Bowie – Scholar-Songwriter

Chameleonic is a word which often crops up when discussing the work of David Bowie. His various personas are as integral to his career as the music itself. However, these roles were more than wardrobe changes. They revealed another aspect of his character, one more fixed and permanent, and that was his deep, abiding love of… Read more »

Listening Experience: Darren Hayman – Florence

Albums as records of not only music but moments is nothing new. In recent years several releases have won listeners over with this private-made-public approach. Bon Iver’s For Emma, Forever Ago is one notable example. In a similar way, Florence by Darren Hayman succeeds in capturing the emotion welling under a particular point in time, though the music on a few tracks holds… Read more »

Musical Secret – The Wave Pictures, Potrvá, Prague 26th November 2015

Potrvá is a poky cafe/bar located in the lower ground floor of a block of flats in the Prague suburb Bubeneč, near the rather fashionable Dejvice district and a short walk from Prague Castle. Intimate is one word which springs to mind when thinking of the space. There was just enough room to swing a guitar…. Read more »

Listening Experience – Stanley Brinks and The Wave Pictures: My Ass

There’s an oft-cited quoted, dubiously attributed to Einstein, which goes “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results”. With this idea in mind, I’m not sure what to make of Stanley Brinks and The Wave Pictures’ latest collaborative effort My Ass. The album has many of the elements which… Read more »

More than its Parts – Tara Fuki, Divadlo Dobeška, Prague 9th November 2015

Two cellos, two voices – and the occasional use of the hang – Tara Fuki’s music is based on a limited set of instruments but is seemingly vast in its scope. The duo, comprising Dorota Barová and Andrea Konstankiewiczová, create music which is at once sensuous, haunting and playful. Their performance on Monday night, which was… Read more »

Listening Experience: The Leaf Library – Daylight Versions

From the moment I got Daylight Versions, I have been playing it over and over. I bought it on the strength of a single song I heard on The Leaf Library’s Bandcamp page. For once, my instincts were right. The band traffics in the type of atmospheric, motorik  pop pioneered by Neu! and popularised by Stereolab, though this London based quartet have far… Read more »

Going Blank – Sesquialbums

The double album epitomises rock’s excess, especially of the seventies. Comprised of lengthy songs, often packaged in an appropriately grand gate fold sleeve, the whole album demanded your attention – both audio and visual. With the return of vinyl’s popularity, double albums seem on the rise once more. Perhaps performers used to the largesse of the… Read more »

Listening Experience: Beach House – Thank Your Lucky Stars

When I wrote my last review, I was tempted to say that at least Beach House had released a single LP. After three double LPs, Depression Cherry’s restraint was somewhat refreshing from a band which showed a tendency to sprawl. While I didn’t find the last release nearly as engaging as other critics, the songs couldn’t be faulted… Read more »

Listening Experience: Beach House – Depression Cherry

Depression Cherry sounds like a Beach House album. All the elements which combine to form the band’s signature sound are present on this their fifth studio release. The keyboards lay a heavy sheet of noise, spindly shimmering guitar lines add ripples throughout the aural fabric, the vocals and drums hover in the mix to form… Read more »