Favourite Five Recently Reviewed CDs

Five of the best albums from the recent postings at New Music From Elsewhere. Music too good to let slide into the archives. The Elsewhere place if you are looking for a quick fix of great and interesting albums.

Subscribe to my newsletter for weekly updates.

Reuben Bradley: Cthulhu Rising (Rattle Jazz)

29 Jun 2015

First in passing, a comment about the consistency of packaging of CDs on the Rattle and Rattle Jazz labels: they are excellent and make the CD into an art object. That is enhanced especially on classical albums associated with the Wallace Art Trust where a work from that collection is included in the cover with a short biographical note about the artist. AS with ECM albums, there is... > Read more

In His House at R'lyeh

Algiers: Algiers (Matador)

29 Jun 2015

Out of the torn traditions of America's gospel'n'blues Deep South but shot through with post-punk fury, this trio take a hammer to politics, religion and race but couch it in blood-stirring music. Here are terrifying soundscapes (Claudette), desperate spooked-out soul driven by guitar grit and throbbing bass (And When You Fall, But She Was Not Flying), worldweary aching (Games) and... > Read more

Claudette

Ahmed Mukhtar: Babylonian Fingers (Arc Music)

26 Jun 2015    1

Interesting that the actual album title Babylonian Fingers takes considerable second place to the banner "Music from Iraq". In truth though, that geographical specificity might actually work better as hook, given how little most people know about the sounds from that region . . . other than maybe what they've heard in movies while the bombs go off and another group of American... > Read more

Alleys of the Old City

Bassekou Kouyate and Ngoni Ba: Ba Power (Glitterbeat)

22 Jun 2015

Because, in the Bambara language of Mali, the word “ba” means great or strong, some have suggested the title of this swirling, rock-influenced album alludes to the Stooges' Raw Power. Maybe that's not such a stretch because here Kouyate – briefly signed to a SubPop spin-off label – plugs in his ngoni (a small, simple lute), hooks up wah-wah and distortion... > Read more

Siran Fa

Shilpa Ray: Last Year's Savage (Northern Spy/Southbound)

25 May 2015

Perhaps because of her formative experiences as an outsider – her strict Indian immigrant parents forbade Western music and so she was secretly a Goth-punk in New Jersey – and musical influences from Patti Smith, classic rhythm and blues-pop and the drone sound of harmonium (not too far from Velvet Underground), the extraordinary Shilpa Ray manages to sit between accessible if... > Read more

On Broadway