Thursday, 18 October 2018

Block 16 ‎– Morning Sun (2001)

Style: Deep House, Downtempo
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Nuphonic, P-Vine Records

01.   Find An Oasis (Featuring – Jhelisa)
02    Morning Sun (Featuring – Jon Lucien)
03.   Slow Hot Wind
04.   My Sunshine (Featuring – Bim Sherman)
05.   And Voodoo
06.   Electrokution
07.   Can't Stop (Featuring – Robert Owens)
08.   Sweet Bassoon
09.   Ain't Got No Time For No Jibber Jabber
10.   The Land Is You (Featuring – Jhelisa)
11.   Find An Oasis - String Reprise (Featuring – Jhelisa)
12.   Find An Oasis

Although this project cannot be faulted for it's musical intentions, it displays such an array of multiple musical personalities that in a blindfold test it might lead you to think you were hearing a compilation album. The nucleus of this act, DJ/producer Glen Gunner, keyboard player Pete Zivkovic and sound engineer Raj Gupta have lovingly pulled together their favourite influences, styles, and legendary vocalists (including Jon Lucien, Robert Owens and even the late Bim Sherman) into a kind of aural 'wish list'. 
That said, what they have achieved across these disparate styles is an impressive, organic sound. From the wonderfully lush string arrangements backing Jhelisa's voice on the oh so soulful 'Find An Oasis' (with a large nod of acknowledgement to 4 Hero's 1998 'Two Pages' album) to old school electro, techno and hip hop, to latin & jazz funk, dub reggae, house, 2-step soul and whatever else took their fancy. To some, such genre-hopping may suggest a lack of a focused direction whilst others may be relieved at the variety of music contained within this project. What can't be denied is the authority with which these musical nuggets have been forged, with obvious loving care and attention to detail. To these ears, the standout moments are the vocal tracks, especially Jon Luciens' contribution to the title track "Morning Sun" which could almost have been lifted directly from one of his classic (and highly collectable) 1970's albums. Block 16 may have some trouble presenting this music in a live context (it's never going to be easy getting samplers and string quartets to gel convincingly onstage) but that's probably not uppermost in their mind just yet. This release may confuse some with it's eclectic vision, but the sound within is of a rare quality and though Block 16 may not be thankful for this comment - it would make a great soundtrack to any summer party!
Greg Boraman  / BBC Review

Tetris ‎– Tetris (2001)

Style: Acid Jazz, DowntempoTracklist
Format: CD
Label: Pork Recordings, Only Records

1.   I've Said
2.   Bye-Bye Baby
3.   White Russian
4.   Morning Glory
5.   Mellow
6.   Two Hours
7.   Recordsman
8.   Crenalin
9.   Nocturne M.T.

Engineer, Computer – Michail "Dyadya Misha" Gural'nik
Performer – Dima Rubezhov, Vlad Lozinski, Pasha Hotin
Producer – Dima Rubezhov, Tetris

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Nona Hendryx & Gary Lucas ‎– The World Of Captain Beefheart (2017)

Style: Alternative Rock, Avantgarde, Blues Rock, Experimental
Format: CD
Label: Knitting Factory Records

01.   Sun Zoom Spark
02.   My Head Is My Only House Unless It Rains
03.   Sure 'Nuff 'N Yes
04.   I'm Glad
05.   The Smithsonian Institute Blues (Or The Big Dig)
06.   Her Eyes Are A Blue Million Miles
07.   Suction Prints
08.   Sugar 'N Spikes
09.   When Big Joan Sets Up
10.   Too Much Time
11.   When It Blows Its Stacks
12.   Tropical Hot Dog Night

Backing Vocals – Keith Fluitt, Kiki Hawkins
Drums – Richard Dworkin
Guitar – Gary Lucas
Keyboards – Jordan Shapiro
Songwriter – Don Van Vliet
Vocals – Nona Hendryx
Producer – Gary Lucas, Jesse Krakow

David Lewiston ‎– Kingdom Of The Sun (Peru's Inca Heritage) (1969)

Style: Folk, World, & Country
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Nonesuch

A1.   Adios, Pueblo De Ayacucho
A2.   Mauca Zapotoyke
A3.   Carrito Pasajerito
A4.   Panpipe Ensemble
A5.   Wachaca
A6.   Carnaval Ayacuchano
B1.   Toccto Pachape
B2.   Flute Solo From Apurimac
B3.   Yawlina
B4.   Suqullay Yamanyawy
B5.   Pandillero
B6.   Torallay Toro
B7.   Procession At Pisac

