It’s the middle of the year, which means it’s time for the music industry’s first round of 2012 listomania — and lo, the first “best of 2012 so far” roundups have already begun to crop up across the Internet. It’s been pleasing to see that some of our favorite albums have had plenty of love on such lists — we’re sure you don’t need us to tell you any more about the likes of Lower Dens, Chromatics, Liars, Death Grips, Leonard Cohen or, of course, Grimes, who may well actually rule the entire world by the end of this year. But there are others that we haven’t been seeing mentioned a whole lot, and thus we figured we’d repeat the feature we did at about this time last year, focusing on albums that everyone seems to have overlooked so far in 2012. We suggest you catch up ASAP, as December’s coming sooner than you think. … Read More
As you’ll no doubt have gathered from our Geoff Barrow interview earlier today, the Portishead producer has a new record out this week. After a decade of near-silence, Barrow’s suddenly become hugely prolific over the last five years or so, and he’s also proven pleasantly versatile. With another similarly multi-talented musical polymath also releasing a record this week — Damon Albarn, whose soundtrack album for opera Dr Dee dropped on Monday — we thought we’d have a look at some of our other favorite similarly versatile composers (not, we hasten to add, classical composers, an area in which we don’t pretend to have any sort of knowledge). … Read More
With possible apologies to the fashion and advertising industries, there’s surely no place in the world that’s as heavily laden with bullshit as the music industry. It’s therefore refreshing to get the opportunity to speak to someone like Geoff Barrow of Portishead, who’s both an outrageously talented and innovative producer, and perhaps the most refreshingly candid, down-to-earth and genuinely lovely interviewee you could ever hope to meet. Barrow’s new project Drokk is out this week — it’s an album of soundscapes inspired by 2000 AD, the dystopian British comic that gave the character of Judge Dredd to the world. We spoke to Barrow about Drokk, his various other projects, and when we might expect a new Portishead record. … Read More
We mentioned last month that May and June were both looking pretty fine as far as album releases go — and indeed, there’s a heap of goodness to choose from as far as interesting new music to listen to this month goes, so much so that it was a struggle to get our regular list of worthy upcoming albums down to its habitual count of ten. But still, we’ve picked out ten of the best after the jump — everything from Sigur Rós to K-Holes — and also rounded up all the other releases of note over the coming month. Let us know what’s on your list! … Read More
While Anika’s self-titled debut is ostensibly a solo album, it’s actually a collaborative effort initiated by Geoff Barrow of Portishead fame.
Barrow brought Anika, who spent her days as a political journalist, into the studio with his post-punk trio Beak>, banging out a nine-track album of dub-heavy ’60s and ’70s covers by artists ranging from Yoko Ono to Bob Dylan in less than two weeks.
As a singer, Anika bears a startling resemblance to Nico, both in delivery and tone, while the stripped-down quality of the recordings makes the album sound like an actual time capsule from 40 years ago. It’s a bass-drenched retro trip that spits in the face of modern production, embracing the rawest, most visceral elements of timeless sound. … Read More