Miss Kittin - Batbox
Easily the best album from Caroline Herve since her collaborative album Kittenz and Thee Glitz with Felix Da Housecat back in 2002.
It's a pop album and it hits all the right spots: she's got that cool guitar/electro sound on a few tracks like Grace and Barefoot Tonight, you can pretty much sing along with every song, it's very well produced (by herself and Pascal Gabriel) and clocks in at just the perfect length of 52mins.
Top tracks include first single Kittin is High, Grace, Metalhead and the beautiful Wash N Dry. Listen at MySpace.
20 listens | 10/10
Foals - Antidote
With rave reviews aplenty in the music press, even in DJ Mag, I was getting quite excited about this debut release from the UK-based quintet for a while. Presented as an indie/guitar band with an electronic bent I reckoned they would be right up my street, but alas no. Fair enough, they use organs and brass instruments to compliment their spiky guitars; and it's all sumptuously produced, but that's it. There's truth in the phrase you can't polish a turd.
Ok, I admit, there's a reasonably pleasant, jagged urgency to some of their songs, like Cassius, which reminds me of cool eighties punk/funk outfit Gang Of Four, but generally speaking there's nothing here that The Rapture haven't already done much better. Pencil in the fact that the strong English-accented vocals are sometimes too close in style to Kele Okereke of Bloc Party, I found myself getting bored pretty quickly.
10 listens | 3/10
Mandyleigh Storm - Fire And Snow
Fire And Snow is the debut album from Australian-based powerhouse Mandyleigh Storm. Ten quality songs that glow with a lovely warm familiarity, soaked in 60's and 70's influences, yet almost impossible to pin down; timeless in other words.
With meaningful, real-life lyrics, the songs can be appreciated on many levels, but for me the tunes and musicianship topped with Mandyleigh's incredible voice delivered consistently throughout. I love the laid back groove of Go With It (surely an Olivia Newton-John influence there?) and I reckon the powerful Cry Hard wouldn't sound out of place on a Led Zeppelin album.
Listen at Mandyleigh's Sellaband page. It's got classic written all over it!
10 listens | 9/10
Chromatics - Night Drive
An unexpected purchase this. After repeatedly hearing their beautiful In The City track on DJ Dixon's Body Language mix I always knew I'd end up with some Chromatics in my collection, so when I saw this album recently in my local music shop I grabbed it quickly before anyone else did!
Chromatics aficionados will know In The City doesn't appear on the album but that doesn't matter, the rest of it's all great stuff. Highlights include the gorgeous Night Drive and the cool cover of Kate Bush's Running Up That Hill. And it's this 80's element that prevails throughout the Chromatics sound.
Chromatic MySpace for some example tunes.
7 listens | 8/10
Robert Hood - Fabric 39
Robert Hood is an old skool minimal Detroit techno dude. And his reputation as a hard-core minimalist certainly stands true with this Fabric mix. Having heard little of his own stuff I was keen to discover more about this underground legend, but I have to say, it's not that great; a bit repetitive and monotonous.
Apparently this mix is how Robert Hood sees minimal today. So, from start to finish the tempo stays constant; the gritty, lo-fi beats and general lack of melody or hook make it a challenging listen. I clung on to anything that sounded remotely like a tune but when that happend it soon got trashed with more hypnotic beats. Shame. Not my cup of tea.
6 listens | 5/10
Other stuff I've been listening too
Old albums I've been listening to recently include Justus Köhncke's Doppelleben, Booka Shade's Movements and Mlle Caro and Franck Garcia's amazing Pain Disappears (reviewed last time).