Coordinator – Teresa Sterne
Mastered By – Bob Ludwig
Music By – Peruvian Folk Music
Recorded By, Photography By, Liner Notes – David Lewiston

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

The Limiñanas ‎– Shadow People (2018)

Style: Experimental, Psychedelic Rock, Garage Rock
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Because Music

01.   Ouverture
02.   Le Premier Jour
03.   Istanbul Is Sleepy
04.   Shadow People
05.   Dimanche
06.   The Gift
07.   Motorizzati Marie
08.   Pink Flamingos
09.   Trois Bancs
10.   De La Part Des Copains

Electric Guitar, Mellotron – Anton Newcombe
Drums, Percussion – Marie Limiñana
Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Organ (Farfisa), Bass, Stylophone, Keyboards (Micro Korg), Bass (Morocan Bass), Bouzouki – Lionel Limiñana
Producer – Anton Newcombe, Lionel Limiñana

Following the swanky cool of the E.P Istanbul is Sleepy by a few months, the new album from French veterans of 60s garage beat and psychedelia, The Limiñanas, peddles a similar groove-enriched strain of psych-rock that sounds contemporary, while cribbing the best of their influences. 
Musical couch-surfer, Anton Newcombe has been collaborating with the band in recent times. This has had the effect of synthesising the relative strengths of each of the artists. A coterie of friends indeed. Also, since Malamore, The Limiñanas have shifted a little more into the trance aspects of psych-pop, whilst sheltering behind vocals inspired by the detached cool of Serge Gainsbourg, the great French master of pop erotica. The voice on tracks such as ‘Dimanche’ has a rhythmic drive and poetic meter. It doesn’t even matter what the [mostly] French lyrics reveal because the voice, as an instrument, caresses the mood so effortlessly. It matters not from where the breeze emanates. The guitars layer the sound with looping melodica and percussion, a gently assuaging sound that manages to incorporate the sound of police sirens on ‘De La Part Des Copains’, as if this is no longer an intrusion but shares a comforting affinity with urban life. The mood is nonchalant, a kind of ambulatory effervescence that doesn’t share the darkness of much of the psychedelic oeuvre. 
The ‘Ouverture’ sets the pace, a kind of Mozartian scene setting for much of what is to follow, themes that will recur – guitars, sitars, tambourines, distant broadcasts – a panoply of 60s garage sound updated with great enthusiasm for the easy swagger. ‘Le Premier Jour’ is sexy as hell, and surely is the godchild of later era Serge. Whatever the fuck it translates to, the vocals are the sensorial equivalent of a tropical massage. Beautiful stuff. ‘Istanbul is Sleepy’ males a re-appearance from the EP of 2017, and why not, it’s psych-pop masterwork. 
‘Shadow People’ is predominantly the female vocal of Guest, Emmanuelle Seigner which is a simple tune executed beyond its station. Deceptively engaging. ‘Trios Bancs’ is quite possibly the most accomplished track, setting a trance much like Moon Duo without the vortex of freaky guitar. Here the Interplay between the Limiñanas is so hot, it’s little wonder the album cover is drenched in sunburnt orange.
Rob Taylor  / Soundblab

The Limiñanas ‎– Malamore (2016)

Style: Psychedelic Rock, Garage Rock, Pop Rock
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Because Music

01.   Athen I.A
02.   El Beach
03.   Prisunic
04.   Garden Of Love
05.   Malamore
06.   El Sordo
07.   Dahlia Rouge
08.   The Dead Are Walking
09.   Kostas
10.   Zippo
11.   Paradise Now
12.   The Train Creep A-Loopin

Acoustic Guitar – Lionel Limiñana
Bass – Lionel Limiñana
Bass – Peter Hook
Bouzouki – Laurent Sales
Drums – Marie Limiñana
Drums – Franck Mengin
Guitar – Lionel Limiñana
Guitar – Nicolas Delseny
Instruments – Lionel Limiñana
Lead Guitar – Ivan Telefunken
Lead Vocals – Guillaume Picard, Lionel Limiñan
Noises – Laurent Sales
Percussion – Marie Limiñana
Piano – Lionel Limiñana
Piano, Organ – Pascal Comelade
Tambourine – Marie Limiñana
Vocals – Guillaume Picard, Lionel Limiñana, Marie Limiñana, Nika Leeflang, Sarah McCoy
Backing Vocals – Guillaume Picard, Marie Limiñana  Nika Leeflang, Peter Hook

