Review: Following a three-year hiatus, German trio Daniel Brandt, Jan Brauer and Paul Frick return with their fourth full-length. Unlike some of their earlier sets, which mined minimal techno for inspiration, Joy is a much more eccentric affair, variously drawing influence from krautrock, experimental electronica, lo-fi rock, moody synth-pop, and grisly, post-punk shapes. It's highly stylish, as you'd expect - their vocal delivery is somewhere between David Byrne and Bauhaus - with the looseness and energy of their compositions ensuring an attractive immediacy. It takes a few listens to soak it all up, but undoubtedly grows on your with each successive play.
Review: Running through their third record, there's a feeling that Django Django have wildly eclectic tastes, and with infectious and nervous excitement want to create music that patches it all together, dodging pigeonholes and subverting their listener's expectations in the process. Stark changes in direction happen from track to track, and often within the songs themselves: take for example the tone set with powerhouse synth-pop opener 'Marble Skies', which is immediately turned on its head with second track 'Surface To Air', a brash and addictive dancehall jam, by the fourth track 'Tic Tac Toe' they're fully immersed in euphoric indie-psych. These changes in gear happen throughout the album, and it's to the band's credit that the individual songs and the album as a whole, bind together so well. This risk-taking is what makes Marble Skies a highly accomplished and ambitious album, but perhaps more importantly, their most fun album so far.
Review: Charlotte Gainsbourg, daughter of Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin, worked tirelessly on 'Rest' for seven years before it was ready for release. The effect of this time spent in gestation is palpable, giving a sense of her meditative and contemplative process of songwriting. 'Rest' draws from a broad palette of sounds such as alt-rock and coldwave, with more upbeat moments of disco and pop. 'Rest' is an intensely personal album with emotional foundations in grief and family ties, and its deft structure and writing shows off Gainsbourg's ability to use light and shade - here as melancholy and hope - to powerful effect.
Review: What a decade 1970-1980 was for French music! Featuring well-known Gaelic cosmic pioneers such as Serge Gainsbourg and Jean Michel Jarre and slightly less prolific space cadets such as The Atomic Crocus and Quartz, this is an immaculate document that celebrates and applauds some of the most influential music to have emerged in Europe during the 70s. Listen to tracks such as Space's "Magic Fly" or Pierre Bachelet's "Motel Show" and you'll hear three decades of disco and synth music that followed. Immaculately compiled and presented, this is one history lesson everyone would benefit from digesting. Bon Voyage!