A great album from French combo Air – ingenious working on dual fronts – as the moody original score to Sofia Coppola's film adaptation of The Virgin Suicides, but it also works incredibly well as a stand-alone listening experience! While some tracks channel Pink Floyd a bit, many of their usual atmospherics are dusted off with fairly jazzy instrumentation and post-Bacharach arrangements. Gordon Tracks sings guest vocals on "Playground Love" and the whole thing's got a beautiful airy 60s pop style to it – tracks include "Clouds Up", "Bathroom Girl", "Cemetary Party", "Dirty Trip", "Highschool Lover (Theme From The Virgin Suicides)", "Afternoon Sister", "Ghost Song", and "Dead Bodies". CD
Afel Bocoum, Damon Albarn, Toumani Tiabate —
Mali Music ... CD Honest Jons/Astralwerks, 2002. Used ...
That Damon Albarn's a busy guy! When he's not busy being a rock star or mock rock star, he's off on holiday in some exotic locale – but making another record at the same time, like this one, recorded in Mali. We have to admit, though we were predisposed towards the bare field recordings – featuring Malians singing and playing guitar and kora – which sound great, the more produced numbers are suprisingly wonderful too, and though the CD's all over the map, it still plays like a beautiful journey from start to finish. As you may already know, music from Mali steers it's own course, quite different from most of the other Afrobeat and funky African grooves you'll find elsewhere on our page, with a light springy quality and unhurried openness. 16 tracks in all, including "Le relax", "Makelekele", "Tennessee Hotel", "Kela Village" and "Sunset Coming On". CD
A compilation LP of sorts – though at the time of its release most of this material had not been heard in this form! The album's more or less part of the "Ambient" series Eno had started that year with Music For Airports – and it's presented with similarly simple, elegant packaging – a cool divergence from the more striking Eno of a few years before. The set is made up of various bits, record either exclusively for film use, or that in one way or another found their way into films – and contains mostly short tunes, some thematic, others purely sonic wallpaper, but always compelling! 18 tracks, including "M386", "Aragon", "Two Rapid Formations", "Slow Water", "Sparrowfall", "Evenings In Dense Fog", "A Measured Room", "Strange Light", and "Final Sunset". CD
Neu! ... CD EMI/Astralwerks, 1971. Used ...
The first Neu album, recorded in Germany with Conny Plank, with the group as a trio featuring different drummers on each side, but still based around the duo of Kraut rock gods Michael Rother and Klaus Dinger. Unlike later efforts, the pieces here are a bit longer stretching out a little on the motoric grove. Titles include "Hallogallo", "I'm Gluck", "Wissensee", and "Lieber Honig". CD
The rebirth of the Afro-Cuban groove on the New York scene of the 70s – a dozen recordings in the "new traditionalist" sound of the time! After the boom of the Latin Soul sound of the late 60s, and the rise of salsa in the early 70s, there was also a "back to basics" movement within the players of the New York Latin community – a shift that stripped down the sound, reintroduced traditional instrumentation, and worked in rhythms that might have been used on older sessions, but which were slightly updated for the newer recordings. The work of that period, although strong, has often been overlooked in favor of some of the flashier sounds of the scene – and this set wonderfully corrects that fault by bringing together a great sampling of work from the traditional spectrum of the Salsoul and SAR record labels, along with the kind of notes and commitment to quality that makes the Honest Jon's reissues so great! Titles include "Son Sabroson" by Rey Roig, "Cuchillo Para La Pina Cubana" by Charlie Rodriguez, "Chocolate En C7" and "Trumpet En Montuno" by Chocolate, "Oriente" and "Tiene Sabor" by Henry Fiol, "Yo Perdi El Corazon" by Lita Branda, "Camina Y Ven Pa La Loma" by Roberto Torres, "Celosa" by Angelo Y Su Conjunto Modelo, and "Los Dos Hermanos" by Los Jimaguas. CD
2CDs, and a heck of a lot of great tunes selected and mixed by Dimitri From Paris! The album has Dimitri following up the first Playboy Mansion compilation with a sublime blend of older club classics and some newer underground numbers – all infused with the soulful house spirit of the crackling Parisian scene! Disc 1 is a "laidback selection" – featuring numbers from the 70s, 80s, and more recent years – titles that include "Seasons Of Love (Blaze club mix)" by Blaze, "Feel Up (Danny Tenaglia rmx)" by Grace Jones, "Lust" by Rinder & Lewis, "Can't Give You Up" by Deep Sensation, "Makeda (DJ Spinna & Ticklah mix)" by Les Nubians, "Get It Up For Love (Dim's re-edit)" by Tata Vega, "Ibo Lele (Ginen tet red mix)" by Jephte Guillaume, "Twilight" by Maze, and "So Good So Right (Dim's re-edit)" by Imagination. Disc 2 is more uptempo and modern – with titles that include "Don't Leave Me This Way (Dim's re-edit)" by Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, "Bienvenida" by AlexKid, "Changin (Blaze Shelter mix)" by Linda Clifford, "So Good To Know" by Best Friends Around, "All Good (Can 7 Supermarket mix)" by De La Soul with Chaka Khan, "Candidate For Love" by TS Monk, "Fran Mig Till Dig (Marcus Enochson rmx)" by Emma Nilsdotter, "The Body Theme" by Evidence, and "Jazz Room" by Paul Murphy & Marc Woolford Project. 25 tracks in all – and Hugh Hefner never had it so good! CD