Album Releases



Buena Vista Social Club Presents Ibrahim Ferrer

World Circuit

BOLERO SINGER Ibrahim Ferrer is one of the main beneficiaries of the Buena Vista Social Club's autumnal success, having previously been unknown abroad and all but forgotten in his native Cuba. Recorded with the same band and producer (Ry Cooder), this solo debut presents the wider spectrum of the 72-year-old's talents, covering both his country's urban and rural styles, including some classic Arsenio Rodriguez songs dating from the 1930s and '40s. It's a non-stop delight, with the Social Club's luxurious horns bringing a louche appeal to cha-cha-cha, rumba and guajira, and musicians like pianist Ruben Gonzalez and guitarist Manuel Galban punctuating the flow with pungent solos. Ferrer is a master of his art, exhibiting the casual vocal control of a Bennett or Sinatra, baked to perfection under a tropical sun: on "Aquellos Ojos Verdes", he evokes a haughty passion executed with no apparent effort at all. His smooth, sensual duet with Omara Portuondo on "Silencio", meanwhile, involves the kind of subtle sexual chemistry that TVam's founders could only dream about.


Magic Hour


TO CAST, the retro-rock of Ocean Colour Scene must sound daringly innovative, even avant-garde in the way it forges bravely on into the 1970s. For despite attempts to tart up their sound with a few desultory studio effects, Magic Hour finds the Scouse quartet still banging away at the most basic form of Beatle-y Britpop, blissfully oblivious to any recent musical developments save perhaps for The Verve, whose blend of self-consciousness and steel guitar is aped on "She Falls". Otherwise, it's the same mildly catchy, inconsequential pop as before, a bit heavier perhaps, but lacking the fresh-faced charm of their early singles. Pleasant at best, the songs strive to ingratiate themselves, but the sheer accumulation of inanity in John Power's lyrics rapidly drains any lingering reserves of goodwill they may have built up. Simple-minded hippy tosh about sunshine and dreams and getting even higher, they betray no trace of original thought - there's even a track about how aliens "have taken over the world", for heaven's sake, a good three years after The X-Files became a passe parody of itself.




SPRING HEEL Jack's nine-deck turntable performances at London's Barbican and ICA have impressed with their versatility and ecleticism, but the lingering effect of their drum'n'bass origins dogs their recorded work. Treader suggests they're searching for ways out of the jungle, but aren't completely certain which path to take; as a result, several of these 10 tracks tread water, a connotation SHJ probably didn't intend when they named the album. Their favoured route seems to be in the direction of jazz-rock - the intricate rhythm plotting and trumpet of "Winter" suggest the dark, exotic strain that Miles developed on Bitches Brew and On The Corner, while the brooding saxophones of "More Stuff No-One Saw" encroach on the jazz-noir territory of Barry Adamson. There's the ghost of a decent piece lurking behind the relentless crack of the rhythm track of "Pipe", too, and an intimation of further possibilities is offered on the concluding "First Piece For LaMonte Young", a shimmering veil of minimalist drones. One's left with the distinct impression that the main thing holding them back is their reliance on beats.


E Luxo So


BEATS ARE something that American post-rockers Labradford have barely even considered, let alone become reliant upon. From their early-Nineties origins as an ambient duo through to this, their fifth album, they've been more concerned with atmosphere than rhythm. Or, indeed, titles - the six pieces that comprise E Luxo So are simply numbered one to six, steering the listener away from descriptive associations. There's a melancholy fatalism about the way each track develops, sparingly and methodically, etching crepuscular gloom or wistful acquiescence with a minimum of sounds. On track one, contemplative guitar figures evaporate into a desert haze, while occasional tumbleweeds of percussion brush by; track three's piano and strings sound like Astral Weeks without the rhythm section or vocals; and track six is a comparative riot, with dulcimer twinkling quietly over a gentle bass.

Dispassionate and soothing, E Luxo So is Labradford's most engaging work so far, though I still harbour misgivings about their reluctance to ripple the meniscus of their music. It's the sound of entropy setting in, like rust.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
The Great British Bake Off contestants line-up behind Sue and Mel in the Bake Off tent

Arts and Entertainment
Mitch Winehouse is releasing a new album

Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Beast would strip to his underpants and take to the stage with a slogan scrawled on his bare chest whilst fans shouted “you fat bastard” at him

Arts and Entertainment
On set of the Secret Cinema's Back to the Future event

Arts and Entertainment
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman

Arts and Entertainment
Pedro Pascal gives a weird look at the camera in the blooper reel

Arts and Entertainment
Public vote: Art Everywhere poster in a bus shelter featuring John Hoyland
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Griffin holds forth in The Simpsons Family Guy crossover episode

Arts and Entertainment
Judd Apatow’s make-it-up-as-you-go-along approach is ideal for comedies about stoners and slackers slouching towards adulthood
filmWith comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
Arts and Entertainment
booksForget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Arts and Entertainment
Off set: Bab El Hara
tvTV series are being filmed outside the country, but the influence of the regime is still being felt
Arts and Entertainment
Red Bastard: Where self-realisation is delivered through monstrous clowning and audience interaction
Arts and Entertainment
O'Shaughnessy pictured at the Unicorn Theatre in London
tvFiona O'Shaughnessy explains where she ends and her strange and wonderful character begins
Arts and Entertainment
The new characters were announced yesterday at San Diego Comic Con

Arts and Entertainment
Rhino Doodle by Jim Carter (Downton Abbey)

Arts and Entertainment
No Devotion's Geoff Rickly and Stuart Richardson
musicReview: No Devotion, O2 Academy Islington, London
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film

Arts and Entertainment
Comedian 'Weird Al' Yankovic

Is the comedy album making a comeback?

Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

    The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

    With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
    Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

    How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

    As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
    We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

    We will remember them

    Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
    Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

    Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

    Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
    Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

    Acting in video games gets a makeover

    David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
    Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

    Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

    Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
    Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

    Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

    Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
    Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

    Spanx launches range of jeans

    The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
    10 best over-ear headphones

    Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

    Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
    Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

    Commonwealth Games

    David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
    UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

    UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

    Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
    Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

    Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
    Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star