FIRSTLY, a little context.
The relaunch of this blog had rejuvinated and rekindled my already ludicrously obsessive relationship with music of late.
And in the past few weeks there’s been some great music released.
For example last Monday alone I was awestruck by the brilliance of I Like Trains’ latest doom-laden synth-soaked LP The Shallows, the raw brilliance of The Royal Headache’s debut, the full throttle rock of Hot Water Music, the folk-drum and bass crossovers of The Imagined Village…
You get the picture.
But there had to be a bad week coming, and I think it’s here – for a start nothing new out this week compares to the aforementioned releases.
And then I’ve got a handful of thoroughly disappointing forthcoming releases to review.
A little more context – I really like Paloma Faith.
I think she’s original, exciting, talented, cute, quirky, funny, totally engrossing with a belter of a voice – she’s like Lady Gaga and Kylie rolled in to one.
I have a lot of time for her.
But all the time I have given to her new album, Fall To Grace, sadly has been wasted.
This collection is just lacking – despite Faith’s best efforts, there’s no stand-out Stone Cold Sober singles, instead there’s too many ballads and yet none reach the peaks of her debut.
Quite simply, it’s luckly that Paloma Faith is behind the mic on Fall To Grace to drag it up to average.
HARDLY a day goes by at the moment without a band announcing a reunion or an ageing album getting a reissue.
But just because something went platinum in its heyday, doesn’t necessarily make it golden now – but one reissuing project which landed in my inbox really did capture my attention.
Real World Records has decided to run a no-nonsense project called Real World Gold – picking a choice selection of albums from it’s back catalogue and re-releasing them, 10 at a time.
A spokesman said: “Real World Records has released almost 200 albums by artists from all over the globe. An eagerness to surprise and enlighten has always been paramount – creating new connections, new channels of communication.
“From Pakistani sufi music to Ethiopian dub, Cambodian indie-rock to Mexican ska, Real World Records has always thrown open the door to a musical world you never knew existed.
“The Real World Gold series peels back the years to revisit and re-evaluate some most inspirational and beautiful music from the archives. As the name suggests, it’s a programme of reissues that brings some of the key Real World releases back into the sunlight as many titles have been unavailable for a number of years.”
Among these first releases are the first two albums by Afro-Celt Soundsystem – a group which I hadn’t listened to for around 15 years!
Their sound, which still sounds a fresh and exciting today as it did back in the Britpop era, is a mixture of traditional West African and Celtic music, wrapped up in a blanket of electronic beats.
It’s a sound which will genuinely senda shiver down your spine – whether you remember it from first time around or not.
Other artists among the first selection include better known acts like Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and The Imagined VIllage, as well as many more such as The Drummers of Burundi, and Lama Gyurme and Jean-Philippe Rykiel which are still unknown quantities to me.
But I cannot wait to try them out in the coming weeks.
For more on the first 10 albums, visit here.