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.

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Jon Spencer Blues Explosion: Freedom Tower (Southbound)

13 Jul 2015

About halfway through these breathless 35 minutes you'd be forgiven for needing a cup of tea and a lie-down. And you've also forgotten how this implosion of Beastie Boys, RL Burnside-style electric blues, Aerosmith with Run DMC and much more actually started. In a cover like a mixtape and subtitled “No Wave Dance Party 2015”, here the Spencer trio fire off 13 raucous... > Read more

Bellevue Baby

Richard Nunns and Mark Lockett: Redaction (Rattle)

13 Jul 2015

The background to this recording -- conceived as spontaneous improvisations between taonga puoro master Richard Nunns and percussionist Mark Lockett in conjunction with an audio-visual installation by photographer Veronica Hodgkinson -- is outlined in the booklet for this cutting edge album, which could perhaps find no other home in New Zealand than on the increasingly daring Rattle label.... > Read more

Sleeping Giant

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

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