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Album Reviews

tuxedo

Tuxedo ‘Tuxedo’ – Album Review

Stones Throw Records (2015)

An unlikely alliance between Grammy-nominated neo-soul crooner Mayer Hawthorne and Seattle boom-bap producer Jake One (50 Cent, G-Unit), the aptly-named Tuxedo couldn’t have timed the retro disco-funk of their self-titled debut album any better. Arriving just weeks after Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars propelled the sounds of The Gap Band, Steve Arrington and The Whispers back into the charts, these twelve unashamedly old-school tunes find the duo mining a virtually […]


purity ring another eternity

Purity Ring ‘another eternity’ – Album Review

4AD (2015)

Having been invited to remix Lady Gaga and collaborate with Detroit rapper Danny Brown since arriving on the scene with their bewitching brand of witch house back in 2012, Purity Ring, aka Canadian duo Megan James and Corin Roddick, now tiptoe further towards the mainstream with their second album, another eternity. Packed with warped synths, ominous bass-lines and spacious processed beats, these ten textured soundscapes might not be light years […]


jon hopkins late night tales

Jon Hopkins ‘Late Night Tales’ – Album Review

Late Night Tales (2015)

Following the success of his Mercury Prize-nominated breakthrough Immunity, along with his production work on Coldplay’s last record, ambient techno maestro Jon Hopkins continues to raise his profile by becoming the latest contributor to the most interesting compilation series on the market, Late Night Tales. Not that there’s anything particularly commercial about his choice of 21 tracks, with only a few names (Sigur Rós frontman Jónsi, indie shoegazers School of […]


skrillex and diplo present jack u

‘Skrillex & Diplo Present Jack Ü’ – Album Review

Atlantic (2015)

Dropped without any notice during their mammoth 24-hour Beatport DJ set last week, Skrillex & Diplo Present Jack Ü sees two kings of the EDM scene join forces for a surprise full-length LP which, unsurprisingly, isn’t exactly short on epic bass drops. The fratboy-friendly supergroup occasionally show signs that they’ve broadened their horizons since they first shared a stage together at the Mad Decent Block Party back in 2013. “To […]


dan deacon glass riffer

Dan Deacon ‘Gliss Riffer’ – Album Review

Domino (2015)

After addressing the state of the nation on 2012’s electro-orchestral America, Baltimore oddball Dan Deacon sets his sights a little lower on Gliss Riffer, a ‘back-to-basics’ affair in which he simply aims to prove that he can relax. Largely recorded on the road during last year’s support slot on Arcade Fire’s tour, these eight soundscapes may be a little less ambitious in scope, but they’re hardly the minimalistic and calming […]


public service broadcasting race for space

Public Service Broadcasting ‘The Race For Space’ – Album Review

Test Card Recordings (2015)

As much a documentary as a conventional studio album, The Race For Space sees geeky London duo J. Willgoose, Esq. and Wrigglesworth, aka Public Service Broadcasting, switch their attention to the history of space travel on a second remarkable blend of krautrock, ambient electronica and archive audio footage. Jumping ahead several decades from 2013’s Inform-Educate-Entertain, which borrowed heavily from the public information films of the pre-war era, these nine tracks […]


rone creatures

Rone ‘Creatures’ – Album Review

Having previously lent his IDM genius to records by The National (Trouble Will Find Me) and Etienne Daho (“En Surface”), Parisian producer Erwan Castex, aka Rone, now asks them to return the favor on his surprisingly guest-heavy third album, Creatures. It’s fair to say that the follow-up to 2012’s Tohu Bohu doesn’t exactly utilise their talents in the most effective manner. Bryce Dessner, the frontman of the Atlanta indie-rockers, is […]


bjork vulnicura

Björk ‘Vulnicura’ – Album Review

One Little Indian (2015)

