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NEW RELEASES

Joy Division: Permanent (London CD/LP/ tape). What does it mean to hear the transcendent beauty of Joy Division's "Atmosphere" as the soundtrack to a bank's TV ad? Thankfully, not much. Like the strongest faith, the best of this band's music is impervious to blasphemy: its sombre effervescence is undiminished by age. The untimely demise of singer Ian Curtis just before the release of their second album, and the rapidity of Joy Division's preceding evolution, have tended to freeze their career as a series of snapshots. This compilation - lacking among other landmarks the essential "New Dawn Fades" - is by no means the complete picture, but for anyone who didn't know that loss could be exhilarating, it might still be a revelation. Ben Thompson

Tippett: Triple Concerto and Concerto for Orchestra. Bournemouth SO/Hickox (Chandos, CD). Given the could-do-better response to Tippett's 90th birthday year by other record companies, it's been encouraging to see the Chandos Tippett series grow with new issues like this. As always in the series, Richard Hickox and the BSO perfectly capture the idiom of the music, and their engineers perfectly capture its atmosphere. Should stand through time as evidence of how this rich, evocative orchestral music really works. Michael White

Ry Cooder: Music by . . . (Warner Bros, two CDs). There's probably enough highlights of the maestro's numerous film scores here to satisfy anyone who isn't a slide-guitarist. For those with in-car CD players, merely touching "Play" turns the boring trip to work into an instant road movie, the eerie twang of "Paris, Texas" or the ominous rumble of "Southern Comfort" adding big skies and endless vistas to the most claustrophobic of inner-city rat-runs. And there's some wonderful, largely overlooked, material too, like the divine road-house lament of "Across the Borderline" (far more memorable than the film from which it came). Phil Johnson The Five Best Sounds Of The Moment: Gorky's Zygotic Mynci: Gewn Ni Gorffen (Ankst, single). Deliciously maudlin melody from upsurgent pastoral psychedelicists. BT

A Guy Called Gerald: Finley's Rainbow (Juicebox, single). An instant summer anthem: get out of bed to this and the day is already made. BT

Bartok: Piano Works. Zoltan Kocsis (Philips, four CDs). Establishes Kocsis as the Bartok pianist: every performance a bench-mark. MW

Isaac Hayes: Branded (Virgin, CD/tape). A record as smooth as the Black Moses's head, and twice as sexy. Nicholas Barber

Boy George: Cheapness and Beauty (Virgin, CD/LP/tape). Sensitive, bitchy, hard-rocking, pop treat: George slays his dragons. NB

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