Review: Jaga Jazzist live and breath their sound alongside Britten Sinfonia

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LIVE albums, in my reviewer’s experience, are either hit, or, more often, miss – they tend to have a ‘you had to be there’ feel to them, unless they’re something truly incredible.
But Jaga Jazzist’s live offering, alongside the Britten Sinfonia, is something truly incredible.
On record, the Swedish experimentalists have a reputation for blurring the boundaries between jazz and electronica.
But given the freedom to express their catalogue alongside an orchestra, their music simply transcends.
Over eight extended tracks they fully explore the themes of their songs, extended solos and layer orchestral ornamentation on what were already dense compositions – for example it takes a full four minutes for the audience there to click that the opener is in fact the mighty single One-Armed Bandit, such is the gloriously evasive cinematic introduction built by the ensemble, and yet it’s still eight before the song proper kicks in.
Complex and yet note perfect throughout, the results are enveloping and affecting throughout – there’s no ‘you had to be there’ to this LP, one listen are you’re there.

News: Bill boosted at Download Festival

DOWNLOAD Festival has announced that a further 25 acts have been added to this year’s line up, including Thunder, Kvelertak, Devin Townsend and We Are The Ocean.
Headlined by Slipknot, Iron Maiden and Rammstein, Download Festival takes place June 14-16 at Donington Park.
Also added to the bill are Zico Chain, Blood Command, Black Moth, The Wild Lies, The Howling, Page 44, and Wounds.
And the acoustic Jagermeister Stage, as well as stripped down performances from acts from the other stages over the weekend, will see Hear Kitty Kitty, Toseland, Rob Lynch, Acoustic TV, Straight Lines, Fahran, The Killing Floor, The Afterparty, Pig Iron, Night x Night, Crash Mansion, The Graveltones, Arthemis and Avosetta playing, alongside acoustic performances from the likes of Devin Townsend, We Are the Ocean, Walking Papers, Buffalo Summer, Crowns, Heaven’s Basement, Skin and Red White & Blues.

Review: Mike Patton soundtrack sounds off

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FAITH No More frontman and sonic experimentalist Mike Patton’s soundtrack to recent big screen release The Place Beyond The Pines is almost eerily exact at what it does.
The soundtrack is a brooding, scene-setting, cinematic collection, spilling over with atmosphere and tension.
As a soundtrack to a cerebral crime drama, it’s perfect.
Sadly, even with a few selected songs from the likes of Bon Iver and The Crying Shames tacked on the end, as an album to stick on in your car or at home, it just doesn’t work – you’re better off heading to the flicks to get the complete picture.

Young Knives to fan fund new album Sick Octave

TWEED-clad rockers Young Knives – who were nominated for the Mercury Music Prize with their first album – are asking their fans to fund their latest LP.
Despite previously hitting the charts with several record-label backed albums and singles, the group have decided to go it alone for their next release Sick Octave this September and launched a £10,000 Kickstarter campaign.
Fans who pledge cash from £1 up to £5,000 will receive exclusive rewards including t-shirts, limited edition synths, the chance to appear in the artwork or videos and even have the Young Knives play at your wedding.
Singer and guitarist Henry Dartnall said: “It’s much more fun to do it yourself.
“We also wanted to be free of record labels and producers making decisions about our music. For some reason when you are working with record labels it’s an assumption that you book into a £500 per day studio and a producer tells you what is wrong with your music and makes it better for you.
“We have always felt there was no good reason why we couldn’t have done it ourselves like we always used to do. Expensive microphones do sound nice but they don’t make music more exciting.”
The Kickstarter launched on Monday, April 22, and runs for 30 days. As the Echo went to press around a quarter of the £10,00 had been raised – although the band must raise all the money they need or they don’t get any of it.
Visit for more information.

The Recent Decent

FOR surfers in a hurry, I’ve added a new feature to the Sound Advice sidebars.
The Recent Decent is made up of the three must-hear albums reviewed in recent weeks, so if you haven’t got time to read through all the latest posts since your last visit, you can rest assured the very best will be listed.
The first additions are Bonobo’s The North Borders, Orchestre Poly-Rhytmo de Cotonou’s The Skeletal Essences Of Voodoo Funk, and Sasha’s Involv3r – so if you haven’t heard all of them yet, get on it.
Must hears? Let me know below.

Review: Oi, bonehead! Listen to The Skeletal Essences of Voodoo Funk

VOODOO funk band Orchestre Poly-Rhytmo de Cotonou have been the flag-bearers for the always-excellent Analog Africa series of releases, which aim to unearth hidden gems from Africa and other musical ‘backwaters’ recording histories.
And despite now being spread across three compilations, the group’s raw funk is as irrepressible as ever on new LP The Skeletal Essences Of Voodoo Funk.
Having spent a lot of time showcasing the group’s voudoun – a genre fused from James Brown-esque funk and the traditional music of African voodoo rituals – the spectrum is widened here, putting more flesh on the group’s bones.
They explore better known genres like Afro beat (Ai Cabani) and bossa nova (Ecoute Ma Melodie), relative musical minnows like sato (Karateka) and pachenga (Vi E Lo), voudoun as always, and my new favourite genre of music, the ever-energetic jerk fon.
Quite simply, you’d be a bonehead not to pick up a copy of The Skeletal Essences Of Voodoo Funk.