The decision of Lionel and Marie Limiñana to quit the rat race and go full time doing the thing they love seems to be paying dividends. The Perpignan-based pair are now on their fourth album, picked up by Because Music no less, and featuring a star turn from Peter Hook this time around (but don't hold that against them.) 
There's nothing particularly new on Malamore that you couldn't find on their previous records, but the artisan refinement of the songs and the tenebrous, almost narcotic production takes this offering into a different stratosphere from what's come before; the elevated world they've created is a place where one can sit back and imbibe dizzying sedatives that float freely in the air, surrounded by the coolest vintage swag you can imagine. It's a delicately constructed world of beautiful artifice, and despite the ease with which it seems to have been formed, it's actually not as easy as it looks (for starters you suspect the songs themselves benefit from a systematic simplification that may have required some ruthlessness behind the scenes). 
Indeed the influences are achingly cool still, no surprise there (the album itself is named after a 1982 Eriprando Visconti erotic Italian movie), though having cool influences doesn't necessary equate to a record itself having anything like the same kind of cache (more often than not it means it turns out to be the exact opposite - ie. tryhard and ersatz - like the aural equivalent of that godawful HBO series, Vinyl). No such troubles here thankfully, as the Limiñanas incorporate sixties punk and obscure spectres of the yé-yé scene, cult cinematic soundtracks and cool Westerns, Italian pop and Nouvelle Vague, Spector and Gainsbourg (it's undeniable that the track 'Zippo' has a strong resemblance to the revered dead Frenchman), Nuggets compilations, early Stooges and early Suicide, and the inevitable debts to the Velvet Underground and pre-Beatles Girl Groups that are synonymous with so much latterday dark pop exploration. It's the kind of vintage homage that Bobby Gillespie probably thinks his music sounds like, or at least wishes it sounded like. 
Opener 'Athen I.A' acts as a brief aper itif to whet the whistle, a minute-only instrumental trailer with a strong Duane Eddy-style guitar lick. The next couple of tracks - 'El Beach' and 'Prisunic' - feature Lionel parlez-ing over the top as the music intensifies, with the ever-present tambourine rattling eventually up to 11. The latter, much like the remarkably catchy title track, feature guitar lines so simple and immediate that you're surprised you've never heard them before (and a part of you wonders if you have).
On 'Garden Of Love', featuring the guest appearance of the aforementioned Hook, Marie takes over vocal duty, whispering soporifically as the trademark peripatetic bassline executed some way up the neck sits deliciously atop a drifting cloud of a song, a dreamy, beautifully accomplished pop morceau. Hook's inclusion is surprisingly cohesive, while Marie - who couldn't speak a word of English when I interviewed the band two years ago - has clearly been taking lessons; her clipped, seductive vocal, sounds strangely reminiscent of Charlotte Gainsbourg.     
'El Sordo' is another brief instrumental with a Western feel, and 'Paradise now' and carries some of the vibe that made the soundtrack to Midnight Cowboy so great, while 'Dahlia Rouge' kicks off with the roar of a motorcycle and features an arabesque sitar line weaving throughout. Simplistic, often pared-down, and at times breathtakingly gorgeous, Malamore hitherto is their poppiest offering to date, and it might just be their chef d'oeuvre too. Certainly there's not a track within that isn't totally arresting in isolation, a rare achievement. Malamore is an album full of standouts, and a step in the direction of greatness.   
Jeremy Allen / The Quietus

Pascal Comelade + Les Limiñanas‎– Traité De Guitarres Triolectiques (À L'usage Des Portugaises Ensablées) (2015)

Style: Garage Rock, Experimental
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Trouble In Mind, Because Music

01.   Stella Star
02.   Carnival Of Souls
03.   The Nothing-Twist
04.   (They Call Me) Black Sabatta
05.   You're Never Alone With A Schizo
06.   Why Are We Sleeping?
07.   El Vici Birra-Crucis
08.   Green Fuz
09.   T.B. Jerk +++
10.   Wunderbar
11.   A Wall Of Perrukes
12.   One Of Us, One Of Us, One Of Us...
13.   Dick Dale N'était Pas De Bompas
14.   Ramblin' Rose
15.   Yesterday Man
16.   I'm Dead

