Review: Jeff Mills, the legendary Detroit techno pioneer who has been praised and worshipped by everyone club kid over the age of 18 since the late 80s, has focussed his efforts more on the classical side of music in more recent years. His gigs at the Barbican over the last few years, for example, are the shows to which he's dedicated most of his attention to, and it somehow all makes perfect sense. Although legendary tunes like "The Bells" or "Amazon" are straight-up dance floor bombs, there has always been a feeling that Mills' tunes were composed of something more than mere kick drums and monophonic instruments. This new album, Planets, sees the artist showcase the role of science fiction and of an imagined order prominently, something he's always been fascinated with. The likes of "Mercury", "Venus", "Earth" and the rest of the cosmos make more sense here than they do in the academic books; much like the great Sun Ra, it's almost as if these artists have found a simpler, more instinctive way to transmit the power of the universe. And that's through sound. The price might seem hefty, but this will be regarded as a very important release in the future. A fantastic journey through space and time.
Review: Here's something to set the pulse racing for all those who love Al Green's distinctive brand of soul: a deluxe box set containing re-mastered, replica versions of "45s" released by the singer on Hi Records between 1969 and '78. It's a wonderfully packaged and produced item, with no less than 26 seven-inch singles being joined by a 56-page hardback book and an ultra-limited Hi Records 45 adaptor. The music is, of course, superb, with the singles containing many of Green's most potent, celebrated and well-known works alongside largely forgotten B-sides and lesser-celebrated bonus cuts.
Review: For Record Store Day 2018, UK downbeat legends Zero 7 present an exclusive collectors box set. The package contains seven 7"s, containing 14 tracks picked by Henry Binns and Sam Hardaker themselves. Featuring their acclaimed collaborations with Sia, Sophie Barker, Mozez, Jose Gonzalez and Martha Tilston among others. This is the first time some of these tracks have been made available on such format. Four tracks are taken from 2001's Simple Things LP, a further three are taken from their 2004 album When It Falls, four from The Garden (2006) and the final two come from the 2009 album Yeah Ghost. Artwork is by the band's original design collaborator (Julian House) and the sleeves are colour coded - placed into a cruciform overwrap sleeve with heavyweight vinyl.