Originally scheduled to coincide with her exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in March, the release of Björk’s ninth studio effort, Vulnicura, was brought forward by two months after the Icelandic star fell victim to the dreaded online leak. Considering the follow-up to 2011’s multimedia project Biophilia is a self-described “complete heartbreak album” inspired by the breakdown of her relationship with artist Matthew Barney, such behind-the-scenes turbulence seems rather […]


hardwell united we are

Hardwell ‘United We Are’ – Album Review

Revealed (2015)

With a full-length documentary film, five compilations and a sell-out tour under his belt, not to mention his two consecutive placings at the top of DJ Mag’s prestigious Top 100 poll, Dutchman Hardwell had already established his superstar status way before he announced his debut album, United We Are. But arriving six years after his breakthrough mash-up of Robin S’ “Show Me Love” and Steve Angello & Laidback Luke’s “Be,” […]


chicane the sum of its parts

Chicane ‘The Sum Of Its Parts’ – Album Review

Armada Music (2015)

Having produced some of the most enduring trance anthems in the genre’s history during the first chapter of his career, veteran producer Nick Bracegirdle, aka Chicane, has been coasting as of late, and sadly, his sixth studio effort, The Sum of its Parts, adds further weight to the theory that his best days are behind him. The follow-up to 2012’s Thousand Mile Stare offers a few flashes of the brilliance […]


above & beyond we are all we need

Above & Beyond ‘We Are All We Need’ – Album Review

Anjunabeats (2015)

Following their attempt to take trance music upmarket with last year’s Acoustic (an unplugged collaboration with a 24-piece orchestra recorded at Los Angeles’ Greek Theatre), trance legends Jono Grant, Tony McGuinness and Paavo Siljamaki, aka Above and Beyond, return to more familiar territory for their fourth studio effort, We Are All We Need. Packed with skyscraping choruses, uplifting synth hooks and Balearic beats, the follow-up to Acoustic is unlikely to […]


bastille vs other peoples heartache III

Bastille ‘VS: Other People’s Heartache Part III’ – Album Review

Universal (2014)

Wrapping up an incredible year in which they won Best Breakthrough at the BRIT Awards, conquered America with the hit single “Pompeii,” and watches sales of their debut album soar past the two million mark, London quartet Bastille return to their mixtape series with VS: Other People’s Heartache Part III. Unlike their 2012 first two installments, which mashed up classics from Snap & Corona, and TLC and The xx, and […]


andy stott faith in strangers

Andy Stott ‘Faith In Strangers’ – Album Review

Modern Love (2014)

Nine months after dropping his long-awaited collaborative effort with Miles Whittaker, Manchester dub techno producer Andy Stott returns to the solo fold with another doom-laden affair you wouldn’t want to meet down a dark alley, Faith In Strangers. Its nine epic soundscapes may largely abandon the brutal bass/beats approach that defined Millie & Andrea’s Drop The Vowels earlier this year, but packed with eerie ghostly melodies, foreboding synth drones and […]


david guetta listen

David Guetta ‘Listen’ – Album Review

Parlophone (2014)

As the biggest superstar to emerge from the second generation of superstar DJs, it’s little surprise to discover that Frenchman David Guetta has once again managed to attract another A-list line-up for his sixth studio effort, Listen. But although the follow-up to 2011 blockbuster Nothing But The Beat features a couple of the usual suspects – Nicki Minaj on the chaotic electro-hop of “Hey Mama,” and Sia on the soaring […]


azealia banks broke with expensive taste

Azealia Banks ‘Broke With Expensive Taste’ – Album Review

Azealia Banks / Prospect Park (2014)

Azealia Banks is one odd duck.  But the eccentric rapper is so unpredictably out the box that her debut album (finally!), Broke with Expensive Taste, is a breath of incredibly fresh air. After all the tweeter beefs Azealia launched in her career (Angel Haze, T.I.), fans wondered if she could even put out an album! But in the tradition of Beyoncé, Azealia surprise-released the album online without promotion (on her […]


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