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Mon, 27 Feb 2006

At the Lake

At the Lake, These Days
single, Popfiction

Big guitar sounds, a vaguely Smiths-sounding vocalist (except more up): it's a rich sound that harks back a bit without aiming for any retro nostalgia. There are a lot of people that like this sort of thing. For one thing thing, there are anthemic melodies and a general bigness that can make a dull day a little brighter. Quite nice in the depths of winter. (Snoodsworthy)

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Village Orchestra

The Village Orchestra, Et in Arcadia Ego
LP, Highpointlowlife

Highpointlowlife are a small label specialising in electronic music. Unusually for a commercial concern, this LP is released on a Creative Commons licence. Not that we're talking Sony-BMG commercial here. We're talking Indy.

This LP starts with a slow swirling atmosphere that segues into ethereal voices and pattering percussion and then onto some pitterpattering and some more nice synth swirling. All in all it's very nice stuff and if you like some of the offerings from people like Warp, then you might like this as well. (thunderfinger)

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Puppetmastaz

Puppetmastaz, Do the Swamp
single, 7 inch, downloadDefdrive

We have to say that the owner of Defdrive is an Mstation friend and this single is their first release. What we have is hip-hop done (well, sort of) by puppets, or behind puppets. The track itself is a fun hip-hop track but to get the full thing a live visit or a video clip might be the shot. Watch if your hip-hop likes are more fun than gangsta. (Dr Boots)

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Moby Live DVD

Moby Live, hotel tour 2005
DVD and CD, Mute

This DVD has footage from the Hotel Tour of last year. There are twenty-four tracks from the Leuven concert which includes a lot of the newer songs along with old faves such as Go. There are also a further ten bonus tracks. It's all nice footage with good sound and you get to see Moby play a lot of guitar. Sitting at a keyboard or computer has always been a bit problematical for this kind of live performance -- namely one where people expect various jumpings around.

There's also a CD of remixes with thirteen tracks which take in the likes of Lift Me Up, Raining Again, Beautiful, and Slipping Away -- there a few Slipping Aways.

It's quite a good package altogether and if you're a Moby fan, you'll probably want it. (thunderfinger)

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Infadels, Can't Get Enough

Infadels, Can't Get Enough
5 track single, Wall of Sound

The Infadels have spirit and space. There are some big beats and some almost casual pub moments. One song even reminds of INXS while another reminds of a more rocky Billy Bragg. So, yes, variety. There are three mixes of the title track which all rock along some. (Psmith)

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Paper Cut Moon

Cherubs, Paper Cut Moon
3 track CD, Cargo

You can get a rough live sampling of the Cherubs by checking out our summer podcast from Tin Pan Alley which icludes the title cut here. Needless to say that the live podcast is a lot rougher than this. It's nice indy guitar with drive and life and spirit as well as a little melancholy but without being morbid.

Indy means a lot of different things and one meaning could include a bit of thrash but this is all highly skilled with stops and changes and a sort of controlled life. (Dr Boots)

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AMPOP

My Delusions
Youth
CD, Stimulus


Biggi (guitars, vocals)
Kjartan (Keyboards)
Jon Geir (drums)

AMPOP are an Icelandic three-piece band, and released two electronic albums in their homeland to critical acclaim, one of their supporters being the late John Peel. Despite starting out as an electronic band, they began to develop their sound, moving away from purely synthesised sounds and becoming geared towards more ‘organic’ and vocal sounds. My Delusions, the title song of their recent album released to rave reviews in Iceland shows this new direction and was played on Radio 1 several times by Zane Lowe. The band also supported KT Tunstall in Aberdeen last October. In a review by Kubiak at critic-instinct.com their style has been described as “Pop loaded with electronic, lots of emotions, melancholy, melodies, a voice worked over with the echo effect that arises and gives a tone mostly sad on the whole, disorderly synth and some tracks that rapidly rise above the rest.” In Foggy Notions Magazine they have been described as having: “achingly gorgeous tune and warm restrained electronic backing.”

Not being the biggest fan of voluntarily listening to depressing music for entertainment I was a little bit cautious, but there’s something about this music that is different to typical bands that seem to like nothing better than to moan about everything. I think that this may be something to do with the fact that they are not British and as such has a different attitude. The tunes do have an edge of melancholy to them, but somehow they are still (refreshingly) optimistic. I think that the mix of the acoustic and electronic has been balanced very well, and will certainly look out for their future releases.

(M. North)

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Richard Hawley

Richard Hawley, Just Like the Rain
single, Mute

A singer/songwriter is what we have here, along with his guitar and a sometimes lush backing which comes and goes. It's slick, has intelligent lyrics, and could entertain you and make you think, or it could warble away while people eat. Oh yes, and he has a noise voice too. People like Mojo and the Times love him. Well, OK, there is nothing wrong with mainstream skill but the person wanting this will be from he mainstream.

These tracks are from the album Coles Corner. (Thunderfinger)

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ˇĢDepeche Mode

<pre><b>Depeche Mode, Playing the Angel LP, Mute</b></pre> <p>Still around after a few scares and quite a few years of synth-pop of a darkish nature, Depeche Mode are still in the same sort of groove (an LP of happy songs would seem a little peculiar). This set has the elegant power of the old days but has a little less grit as well. I think it's called growing old gracefully. <p>Anyway, while the level of electric angst might be less, the actual tunes and production are nice and slick. There is plenty to nod or dance to, and if you hanker after the old melancholia there's plenty of that as well, albeit with a softer less immediate feel to it. (Thunderfinger)

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