Politics scaled with music

May 26, 2006

Politics scaled with music

Matthew Herbert’s new album “Scale” is easy to like. His signature arrangements of accessible house-inflected beats behind jazzy melodies are polished to a glossy sheen. Strings swoon. Horns sound lushly. Songs like the soulful “Moving like a Train” or “When We Are in Love” ...

It's all music for Warp label

May 19, 2006

It's all music for Warp label

Warp, home to sonic pioneers such as Aphex Twin, and Boards of Canada is arguably the most influential electronica label in the world. But don’t tell Warp founder Steve Beckett. For Beckett, who began the label with now deceased partner Rob Mitchell in a ...

May 12, 2006

Juana Molina "Son"

Magical realism usually describes the writings of the great old men of Latin American literature, who have a knack for revealing the enchanted in the every day. Argentine musician and former television star Juana Molina shares the continent’s mystical bent, and her fourth album, ...

Keeping rock simple

Apr 21, 2006

Keeping rock simple

Jad Fair is the most unlikely of rock heroes. In his 40s, yet with the tall and gangly body of an adolescent and the naive blue eyes of a child, he looks like a preternaturally wide-eyed manga character. But over the last 30 years, ...

Dec 9, 2005

The Pixies

Bono, Bowie, Kurt Cobain and Thom Yorke have all said that The Pixies are one of the most influential bands of the past two decades. But minutes before taking the stage for another sold-out show during the current Pixies reunion tour of Japan, leader ...

Best of friends kick up a storm in the fun house

Nov 18, 2005

Best of friends kick up a storm in the fun house

Nothing frustrates a music critic more than a band that refuses categorization. Lots of bands, intoxicated with their own creativity, might make the claim. Not many, after a few records, resist a formula or a style that isn’t easily pigeonholed in a pithy phrase ...

Once more, with feeling

Sep 4, 2005

Once more, with feeling

With a mane of wild hair and the darkly circled eyes of the sleep deprived, one could easily mistake Kieran Hebden for a grad student up too late at the lab. There is little evidence in his striped polo shirt and khaki shorts that ...

Contort yourself, by any means necessary

Jul 10, 2005

Contort yourself, by any means necessary

“No New York,” the 1978 compilation produced by Brian Eno, remains a snapshot of lower Manhattan’s music scene at that time. The pioneering punk club CBGB’s was thriving, the influential performance space-cum-disco, the Mudd Club, was about to open and a musician could still ...

Diva sings hot and cold on solo debut

May 29, 2005

Diva sings hot and cold on solo debut

It is 11 on a Sunday morning and Roisin Murphy has just arrived back at her London flat. Another big night out in the city’s kinetic clubland? Hardly. Though Murphy (first name pronounced “Rowsheen”) and her trip-hop dance duo Moloko have invigorated dance floors ...

Mar 6, 2005

Red Krayola

Few musicians have tuned in and then twisted the musical zeitgeist as much as Mayo Thompson. Red Krayola, the main conduit for his music, is arguably rock’s longest running underground band. Founded in Texas in 1966 as a psychedelic group, Red Krayola made the ...