introed reworking of local heroes Late Of The Pier‘s The Bears Are Coming to a stomping version of Peter, Bjorn And John‘s Young Folks to a laid-back remix of Badly Drawn Boy‘s Promises, Beyond The Wizard’s Sleeve constantly prove to have a magic touch.

Omega Code oh so mega

ONE sure to come good in the end is Brazilian prog metal outfit Omega Code.
A mixture of Tool-style metal music, ambient electronica and visual art, the Sao Paulo-based band are aiming to create an entire sensory experience, not just a trifling bit of music.
Better still, they plan to give away their debut album free later this year, which should be good if the demo track Shine is anything to go by, as well as a number of limited edition posters.
They also have a book and DVD planned as well as a number of interactive art installations in Europe, the USA and South America and a remix album to boot.

Get Lost

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THE Long Lost‘s eponymous debut is the product of husband and wife Albert and Laura Darlington finding a musical common ground together.
So as you can imagine, the couple’s album is a lovely, cuddly, warm piece of work – a mess of gorgeous acoustic strumming, exquisite vocals and the sort of oddball electronica that is to be expected from Mr Darlington, better known to the general public as Daedelus.
Unfortunately, whatever the merits the constituent parts of these tracks are, the overall effect is still a mess.
There are some amazingly beautiful moments on this LP, but for the most part they’re sadly adrift in the Darlingtons’ wandering experimentation.

Prodigy release new album

• ELECTRO geniuses The Prodigy are set to take over the charts with their new album.
Invaders Must Die, in stores now, sees the group returning to their rave roots in spectacular whistle-blowing, shape-throwing fashion.
• Also on a dance tip, remixers Beyond The Wizard’s Sleeve have breathed new life into some of the best singles of recent months.
For Re-Animations Volume One, the duo of Erol Alkan and Richard Norris have reworked tracks by groups ranging from the Chemical Brothers to Peter, Bjorn And John to Franz Ferdinand to Late Of The Pier.
• One to ponder – the sparkling Katy Perry has released a new single, Thinking Of You.
The track, the third single from hit album One Of The Boys, is the first ballad to be released by the singer.
• Ready to give the charts some stick are Hockey, who released their debut single on March 2.
The band, from Portland, Oregon, make a sound similar to LCD Soundsystem playing Strokes numbers on single Too Fake.
• Brighton-based band The Brakes have released new single Hey Hey.
The track is the latest to be taken from forthcoming album Touchdown, out on April 20.
• Singer Nikka Costa, the daughter of Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jnr producer Don Costa, has released her new album.
LP Pebble To Pearl showcases Nikka’s mixture of soul, blues, funk and pop.
• Skint And Demoralised have released a new single, This Song Is Definitely Not About You.
The harmonic indie jangler is a precurser to the full album, Love And Catastrophes, which is out in May.
• To celebrate a successful 2008, Scouting For Boys release a free four-track EP from their website on March 9.
Vocalist Roy Stride said: “This is all down to our fans, so we want to thank them.”
• Oddball hip hop collaboration XRabit and DMG$ introduce themselves with their latest LP, Hello World.
The album is available to buy from March 9.
• If all of this is music to your ears, you can read more from the pop world online at www.echoisaacashe.blogspot.com

Gaye African

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HAILING from Langa, the oldest township in Cape Town, South Africans Abavuki aren’t your average chart fodder.
Africa Got Soul, the subject of a chin-stroking BBC documentary, sees the group of youngsters with a passion for traditional African music and contemporary Western pop covering soul classics such as Let’s Get In On, Say A Little Prayer, Tears Of A Clown and Ain’t No Sunshine in the African style.
And the result’s are pleasantly surprising, with some transitions sounding extremely natural – such as the tribal Papa Was A Rolling Stone – although there are some odd results, such as the almost unrecognisable Tears Of A Clown.
Refreshing to listen to, Africa Got Soul is well worth searching out if world music rocks your world – although at the end of the day the originals are still the best.