On her debut solo album, English-born actress cum chanteuse Jane Birkin asserted her role as a scandalous androgyne courtesy of the songs of Serge Gainsbourg and arranger Jean-Claude Vannier (who co-wrote some numbers with Gainsbourg). Birkin allowed her image to be molded by the willfully scandalous Gainsbourg, who understood her persona entirely and helped to create an image of her as woman in a young boy's body -- one that Birkin claims she held all along but only Gainsbourg understood. That woman played roles both innocent and decadent; she was celebrated in film, but in the U.S., her thin voice resembled a choirboy's and underscored her physical presence.
Comprising three centuries of noted composers' "minor" works, Lubimov's Der Bote (The Messenger) bears out its title with short, introspective pieces that capture thoughts of nostalgia, mourning, and meditation. The first work, C.P.E. Bach's 1787 Fantasy, sounds amazingly avant-garde, full of surprising darts and turns. And the experimental 20th-century composer John Cage's "In a Landscape" is an even bigger surprise. Instead of random keyboard plink-plunks, it's a diaphanous Debussyan tone poem, bound to startle party guests playing Name That Composer… –Dan Davis
Intriguingly this disc documents three violin concertos all of which are noted in tonality. Within that broad highway the Vasks is the most original and prone to use of avant-garde technique, the Arutiunian is most emotionally ordered and controlled and the Bronner unashamed of heart worn on the sleeve.
Samvel Aloumyan Armenian piano (3. V 1941 - 1987).
Berlin's Uwe Zahn released his first tracks as the Arovane EP on the Din label, which also released the first of German dub minimalist Stefan Betke's work as Pole. Stylistically, Arovane's work hearkens back to the insular melodic electro of early Autechre, combining interesting, highly syncopated machine box rhythms with warm, delicate synth textures that evoke a gauzy, somewhat nostalgic mood contrasted by the sharpness of the rhythms…
The rare 1970 album from obscure UK rock band Someones Band. Acoustic guitars meet wild electric guitar solos with a vocalist reminiscent of Steamhammer's Kieran White. Bluesy with a spacey production this should appeal to fans of 60s UK blues and heavy 70s progressive UK rock. Eleven tracks including "Blues For Brother E" and "Manhunt". This group got together via word of mouth and an advert in Melody Maker. They made a demo for Decca, who then sanctioned this album, which is now a monster rarity. Given that it was recorded in the course of a single night, it's a surprisingly polished and varied collection of progessive blues and soul…