Drums, Percussion, Voice – Marie Limiñana
Guitar, Bass, Voice, Instruments – Lionel Limiñana
Lead Guitar – Ivan Telefunken, Nicolas Delseny
Piano, Organ, Guitar Plastic, Instruments – Pascal Comelade
Producer – P. Comelade, Les Limiñanas
Mixed By – Raph Dumas
Recorded By – L. Limiñana

The Limiñanas ‎– Costa Blanca (2013)

Style: Garage Rock, Psychedelic Rock
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Trouble In Mind

01.  Je Me Souviens Comme Si J’y étais
02.   My Black Sabbath
03.   Alicante
04.   Votre Coté Yéyé M’emmerde
05.   Cold Was The Ground
06.   I Miei Occhi Sono I Tuoi Occhi
07.   La Mercedes De Couleur Gris Métallisé
08.   Rosas
09.   Barrio Chino
10.   BB
11.   La Mélancolie
12.   La Mediterranée
13.   Liverpool

Bass, Guitar, Organ, Banjo, Bouzouki, Percussion – Lionel Limiñana
Drums, Percussion – Marie Limiñana
Lacquer Cut By – Jason Ward
Mastered By – Luis Mazzoni
Producer – The Limiñanas
Recorded By – Lionel Limiñana

French pop in its purest form hasn't really got its groove back since the 60s, but, wisely, it's this very era that this Perpignan duo mine, marrying fuzzed-out psychedelia and agreeably rambling rock with the pop sweetness of that decade's chansons. The ghost of Gainsbourg is felt most keenly in Votre côté yéyé m'emmerde, a softly spoken-word litany of icons and celebrities. Not hero worship, though, but an eye roll at the cute-ification of the past; its title translates to something like "your yé-yé view annoys me", or, more literally, "enshittens me". It is, in other words, a perfectly Gallic "bof" of a pop song.
Hermione Hoby / The Guardian

The Limiñanas ‎– Crystal Anis (2012)

Style: Garage Rock
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: HoZac Records, Because Music

01.   Salvation
02.   Longanisse
03.   AF3458
04.   Kinam Baby
05.   Hospital Boogie
06.   Bad Lady Goes To Jail
07.   Crystal Anis
08.   Belmondo
09.   Betty And Johnny
10.   Une Ballade Pour Clive
11.   I'm Dead (Instrumental)

Backing Vocals – Giom, Marie, Nadège
Drums, Vocals – Limiñana Marie
Guitar, Bass, Organ, Ukulele, Percussion – Limiñana Lionel
Producer – The Limiñanas
Recorded By – Lionel Limiñana
Recorded By (Drums And Vocals) – Giom Picard

Crystal Anis is the latest LP from the French underground band The Limiñanas. This hook laden dreamy fuzz felt pop owes a big nod to the Velvet Underground which Lio and Marie Limiñana make no secret of. Lush garage rock and folk-pop with plenty of tambourine, jangly guitars and hooks to keep you off your chair, you can’t go wrong. 
The music has a simplicity that works on many levels, from looping ukulele openings (AF3458) to the great Velvet Underground sounding tribute on Kinam Baby. Sultry female vocals call to mind the likes of Mazzy Starr and Nico which really go to work on the breathy Hospital Boogie. Male vocals also feature on the likes of Bad Lady Goes to Jail whose combined tambourine percussion calling to mind the early Stones whilst the title track shines with fuzzy guitars and organ and Serge Gainsbourg inspired male / female spoken parts. 
This has got to be one of the most overlooked albums of 2012, it’s brilliantly constructed and executed…scatter the cushions on the floor and get the liquid light show ready.
Alex Gallacher  / Folk Radio

The Limiñanas ‎– The Limiñanas (2010)

Style: Lounge, Garage Rock, Chanson
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Trouble In Mind

01.   The Darkside
02.   Down Underground
03.   Je Ne Suis Pas Très Drogue
04.   Funeral Baby
05.   Chocolate In My Milk
06.   Tigre Du Bengale (Instr.)
07.   Mountain
08.   Je Suis Une Go-Go Girl
09.   Berçeuse Pour Clive
10.   Tears
11.   Tigre Du Bengale
12.   Got Nothin' To Say

Drums, Percussion – Marie Limiñana
Guitar, Bass, Sitar, Melodica, Piano, Organ, Percussion – Lionel Limiñana
Mastered By – Luis Mazzoni
Mixed By – Raph Dumas
Producer – The Limiñanas
Written-By – L. Limiñana