Underworld & Iggy Pop – Teatime Dub Encounters
Their music last coincided on the original Trainspotting soundtrack. Iggy is not stranger to collaborations, having recently worked with everyone from Josh Homme to Songhoy Blues. This four-track mini-album mixes Karl Hyde and Rick Smith’s considerable electro-rave momentum with 71-year-old Iggy’s deep-voiced profundity, occasional tenderness, and no shortage of self-deprecating hedonistic humour. Out on Caroline International.
Underworld & Iggy Pop - Bells & Circles
Dusty Limits - Life & I
Away from the usual more mainstream stuff out there, the return of polished, witty songwriting from the highly accomplished Berlin-style cabaret singer and co-writer and pianist Michael Roulston with their third album. This is not merely gay sex jokes and turn of phrase a la Noel Coward and Cole Porter (although there’s plenty of this too), but a mixture of styles from jazz, to classical to musical theatre, and even a dash of country (Polar Bear), with lyrics that variously pertain to surreal misfortune (Life & I), dubious foreign policy (The Clash of Civilsations), cruel humour (Don’t Help The Aged), love, tragedy, baby-making and the environment. A very fine cocktail all round.
Dusty Limits and Michael Roulston – Life & I
The Internet – Hive Mind
Smooth, contemporary R&B urban work by the Los Angeles five-piece, in a funk-tinged, soulfully languid follow-up to their to breakthrough third album, Ego Death, and includes a skit by Tundercat. Out on Colombia Records
The Internet – Come Over
Various artists – This Is Trojan 50!
The summer has seen a few compilations, including PiL’s Public Image Limited is Rotten (Songs From The Heart), but this is probably the pick of them – and includes many gems from this hugely influential label on British music for the past five decades. The box set contains 200 tracks across three different formats, plus a 12-inch slipmat; a poster, a sew-on patch, a wooden 7-inch single adapter and an illustrated hardcover book detailing the label’s history. It all began when London-based Jamaican accountant Lee Gopthal, who ran ran specialist black music shops, had launched the record label Beat & Commercial to license imported music. Gopthal was also the landlord of Chris Blackwell’s Island Records and was in the same building, so decided the best way forward was to merge. This compilation is packed with gems, but here’s a sampler:
This is Trojan 50! - Sampler
Rex Orange County – Apricot Princess
Rex Orange County’s debut album was released digitally last year, but now sees its physical format. Surrey-born musician and singer Alex O’Connor shows promise and no shortage of maturity with 10 tracks of lovesick songwriting in a jazz piano and orchestral style, not far off a male echo of Amy Winehouse. Out on own Rex Orange County label.
Apricot Princess – Rex Orange County
Phantastic Ferniture – Phantastic Ferniture
Sydney’s Julia Jacklin, Elizabeth Hughes, Ryan K Brennan and Tom Stephens, among a wave of other fine Australians around at the moment, make their debut together mixing pop, folk and indie in something that, if you can get past the spelling aspect, is self-proclaimed as fun and uncomplicated, and that’s exactly what it is. Fuckin ’n’ Rollin is also a track that typifies this sunny release on Transgressive.
Phantastic Ferniture – Bad Timing
This week's selection is by The Landlord.
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