With its satisfyingly fat vinyl platters, audiophile-friendly downloads and imaginative catalogue of rediscovered gems (plus new recordings), LP specialist Gearbox is becoming one of the wonders of the age.
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Friday 27 August 2010
C W Stoneking is a one-off eccentric of the first order, a 21st-century Australian white man who presents himself, colouration excepted, as a black American minstrel from a century earlier.
Sunday 15 August 2010
It says "rock" up there, but let's not be coy: this is what used to be known as "krautrock", with all its strange, formalist, concretised and alienating precepts about noise and noise's relationship with music.
Friday 13 August 2010
Compiled by Michael Rother from material previously released without his knowledge by Klaus Dinger on a Japanese label in 1995, the primary interest in Neu! '86 is as a measure of the fractious relations between the pair, whose divergent interests could no longer be reconciled by the time they re-formed Neu! for the third time to record these riffs.
Sunday 27 June 2010
Anderson's first studio album in 10 years is one to divide opinion – either enough to induce "stultifying boredom" (the NME) or one that makes her "the most important multimedia artist of our time" (The LA Times).
Sunday 20 June 2010
This tasteful, ambient-friendly Norwegian piano trio offers an accessible, slightly poppy update on the examples of Tord Gustavsen and EST.
Thursday 22 April 2010
Jez Butterworth's must-see play, Jerusalem, ends with its central character, Johnny "Rooster" Byron, banging on a drum and calling on the spirits of the forest to defend him against approaching bulldozers, which symbolise the encroaching modern world. It is a primal, feral and stirring moment. The same could be said of the sight of a worryingly frail-looking Lou Reed banging repeatedly on a huge gong.
Sunday 18 April 2010
There's nothing wrong with this third album by the likeable NCT but all the principal ingredients – pianism in the grand manner, catchy hooks, minimal improvisation – were already present in the previous two, and it's hard to say they've really been improved upon.
Friday 19 March 2010
"Liars' usual creeping unease turns seductive —the increasingly rational voice of the inner psychopath... also ranks among Liars' poppiest. It compacts the band's ambient sprawl and mantra-like rhythms into recognisable song structures, even rocking out." - avclub.com
Wednesday 03 March 2010
Although the general consensus is that Osibisa did World music before World music, this firecracker of a gig makes another, more important point. The band founded in London by Ghanaian multi-instrumentalist Teddy Osei some four decades ago was part of a rich crop of late 60s combos that collapsed the boundaries between African music, funk, rock and jazz, so inventively that the resulting "fusion" could sound remarkably different from one track to the next. Comprising horns, percussion, electric rhythm section and lead vocals supplied by various members, Osibisa have a rich, rotund groove that, when galvanised by Wendell Richardson's growling lead guitar, loosely recalls the Chicano blues of Santana, no more so than on "Sunshine Day", whose joyous chorus is taken up by the whole audience straight from the downbeat. Elsewhere, the lithe, fluid hi-life pulse of West Africa is liberally deployed to inject an entirely different energy and the skipping, vaulting rhythms that mark the middle of the set prove an invitation to dance that even those suffering from mid-winter lethargy can't resist.
Sunday 01 November 2009
Less polished than Steve Reich's Music for 18 Musicians (1974), In C remains the most iconic example of early minimalism. As the liner notes for this digitally remastered 1968 Carnegie Hall recording say, the work is "a trip", its performers "a weird zoo".
Friday 16 October 2009
Reissued to celebrate its 40th anniversary, Terry Riley's In C not only remains one of the keystone works of minimalism, but – unlike many pieces in that style – has actually grown in stature: what was once considered a strange experiment now stands as a landmark of 20th century music.
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