A round up of new releases.
Music From Another Dimension
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The Stones are back touring, with tickets costing a small mortgage, and their American tribute band are following suit. Kept current by Steven Tyler’s role as resident pantomime dame on the American Idol judging panel, the band drag themselves through a collection that steers just the right side of self-parody (avoid the songs with ‘love’ in the title and that is half the battle). Out Go The Lights recycles Walk This Way from a different angle, but Joe Perry is more inventive than the average rock guitarist, and Tyler revels in his role as desirable metal granddad, so the result is mindless infectious fun.
Download this: Street Jesus, Lover A Lot
The Lost Are Found
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As principal vocalist with Propaganda, Claudia Brücken was a 1980s electronic music icon, signed to the same label as Frankie Goes To Hollywood and (over) produced by Trevor Horn. The German singer’s clipped tones are still instantly recognisable.
This is a gentler and more subtle sound than the P Machinery of her heyday. The Mysteries Of Love wafts through imaginary cloisters like a lost monastic choir; The Road To Happiness could soundtrack a monochrome movie; but Whispering Pines and others try to hard to be European and esoteric. In contrast, the cover of David Bowie’s Everyone Says Hi is better suited to her detached style.
Download this: Everyone Says Hi, Crime
Calum Stewart and Lauren MacColl
Wooden Flute & Fiddle
Make Believe Records MBR3CD, £11.99
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This is a truly beautiful album, blending the sound of two of our most capable and accurate instrumentalists, who share a background in Moray and the Black Isle and a passion for their native traditional music. With minimalist, apposite accompaniment on harmonium and bouzouki, in unshowy, but exquisitely wrought arrangements they meld centuries-old tradition with newly created melodies in a defiantly Scottish synthesis.
Download this: The Westringing Set
Lost In A Lover’s Dream
Three Line Whip TLW009, £12.99
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This latest CD from the veteran British jazz vocalist finds him in the sympathetic company of Primoz Grasic (guitar) and Mario Mavrin (bass guitar), two old friends from Zagreb, a city in which he has regularly worked for 30 years. As ever, Fame occasionally uses his voice like a horn and shows his love of vocalese – but even vocalese-phobes will find much to enjoy as there is little in the way of vocal gymnastics; instead the two guitars provide an ideal setting for Fame to sing simply and gently, most memorably on such lovely ballads as Don’t Blame Me and I Can’t Get Started – both with rarely-sung verses – and a string of his own compositions.
Download this: Wide-Eyed And Legless, Don’t Blame Me
ECM 476 4735, £24.99
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This recording by Alexei Lubimov not only features both Debussy’s books of Preludes, 25 works in all, but also two delights in the form of transcriptions for two pianos, Debussy’s Trois Nocturnes and his well-known Prelude L’Apres-Midi d’Un Faune, with Lubimov partnered by Alexei Zuev. That partnership allows Lubimov to explore another dimension: the different tones of two near-period instruments, a 1913 Steinway and a 1925 Bechstein. Both are slightly late, given that all Debussy’s works here had been completed by 1912, but the different tonal qualities of the two instruments is evident. Beyond the historical exercise, Lubimov’s performance is sterling throughout.
Download this: Prelude L’Apres-Midi d’Un Faune