Very good, actually: Shackleton zone for the most part, but "Regressor" and "Ghostly Hardware" recall also the meteorite-scarred lunar bleakness of Marc Acardipane's ambient gabba mode ("Jupiter Pulse" etc).
I've succumbed to the charms of "Dance Wiv Me". It's a textbook example of that popist precept/procedure, whereby “'importance' and 'relevance' is a scam and a trap" and if you can only "stop thinking about things in those terms, all of music and art becomes far more enjoyable" (Matthew Perpetua). Once you stop thinking about who Dizzee was, what he (and grime) represented--once you let all that go--he suddenly emerges as a top-class entertainer, and "Dance Wiv Me" is revealed as a supremely nifty tune. Actually my favourite bit of that song is not Dizzee's hard chat but the Calvin Harris part: Terry Hall without the scowl.
Much superior to that disappointingly milky, washed-out last album. Mystery with muscle.
Easily my favourite Sun Ra, something I originally taped off Stubbs's vinyl copy in the early Eighties. But wasn't this spacey-keyboards dominated record (recorded live in Milan in the late Seventies, something I never knew) already reissued last year, and as a double CD that time? I'm confused.
Different but holding: feathery songscapes woven largely out of human breath (Aguayo's multi-tracked, vaguely African vocals), the effect is like TV On the Radio both a cappella and in severe dub... or Furious Pig meets the Lyndsey Buckingham of "Trouble".
Superb and something of a coup: evenly divided between songs and pure electronic music, largely devoid of samples, this sounds nothing like Dead Air and yet it's still totally Mordant Music. Who else could turn lines like "Norfolk and Surrey/ Estuarial slurry" into a haunting neo-psychedelic ballad?
A fraction of the tapeography of Dolphins Into The Future, my new favourite group. Balearic noise/nu-New Age blissdrone: a smoothie of Boards of Canada and Seefeel , with a booster thimble of Songs of the Humpback Whale thrown in.
A fragment of the tapeography of my new second-favorite group, Ducktails. This, the latest (I think it's the latest, stuff is popping out constantly) is actually a vinyl LP, titled Landscapes and released on the Old English Spelling Bee label. Like most Ducktails, it's largely blissy guitar instrumentals, somewhere between Ariel Pink's more laidback,sundazed moments and a beach bum Galaxie 500, with here and there a glimmer of Durutti. But every so often there'll be a foray into electronic nu-New Age: here, the wondrous light-dance that is "Seagull's Flight"…. check out also, on the Backyard LP, the equally wondrous "Neptune City, NJ".
Ariel Pink has turned out to be one of the most influential underground musicians of the decade, hasn't he?