Review: If you're yet to come across Helen Money then now is probably a very good time to rectify that. A background in classical music - and how seriously aficionados of the canon take her - suggests unarguable talent, and her work is proof. Reverence in alternative circles shows how she has never stuck to the path well-trodden, and instead forges ahead on her own terms in pretty much every outing. This is no exception. A maestro on the cello, which leads the charge on this mystifying, brooding and exceptionally cinematic effort, it's incredible just how versatile she makes the instrument sound when you consider your stereotypical thoughts on how it is usually played. Plucked, bowed, reverberated, whatever the approach it offers new depths to the ear, from the chilling 'Coil', which utilises pianos to add a feeling if impending something, to 'Midnight''s melancholia, this is exquisite stuff.
Review: First released in 1998, the last album from the sadly missed Mark Hollis was originally set to be a Talk Talk album, scheduled to follow up 1991's "Laughing Stock". Described by engineer Phil Brown as "open, restful and at times fantastically beautiful", Hollis' only solo effort is quite the opposite of the dark and claustrophobic direction of Talk Talk's final album. Entirely self-produced, the record takes Talk Talk's pared back, emotive intimacy further into yet more minimal, private territory, of sometimes almost unbearable intensity. A complex, compelling last dispatch from an indisputable genius.
Review: HTRK's debut album in 2007 proved to be a seminal one for fans of experimental noise. It cooks up impressively abrasive and caustic textures, crashing waves of white noise and sonorous pulses that speak of a future dystopian world. Tense and absorbing throughout, the lo-fi design and elements of post punk, post industrial and post techno makes it a modern analogy of the likes of Throbbing Gristle. 12 years later, the record sounds just as good, and arguably even more prescient in these twitchy times of digital surveillance, social anxieties and worldwide political tensions. It might be bleak, then, but that doesn't mean there is real beauty in this album's disharmony.