Album Reviews

Leftfield – This Is What We Do

by Ben Devlin

There’s an intriguing mixture of old and new on this fourth album, pointing to a creative drive that makes the case for Neil Barnes’ continuing relevance into the 2020s



Stormzy – This Is What I Mean

by Ben Devlin

One of the most ambitious British rap records ever made proclaims the star’s increased creative freedom from the rooftops, but while the highs are higher than on previous records, the lows are lower too

Terence Fixmer – Shifting Signals

by David Murphy

Proving to be a master at marshalling dirty industrial sounds, the French techno stalwart’s seventh album is a pleasure for cool hepcats and cold androids alike

Stereolab @ Concorde 2, Brighton

by Matt Cotsell

It’s testament to the impact of the groop’s songs over 30 years later that they still sound altogether futuristic, keenly nostalgic and utterly otherworldly

s t a r g a z e – One

by Ben Devlin

Berlin and Amsterdam-based ensemble’s orchestral suite, co-composed by Battles’ Tyondai Braxton, Factory Floor’s Nik Colk Void and Deerhoof’s Greg Saunier, shines with an experimental series of collaborations

Bis – Systems Music For Home Defence

by David Murphy

On the Scots trio’s sixth studio album, the same infectious bounce and sly wit is in evidence as it was back in 1996

Weyes Blood – And In The Darkness, Hearts Aglow

by John Murphy

Natalie Mering’s fifth album is a compelling and beautifully told tale of coming out of the darkness

Caitlin Rose – Cazimi

by John Murphy

Nashville singer-songwriter’s third album is a relaxed, confident set of 12 new songs highlighting her expertise in pop-country, with the emphasis on the pop

TV Priest @ Green Door Store, Brighton

by Matt Cotsell

London-based foursome reveal an endearing vulnerability while mustering a battalion who would happily take their lead anywhere

Richard Dawson – The Ruby Cord

by John Murphy

An album that has to be immersed in and savoured, there’s nobody else out there making music quite like this

Saint Etienne @ Old Market, