Incog-not bad-o

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TRANSATLANTIC RPM, the new album from Incognito, packs in more energy than a jet engine.
Having invited along a guest list including Jamiroquai bassist Stuart Zender, icon Chaka Khan, spoken word goddess Ursula Rucker, Motown legend Leon Ware and more, the tracks here are all slick as they come.
Sure, a lot of it is very cheesy, but you can’t help get caught up in the sheer exuberance of it all.

Baths go public

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CERULEAN, the debut album from Baths, is worth dipping into.
Showering the listener with subtle beats and awash with delicate, acoustic-based samples, if you want to gauge Baths’ temperature imagine an ever-so-slightly more tubthumping version of Daedalus.
Glitchy productions akin to impossibly ‘now’ acts like Toro Y Moi and Junk Culture over echoey hints of indie rock a la Broken Social Scene, Baths deserves to tap into some of these more established acts fanbases.

Analog Africa gives you wings

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FASTEN your seatbelts and prepare for a ride back in time… on board Analog Africa’s Afro-beat Airways.
A musical black-box of previously lost recordings from 1970s Ghana and Togo, the names may not be jetset – the likes of Orchestre Abass, Ebo Taylor And The Sweet Beans, De Frank Professionals and Apagya Show Band all feature – but these were all high-flyers in their time.
The result is a mixture of afro-funk, synth disco, afro-beat, boogie, and anything else energetic and afro-centre you can think of.
So if you’re looking for a departure from your usual listening, check in with Analog Africa’s latest as soon as you can.

Praise Tom Jones

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NORMALLY if the thought of a grizzled old Welshman excites you, you’d probably be a grizzled old Welshwoman.
But everyone should make an exception for Tom Jones – who for the hundredth-odd time has come back with the cool once again with new album Praise And Blame.
A tour through a collection of spiritual American standards from Johnny Cash-esque confessionals like What Good Am I? to the pumped up numbers like Don’t Knock, Jones strips back his art to its most exposed, raw sound yet – Sex Bomb this ain’t.
Instead it’s something fresh, something challenging and something progressive, and I applaud Jones for doing it.

Pain Sailing

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ATTENTION Owl City fans – sort it out.
Oh, and you’d probably like to know there’s some new material coming out from Adam “Owl City” Young, under a new pseudonym, Sky Sailing.
The idea behind the name change is that An Airplane Carried Me To Bed is more acoustic and traditional than Owl City’s more emopop computerised leanings – but fear not.
Young’s vocal without the swathe of effects is still very much as annoying as before, and the music is a mushy and wet as ever.
In fact, you do well to spot daylight between the two projects output – news which will surely either delight or dismay you.

Infra-nomenal

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CONTEMPORARY classical composer Max Richter’s new album Infra is so good it makes me want to do a little dance.
Adapted from his score for a ballet, the album once again sees Richter’s sublime slow-burning string and piano work fused to his delicate electronic studio tampering.
With almost a minimal amount of sounds, Richter draws emotion from the listener to create a compelling ebb and flow throughout the album..
Infra is simply mesmerising, an eerie, atmospheric sound as timeless as it is futuristic.

Simpler Simon

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LIKE compatriots Turzi (see yesterday) French act Emilie Simon knows her way around a computer – and sometimes even inside of one.
Live Emilie has an experimental side – playing with a gadget known as “the arm” which locks onto her limb allowing her to tinker with her sounds.
However the established singer-songwriter’s fourth album The Big Machine – inspired by her time living in New York – sees her aiming at the mainstream, embracing the poppier elements of her electronic sound and singing in English.
And the results of her latest studio jaunt sees the talents which have seen obvious comparisons made with the vocal gymnastics of Kate Bush and the musical ambition of Tori Amos tempered by the limitations of Little Boots-style cheery electropop backing.
As a result long-time listeners may be a little turned off, but nevertheless there’s enough to like on The Big Machine in tracks such as The Way I See You and Rainbow to see her gather enough new fans to replace them.

Baltimore Turzi please

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FRENCH band, Scottish vocalist, American subject matter, English influences – if Turzi can recreate this form across an album he’ll have the world at his feet.
Gallic knob-twiddler Roman Turzi and friend’s Baltimore EP – inspired by rioting in the city in 1968 following the assassination of Martin Luther King – features the vocals of Bobby Gillespie and a sound which fuses acid house beats and a Manchesteresque swagger.
The track, which has a definite touch of the Swastika Eyes about it, then gets a generous helping of hit-and-miss remix for the rest of the EP, the highlight being the dark Lynch Mob Assault On Baltimore reworking.
I advise you buy, beg, borrow or loot yourself a copy from Monday.

Champ a winner

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THEIR first release A Lesson In Crime, although undeniably brilliant, could be seen as naive, approaching the EP with so much gusto that tracks were saturated with ideas, over before they begun, and the whole effort finished in a quarter of an hour.
Tokyo Police Club’s second, the LP Elephant Shell, took on these flaws with the Canadians taking a little more time – but you could hear they were still growing.
And now the triumphant Champ is their most measured, mature effort to date.
Insidiously catchy, full of high-pitched guitar licks and chunky drumbeats, it’ll be a crime if Tokyo Police Club tracks like Not Sick and Bambi don’t get the recognition they deserve.

Mission accomplished

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VETERAN band The Innocence Mission release their latest LP My Room In The Trees tomorrow.
And Eight albums in, the American act have grown from a dream pop sapling into a blossoming band, perfecting their gorgeous, rich sound.
However with folky guitars swathed in sweeping strings, My Room In The Trees is so perfect, for better or worse it passes so seamlessly it barely registers with the listener, like a breeze though leaves.