aural delights #22 – blimps, eliases and other lovely things….

As the year rolls inexorably on I am rapidly running out of time to play you all the excellent music that has been sent my way. In this show I’ve managed to redress some of the balance by essentially only playing recent stuff – nothing is older than 2009 and most of it is either 2010 or 2011.

You will see elsewhere on this blog reviews of the new Blimp EP and details of how to download it for free so I will not repeat myself suffice to say I think it’s rather fine indeed. There are couple of tracks from the EP on this show.

Like fellow post-instrumental bands named after sports cars (Delorean and Trans Am, for instance), Maserati make galloping instrumentals that are atmospheric whilst also having  lots of energy. The band recorded Pyramid of the Sun over the course of 2009 and 2010, using vintage   Moog keyboards and Roland Space Echoes for an authentic space rock sound. A straight play, from start to end, the album gets very close to Krautrock in parts.

One album I have not had a chance to review is the excellent “Red Barked Tree” by Wire which proves a real return to form. It’s good to see that they can stlll produce great music.

Cloud Nothings is a band put together the music of lo-fi exponent Dylan Baldi  and the “Turning On” album picks up his earliest recordings. I love the way the album develops and the deliberate muddiness of the recording is compelling. In contrast the in your face retro sounds of Causa Sui hark back to the sounds of the late 60s.

I’ve reviewed the TG Elias album on this blog so, again, I will not repeat myself, however I will make the point that I believe Tom to be one of the best blues players round these parts – and I love the way he works a degree of humour into his work.

Breathe Owl Breathe is a Michigan-based trio that plays atmospheric, evocative acoustic-based music, fusing folk traditions with the adventurous approach of indie rock. Their latest album “Magic Central” balances the current trend of folk and electronica well with an emphasis on on folk.

Another unsigned band which approached me through our website is Liverpool based Secret Garden Gathering who are rather fine indeed. By the time the show finishes they will have finished a gig in Liverpool City Centre – so you missed them! Their song “2 Years” is a grower and potentially a classic. Witless buffoon that I am I said they were from Manchester on the show – sorry!!!

I have been very impressed by the three albums by Demdike Stare – they have an exciting sound and were founded in 2009 in Manchester by two well-known characters from the local  music scene. Miles Whittaker and Sean Canty. All three albums are stunning – but I would single out the “Liberation through hearing” which I feature on the show.

More retro with Dead Meadow who are channeling the spirits of Osborne, Iommi, Ward and Butler. Its like being in the Great Gibbo’s front room with Black Sabbath 1 on full blast – far too long ago to properly remember of course!

We go to Canada next  the latest album from Stars – who have been around since 2001 – the album is called “The Five Ghosts” and has had some bad reviews oddly as I find it to be rather impressive.

And to close and also reviewed elsewhere on here a special radio edit of the latest single from Dead Sea Apes called “Soy Dios” a marvellous piece of music!

To listen to the show follow the link below

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west yorkshire blues……

TG Elias – The Man in the Iron Cage – Smallokus Records

The second album from the incredibly tall and equally talented TG Elias proves to be as marvellous of his first release “God’s Own Land”. It’s more of the same with Tom delivering his unique music with effortless quality – however the stripped down production on this album reflects better his live show where his excellent guitar work and captivating voice come to the fore. I have remarked to him previously that whilst I loved “God’s Own Land” to bits, I much preferred his live performances where the real emotion in his music is exposed, on this album he has managed to capture the vibrant immediacy of his live work.

As usual the lyrics are superb – clever, funny and full of marvellous imagery. Musically the album centres around acoustic blues and northern folk, with a substantial amount of slide guitar and harp playing to add texture to the sound of the album. The general feel is relaxed and whilst Tom occasionally  channels the spirit of early Dylan in some of his delivery this is without doubt English music at its best. The breathy delivery, the shifts between the upper register and an earthy blues feel, make Tom a must listen artist. He has captured the best of musical genres he has brought together to deliver a fine album.

There are ten great tunes, it would be a little unfair to pick any one as the best but I must remark on the wonderfully tongue in cheek “Southbound Otley Highway” which manages to both ape traditionalism and add a degree of mischief in its tale of train journeys, too much Amaretto, and unrequited love. Throughout all of Tom’s songs there is a humorous element which manages to lift them above contemporaries – he is keen observer of human frailty and foibles which he captures in his words and delivery.

You can acquire the album here.

Highly recommended.