As a hack myself, I ought not to be surprised if I myself become the victim of hackery. But last week I was royally stitched-up and for a moment, I confess, I had a sense of humour failure.
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Friday 12 July 2013
The classical double-bass repertoire is so meagre that even virtuosi like the late Stefano Scodanibbio were forced to create their own material or transcribe works written for other instruments. Scodanibbio's former colleague Daniele Roccato is comparatively spoilt for choice here by Sofia Gubaidulina's pioneering piano duets of the Sixties and Seventies, “Sonata” and “Pantomime”.
Friday 05 July 2013
Blixa Bargeld's collaboration with Italian composer Teho Teardo finds him in fine fettle on a group of typically sardonic songs set to unusual string and electronic arrangements performed with The Balanescu Quartet.
Friday 28 June 2013
The Keller Quartett are a Hungarian group, here showcasing two of their countryman György Ligeti's astringent string quartets of the Fifties and Sixties, separated by the calm lacuna of Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings, from the Thirties.
Monday 17 June 2013
The sides meet this August for the first time in 14 years
Saturday 15 June 2013
Flamenco-dancing pigeons, pumpkin pie, Charlie Sheen and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn all crop up on this British singer-songwriter's Gilad Atzmon-produced third album.
Saturday 13 April 2013
Hardy, the 69-year-old Parisienne pop icon, returns with, this time, no generation-hopping collaborations with Anglo-American indie stars.
Saturday 13 April 2013
Early woodwind virtuoso François Lazarevitch, Les Musiciens and the earthy-toned singers Simone Sorini, Enea Sorini and Marc Busnel take us back to the time when street parties lasted a week or more.
Friday 12 April 2013
Steve Earle's latest album pulls no punches in its survey of the American social landscape. The “low highway” of the title track is a sort of hardship highway travelled by the underclass. It's Springsteen territory, occupied with pride in songs like “21st Century Blues” and the elegiac closer “Remember Me”.
Saturday 06 April 2013
The second album from the experimental folk-minimalist trio is an all-location recording with 22 instrumentals played in places as various as a Dorset chapel, an allotment shed, a Welsh waterfall, under a flyover, and Regent's Park bandstand.
Saturday 05 January 2013
With Hello Cold Goodbye Sun, the Scottish folk group Southern Tenant Folk Union presents its most potent offering since 2010's excellent The New Farming Scene.
Sunday 25 November 2012
OCMS are some Virginian’s dream of a marketable bluegrass phenomenon.
Saturday 10 November 2012
The Coup's Boots Riley is the prickly conscience at the hip-hop banquet. "Economics is a symphony of punk and death," he declares in "Strange Arithmetic", demanding folk be told "how to flip this system"; while executives are characterised as cannibalistic monsters in "We've Got A Lot To Teach You, Cassius Green".
Monday 20 August 2012
Thirteen years since this band last played London, the concerns of singular frontman Greg Dulli have not changed a jot. “Please have sex up there," he asks, eyeing the balconies’ occupants. “I wanna see those ecstasy faces.”
Sunday 22 July 2012
A first wholly self-composed album by the white-country-bluesman and his furred-over smear of a voice. How big was that bushel?
Saturday 23 June 2012
New York's JACK Quartet perform with fire and ice on this programme of modernist pieces, operating at the furthest extremes of the dynamic range: virtually inaudible for the sparse scurryings of Matthias Pintscher's Cy Twombly-inspired "Study IV for Treatise on the Veil", furiously brutal for the mass bowing and creaking noises of Xenakis's "Tetras".
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