Various: Dark was the Night (4AD)

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Grizzly Bear: Deep Blue Sea
Various: Dark was the Night (4AD)

This excellent, diverse but coherent double-disc in the Red Hot series commemorates 20 years since the first Red Hot album and is another in the on-going project to raise funds for HIV and Aids awareness.

Overseen by Aaron and Bryce Dessner of The National, this collection naturally has a kind of alt.rock/alt.folk slant to it as they first hauled in friends and then those in their wider orbit. So here you get new material and some covers by Cat Power, Yo La Tengo, Iron and Wine, Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes) with Gillian Welch, Bon Iver, Arcade Fire, Kevin Drew, Feist with Ben Bibbard, Andrew Bird, My Brightest Diamond and many others who have appeared at Elsewhere.

Hard to pick standouts in this illustrious company but Antony is always worth hearing (here with Bryce Dessner on I Was Young When I Left Home which Dylan sang fortysomething years ago) , the Kronos Quartet with the title piece, Sharon Jones and Dap-Kings . . .

Nope, not going to play favourites.

Just to say this is an excellent, mostly quiet, sampler of some of the most interesting acts who are just off the radar for most (although not Elsewhere people, obviously) and it comes highly recommended. 

 

 

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Jo - Feb 9, 2009

Have googled for the full and fabulous line-up and see this CD has a release date of 16 February (worldwide) - do you have the low down on whether Marbecks are likely to stock? In fact, what's happened to the "Buy Now" links?

Bob - May 29, 2009

My record of the year so far. I've been a collector of the excellent and often ground breaking Red Hot series since its inception and this is up there with the best. Beautifully compiled and structured. The two CDs are cleverly contrasted and connected, one more "symphonic" and dark, the other more poppy and upbeat; yet they share a number or two. There are some outstanding tracks. And a Kiwi connection. Yo La Tengo's etherial contribution is an old Snapper number - Gentle Hours.

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