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The Independent Culture
Elastica: Elastica (Deceptive, CD/LP/tape). Justine Frischmann and co's long-awaited dbut: 15 spiky gems, some of which are even longer than two minutes - every bit as good as the old wave of new wave. NB

Radiohead: The Bends (Parlophone, CD/LP/ tape). Oxford's answer to Nirvana, proving there's life after their brilliant single, "Creep". Social inadequacy turned into art. NB

The Pastels: Mobile Safari (Domino, CD/ LP/tape). Blithe and spirited return of under-rated Scots lo-fi pioneers. Ben Thompson

Kirsty MacColl: Galore - The Best of (Virgin, CD/tape). Tunes, jokes, home-spun wisdom, singles you might have forgotten but had never grown tired of: a very-near-perfect compilation. Tim de Lisle

Mahler 6th Symphony: Vienna Philharmonic/ Boulez (Deutsche Grammophon, CD). Boulez, the VPO and Mahler aren't an obvious mnage trois, but the iron fist of the master seems to be softening in old age and the result is a performance ripe enough to qualify as echt-Mahlerian. Michael White