“A collection of profound and epic album reviews and musical articles by former astronaut and brain surgeon, Alasdair Kennedy. Reaching levels of poetry that rival Keats and Blake, the following reviews affirm Alasdair to be a prodigy, a genius and a god whose opinion is always objectively right. He is also without a doubt the most modest man in the universe.” - Alasdair Kennedy
bellbottoms on and groom that afro 'cos disco is back with a vengeance. Spacey
seventies synths and string sections ride funky house beats to create a
neo-disco sound similar in vein to Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories (Read Review Here), only more epic, more
instrumental and more hi-octane. Norwegian dance producer, Todd Terje, has had
this album brewing in the pipeline for almost a decade. I only discovered the dude
a year ago so the wait hasn’t been as frustratingly long as I imagine it has
been for some people. Does this album justify the ten years it took to make? I’d
answer yes, it does.
thing’s first, this album isn’t subtle. It’s ridiculously overblown and it
knows it, demonstrated by the first track ‘intro’, which ends with chants of ‘its
album time!’ followed by the sound effect of an explosion. Its then that the moogs
enter the mix. So many moogs. All the moogs.
A wild moog
These multiple moogs
are arranged into dazzling symphonies that flow brilliantly into one another, continuously
switching between different grooves. Strandbar was the track that got me into Todd
Terje – a samba house anthem that steadily evolves into latin/rave staccato
pianos. The version on the album has been trimmed down from its lengthy eight
minute single version to a more succinct four and a half minute portion. Midway through the record, comes
the Bryan Ferry synthesizer ballad, Johnny
and Mary, a track that I didn’t particularly care for the first time I heard
it. It’s not a particularly upbeat song. In fact, when you listen to the lyrics
you realise it’s pretty damn depressing. However, its place in the album is
perfectly timed, bringing the pace down to let the listener breathe and reflect.
It’s a crazy mood change that somehow works.
start to simmer off towards the middle-end, although the album does end on a
bang – the seven minute funk monster, ‘Inspector Norse’. The teasing build up is
what makes this track and many of the other tracks. There aren’t any drops on this album as of such. No buildupbuildbuildup... WUBWUBWUB moments. Instead, its all buildupbuildupbuildup - cool progression - buildupbuildupbuildup. Maybe that’s what makes this album so refreshing.
speaking, It’s Album Time is nothing
new. It’s the Giorgio Moroder sound, polished up with modern production. What
stops this album from being another serving of plain old retro is Terje’s
ability to take all the best parts of seventies synth-heavy disco and arrange
them seamlessly in a way that no-one else ever has.
Karen Marie Ørsted(Mø) proves
that Denmark have more to offer to the pop scene than Aqua and Alphabeat. Her
debut album demonstrates a quirky, atmospheric style of pop – we’ll call it pøp
music. Nelly Furtado meets Grimes accompanied by echoey synths and digital
trap percussion. Some of the tracks are dark and gloomy such as ‘Waste of Time’. Others
have a beguiling, feel-good vibe such as ‘Don’t Wanna Dance’ with its sprightly
chorus and the track ‘XXX 88’ featuring producer Diplo. Its a creative and emotive album that could be made even more creative and emotive were Karen to really push her talents and personality to the forefront. Be sure to check out
the deluxe edition of this album for its percussion free ‘night versions’ of
various tracks. The reverb-soaked choral harmonies create a haunting James
Blake quality. By the way, does anyone know how to pronounce Mø?
Arc Iris is an amalgamation of every genre of music
your grandparents used to listen to, moulded together to create something surprisingly
new and vibrant. It’s a dizzying cabaret adventure flaunting ragtime pianos,
folky violins, country guitars and jazzy horns. There are even some doo wop
vocal harmonies thrown in on the track “Ditch”. Jocie Adams’ sweet traditional vocal
delivery transports the listener through the mishmash of vintage sounds, her
lyrics barbed with a modern edginess that covers subject matter such as cocaine
and “masturbating on a sorrowed mind”. I’m not big on the wobbling vibra-a-a-a-ato vocals that creep in now and
then, but that’s a matter of personal preference. Her vocal talent is undeniable,
performed with a playful grace that perfectly complements the multiple musical