Tuesday, May 19, 2015

044/100 - "Illume" by Jacob Pavek

"Illume" by Jacob Pavek is, quite simply, one of the most beautiful pieces of modern classical music that I have had the pleasure to hear this year.

Pavek is an elegant, expressive pianist who turns every note he plays to gold. "Illume" is his Faberge egg: a luxurious gift to the world, timeless and untarnished;

"Illume" is, for most part, just Pavek and his piano, and for me that would be more than enough. However, at certain intervals he adds strings to complement his effervescent piano playing. This works a treat and points to even greater things in the future.

Why only 100 words?

Monday, May 18, 2015

043/100 - "The Joshua Tree" by U2

When I consider the music that has built the foundation for what my preferences are currently, I have to acknowledge the power and timeless majesty of U2’s “The Joshua Tree”. From the anthemic “Where The Streets Have No Name”  to the simply baffling “With Or Without You”, this is one extraordinary release.

The emphasis on sound from producers Brian Eno & Daniel Lanois is simply remarkable, I believe it has contributed to my love of ambient soundscapes and guitar-orientated epics. The broad, open, cinematic quality of the sound has ensured its enduring appeal. I consider it a timeless classic.

Why only 100 words?

Sunday, May 17, 2015

042/100 - Henryk Górecki’s third symphony for solo soprano and orchestra

Henryk Górecki’s third symphony for solo soprano and orchestra - his Symphony of Sorrowful Songs - is a minimalist masterpiece that I consider one of my favourite pieces of music across all genres.

The version I have (1992 Nonesuch Records) was conducted by David Zinman and features the London Sinfonietta and Dawn Upshaw as soloist. From the waves of strings to Upshaw’s vocals something truly magical is expressed, something that touches my soul.

Through periods of great upheaval and doubt Górecki’s Third has been a loyal companion. Its languid, sorrowful tone gives me the space I need and helps me feel alive.

Why only 100 words?

Saturday, May 16, 2015

041/100 - "Battle Born" by The Killers

I never really connected with The Killers until I heard their song "Be Still" (taken from their album "Battle Born") used in a mix from the chap behind Slow Dancing Society.

The song stood out to me with its lyrical content and sorrowful tone. I did the decent thing and bought the album, paying less than the shipping for a second hand copy of it from Amazon. I have really grown fond of the electro-rock presented and Brandon Flowers' vocals are very special.

"Be Still" catches me off-guard every time I hear it. It is an exceptional song.

Why only 100 words?

Friday, May 15, 2015

040/100 - "Vessels" by Wolf & Cub

"Vessels" by Wolf & Cub is a good few years old now but it still packs a wallop when it comes on.

"Vessels" - the band’s debut album from 2006 - is, at times, an intense, driving slab of psychedelic garage rock that pummels you into submission with its chunky bass, pounding percussion, super-fuzzy guitar, and "out there" vocals. It does have more delicate moments too.

Wolf & Cub are all I want from a modern psych band: their music is both wonderfully immersive and delightfully engaging, foot-tappingly so in fact. It is just so easy to get lost in their music.

Why only 100 words?

Thursday, May 14, 2015

039/100 - "Adrift" by Ebauche

"Adrift" by Ebauche is a simple, homely pleasure. A warm, comforting delight with multiple layers of ambient texture that will satiate even the most ravenous of musical consumers.

Featuring eleven distinct tracks of varying length (from near three minutes to just over fourteen) "Adrift" is nutritious, layered to perfection, and expertly balanced; feeding the listener's soul with waves of synths, delicate melodies, foraged found-sounds, and a pinch of percussive seasoning on "Gonglaing".

This is the music I love to come home to: the perfect combination of the familiar and the new, lovingly crafted and presented without pretension or artifice.

Why only 100 words?

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

038/100 - “memoirs: to dust”

Fletcher McDermott creates exceptional ambient sound-sculptures under the pseudonym of twincities. His recent release - “memoirs: to dust” - is a wonderfully textured recording that I found deeply moving.

I consider McDermott’s appreciation of sound to be remarkable. This is music to feel as much as to hear, a collection of the incidental and the accidental that he has combined with neo-classical instrumentation, drone-based ambience and a level of forward-thinking creativity to make something so utterly tactile that it leaves me speechless.

Why only 100 words?

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

037/100 - "Fortunate Fall" by Audrey Assad

Within the Christian tradition, we have largely abandoned expressions of Lament and of quiet reflection, and willingly become entrapped in happy-clappy, feel-good, self-centredness, self-medicating muzak. The "me me me" of modern worship music leaves me cold. It doesn't express how I feel, certainly not in the way Audrey Assad does on "Fortunate Fall", an album of powerful spirituality.

“Fortunate Fall" is an album I have taken great comfort in lately, Assad sings for all those whose experience is less than rosy. And for that I am grateful, glad to know there are others of similar mind.

Why only 100 words?

Monday, May 11, 2015

036/100 - "LP1" by FKTwigs

"LP1" by FKTwigs is an compelling proposition: super-sexy, soulful vocals that are underpinned by inventive, bleeding-edge electronics and sparse production ... a heady, intoxicating combination of the familiar, the new and the complex.

Topically, this is the sensual soundtrack to a late night rendezvous ... musically too: "LP1" is both intricate and delicate, making it the perfect aural accompaniment for those special moments when a degree of discretion is required.

Not for everyone and not for the easily offended, "LP1" is one for adventurous souls, people unafraid to express their passion, their devotion in the company of their significant one.

Why only 100 words?

Sunday, May 10, 2015

035/100 - “Death Leaves A Bright Trail” by TIDINGS

“Death Leaves A Bright Trail” by Edinburgh-based post-metallers TIDINGS is an exceptional album that has, quite simply, renewed my faith in instrumental rock music with their firm focus on melody and an almost obsessive dedication to dynamics.

Like all good post-rock experiences, theirs is music to lose yourself within ... expressive soundscapes of such eloquence that they capture both heart and mind almost instantaneously ... and of such length that you, the listener, are afforded sufficient time and space to immerse youself completely, a baptism of sound, so to speak.

This is why I adore the genre so much.


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