Before I post my reviews I'll say a few things about the tracks on the discs I sent out:
Tracer AMC In Rivers - Yep I stll love Tracer,one of the best bands to come out of NI for years. I saw them play a gig in the Catalys Arts Centre in Belfast, it was tiny and during the day. It was rather special to be sitting with only twenty other people, sitting on a windowsill, looking out over the city towards the hills to the west, when they played this tune.
Phillip Glass The Illusionist - As I've said I really dig soundtracks, especially ones with wonderfully powerful dark opening sequences like this. I think PG will go down along with other modern composers such as Copeland and Sibelius in history.
And So I Watch You From Afar And The Voiceless
Currently my favourite local band. They're going to be quite big I think. This is their Magnus Opus.
Arlo Guthrie Gabriel's Mother's Hiway Ballad #16 Blues
Ah yes, I wanted to bring things down a notch and what better way than with this. Just some real nice Americana.
Joanna Newsom Swansea
I saw her in late April at All Tomorrow's Parties, she's a pixie-like as you expect from her voice. She's about 4'8" and wears a big white flowing dress, while playing the harp. To my mind if you're going to write alt-folk, you need to stand out, and she certainly does.
Low Silver Rider
"Sometimes your voice is not enough."
Nearly brings me to tears. The Album is The Great Destroyer, this was the highlight track.
Biff Rose Molly
My dad got me into Biff Rose, he made a bunch of albums in the 70s that sounded like they were recorded in the Twenties. This is another sad one, it was between this and Just Like a Man which is almost too sad to put on a swap CD.
Mogwai Stop Coming To My House
I really like the electronic beeps that you can hear over the top of the piano at the start and end. I think Mogwai had a new album out recently...
From the "Drums and Guns" album, Low take a different tack on this album and use lots of looping pedals and some sound modules to go a bit more high-tech while keeping the simple vocal harmonies and melodies that we love.
Mogwai Close Encounters
Again I love the intro - a simple melody that sounds awesome on the elecric piano. We saw Mogwai at Somerset House in London in the summer and this was one of the highlights for me, to hear it live.
John Lennon Jealous Guy
This isn't the kind of track I usually put on a swap CD but I felt it worked. He shares my initials and JL was something of a hero for me when I was young. You can't fail to be moved by this track.
Dave Clarke Adagio for M3
I've put Mr.Clarke's wild yet solid techno on some other discs, this was some of his earliest work from the mid 90s. Like having a requiem in space...
Clannad Coínleach Glas An Fhómhair
Again, not something I'd usually add to the disc but I'm exploring folk much more since I moved back to NI. I shall include some more contemporary and traditional stuff on the next disc methinks.
Seefeel Time To Find Me (Come Inside)
This track to me is the music that would be played in the waiting room of the future, complete with a giant 3D countdown timer that says "Please Wait..."
You know how much I dig Orbital. This is perfect ambinet music for me, building slowly, then surprising you with the strings and the tenor voice. "aaaaAAAAAh" - I heard it in bed as a teenager one night and had to go and find out what it was
I'll have to comment on the second disc later, I'm needed elsewhere...
Please replace the handset, and try again.