A Certain Ratio – The Graveyard And The Ballroom, To Each… & Force (reissues)

In the same way that there was more to ‘80s Rough Trade Records than just The Smiths, there was far more to Factory Records than the dominating narratives of The Happy Mondays, Joy Division and New Order.  Beneath the Factory umbrella also flourished a clutch of other talents who deserve greater recognition, especially as their influence becomes … [Read more...]

Can – The Singles

Whilst 2012’s bounteous previously unreleased rarities-laden boxset, The Lost Tapes, gave the impression of being the last word on Can archive-raiding projects, there have remained a few loose-ends for those needing everything in the band’s recorded oeuvre neatly in print.  Although the group’s BBC sessions and more top-quality live recordings … [Read more...]

Mick Harvey – Intoxicated Women

Although many had actively willed Mick Harvey to deliver more of his masterful Serge Gainsbourg songbook makeovers after 1995’s Intoxicated Man and 1997’s Pink Elephants proved to be so illuminating and enduring, perhaps few of us really expected another volume in the acclaimed series, let alone two, twenty or so years on.  Although the risk of … [Read more...]

The Afghan Whigs – Black Love (deluxe reissue)

Following on from The Afghan Whigs' commercially and critically crossing-over 1993 LP, Gentlemen, receiving the deserved and thoughtful deluxe treatment in late-2014, 1996’s Black Love now undergoes a twentieth anniversary edition.  Crudely speaking, if the former is a claustrophobic small-screen psychodrama about love turned beyond sour, then the … [Read more...]

Mick Harvey – Delirium Tremens

Even though erstwhile Bad Seed and semi-regular PJ Harvey collaborator Mick Harvey has been no slouch as a solo songwriter, it’s certainly contestable that the highest watermarks trading under his own name are still 1995’s Intoxicated Man and 1997’s Pink Elephants - two albums translating and reinterpreting material from the vast Serge Gainsbourg … [Read more...]

Barry Adamson – Moss Side Story & Oedipus Schmoedipus (vinyl reissues)

Having cut more than just his teeth as a trusted sideman in post-punk pioneers Magazine and within Nick Cave's Bad Seeds from the late-'70s into mid-'80s, the Manchester-born Barry Adamson certainly had a decent CV to expand upon when he began his solo journeying in the late-‘80s.  It’s a trajectory that has seen him carve out distinctive routes … [Read more...]

The Afghan Whigs – Gentlemen (deluxe reissue)

Although the jury is still out for some long-time fans on the merits of The Afghan Whigs’ official comeback album, Do To The Beast, released earlier this year, there is little doubt that the discography of the band’s previous lifespan has been in need of some deluxe reupholstering and reappraisal.  Whilst it might have made more sense to start with … [Read more...]

Land Observations – The Grand Tour

James Brooks’ first album as Land Observations - 2012’s Roman Roads IV – XI - was a quiet revelation with its inventive melding of minimalism and pyschogeography.  In approaching this sequel, Brooks has more challenges and expectations to meet in retaining the balmy intimacy of his layered solo electric guitar soundscapes whilst moving the one-man … [Read more...]

Irmin Schmidt – Villa Wunderbar (compilation)

With the Can archives now mined to within a tape canister’s width of the earth’s core thanks to last year’s The Lost Tapes and the newly-released vinyl boxset, time has come for some Can heads to start exploring individual band members’ solo and extracurricular works.  It probably makes sense then to start with keyboardist Irmin Schmidt’s wares … [Read more...]

Moderat – II

As Moderat, Apparat (Sascha Ring) and Modeselektor (Gernot Bronsert and Sebastian Szary) has seamlessly delivered a new entity that is able to live comfortably within its own skin. The latter’s rumbling bass and stacking of beats is a fitting partner for the former’s delicately-tailored melodies. And with each artist coming off what are arguably … [Read more...]