Sunday, 25 October 2009

STAFF PICKS

THE DRONES – HAVILAH

Australian punk-blues act the Drones clearly worship at the altar of fellow Aussies like the Birthday Party, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, the Triffids, and the Scientists, all of whom blazed the musical trail the Drones follow. But HAVILAH proves that the Drones are no mere slavish copycats: their take on this brand of dark, sludgy blues rock is awash in noisy desperation and the mortal dread in singer-guitarist Gareth Liddiard's heavy-lidded delivery. Powerful, cathartic, and exciting.

EFTERKLANG – PARADES

'Parades' is the second album by Denmark's Efterklang, the follow up to their underground hit of 2004, 'Tripper' on the fantastic Leaf label. Comprising 11 majestic, otherworldly pop songs, 'Parades' manages to be both magnificently ambitious and engagingly intimate; a breathtaking panorama of sound with few clear antecedents. music with no boundaries. spun from raw ingredients, carefully stitched and lovingly embroidered with fine detail. the recording itself took 18 intense months and involved more than 30 guest musicians, including a string quartet, a brass quintet and three separate choirs. unlike previous recordings, the band relied less on digital techniques and went for a palatial sound by recording in large rooms. Darren Allison (who worked on My Bloody Valentine's 'Loveless', and 'Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space' by Spiritualized) mixed the album on analogue equipment with Efterklang's Mads Brauer. 'Parades' features lavish artwork by Danish artists Hvass and Hannibal and Ufex. Like a day-glo Hieronymus Bosch, the design carries through the musical idea of minuscule detail on an epic scale.

EFTERKLANG AND THE DANISH NATIONAL CHAMBER ORCHESTRA - PERFORMING PARADES

'Performing Parades' sees Efterklang performing their spellbinding 2007 album 'Parades' in full, accompanied by the Danish National Chamber Orchestra. A show Mojo magazine enjoyed so much, they gave it a glowing full page live review. The concert was recorded in their hometown of Copenhagen in September 2008, and will be performed again at the Barbican in London on October 28th, this time with the Britten Sinfonia. Mojo described the Copenhagen concert as "uplifting, celebratory and gloriously ridiculous, like an alternate national anthem for a new northern utopia of untrammelled happiness".

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