The thing that gives me the second most pleasure in life is scouring junk shops and charity shops and picking up cds I've never heard of and getting home to find out they contain really brilliant music that I would otherwise never have heard.
Recently there's been a particularly big crop of these in local shops obtained for as little as ten pence each, so I thought I'd mention the best of these just in case any of them appear in a bargain bin or jumble sale near you.
If you've got reports on records you've picked up and been pleased with please feel free to add them to the comments at the end of this posting.
Yndi Halda:Enjoy Eternal Bliss
Big Scary Monster Records
I'd put this gem in the Ambient Chill-Out section of a music library but I have to say it's the noisiest fucking chill-out record I've heard for a mighty long time! I have a promo of the BSM label release containing 4 titles but you may want to look out for a copy of the group released version with just 3 of the tracks which come in individually drawn/coloured sleeves - these will be collector's items should the band achieve the success that has been predicted for them by some of the pundits who've reviewed their output thus far. Well worth seeking out - I guess eBay might be the first port of call for this.
I've read reviews describing the above record as Post-Rock - an entirely meaningless, thoroughly useless label also recently ascribed,by a work colleague, to the following masterpiece which I picked up at a snip.
Where Angels Fall: Dies Irae
where angels fall website
I'd prefer to say it's a brilliant example of Gothic Metal tempered [or tampered ?] with Wagnerian orchestrations, then at least you will be able to form some idea of what bag it falls into. If you're a fan of Evanescence's 'Bring Me To Life' which must be the paradigm for this type of music, you'll surely love this. It's a 4-track EP of fairly bleak lyrical content formed as the title suggests into a rough-hewn mass for the beleaguered. It comes from the cold cold wastes of Norway, which does seem to be throwing up some pretty exciting sounds at present. I believe there's an album 'Illuminate' available which contains some of these tracks but by the look of the listing very much extends the themes contained herein.
When you see the artists & titles involved in this compilation from the following tracklist...
Bling-Blang - Arlo Guthrie
Bananaphone - Rhonda Vincent
Man Gave Names To All The Animals - Tim O'Brien
Old MacDonals Had A Farm - Rufus Thomas
Love Train - Keb' Mo'
Don't You Push Me Down - Taj Mahal
Red Red Robin - Rosie Flores
Bushel And A Peck - Dan Zanes And Friends
Bellybutton Song - Music For Ardvarks & Other Mammals
Michael Row The Boat Ashore - Eric Bibb
You Are My Sunshine - Daniel Littleton
I Will Be Your Friend - Guy Davis
...I think you'll agree this ain't just no record to leave the kids listening to while you go and do something else. It's top quality stuff for the whole family to enjoy together and .... yes.. singalong to. A great find.
In case the name's new to you, Putumayo is a world music label which pushes out large numbers of really brilliant albums of stuff from all over and covers all tastes. Strangely, I pick up lots of these in junk shops. Just what is wrong with people that they can bear to part with music like this????
Returning to the harder stuff, may i recommend..
PureReasonRevolution: The Bright Ambassadors of Morning
Name a genre..any genre... chances are you'll find it on this cd. From the bubblegumpsychedelia of Harpers Bizarre to the hard-dub of Sly & Robbie and all stops in between it's all here expertly handled and put together. Talk about 'All things Wild & Wonderful' this is an extended one-track single which will blow anyone's brains into the next dimension. Magnifico!!!!
Brighton's Own Skint Records are always good for something different and usually pretty exciting with it. So...
Indian Ropeman: Dog in the Piano [SKINT 36CD] came as no surprise to me at all, but it was damned good all the same. Jazzy dance music which even Fred and Ginger would get down to, silly words which conjure mad images that leave you wondering where you can get some of whatever he's on, this cd is so worthwhile I'd gladly pay full price for it!
Searching the Net shows me this disc is nearly 10 years old. It sounds as fresh as this morning's croissants.
Finally for now, bringing things bang right back upto date, let me tell you about..
Enter Shikari: Anything can Happen in the Next half Hour [Ambush Reality Records]
This is an excellent piece of "Post-Rock" probably - I'd say it's straight down the line noughties metal myself. I was naturally attracted to the title being an old Stingray officienado.
The image is of Enter Shikari's album 'Take to the Skies' which I presume the promo single I have comes from - clear info is difficult to track down on the Net, but I will be looking out for more material from this lot - they certainly hit the spot for me.
Hope you find the reviews useful. Happy hunting, friends.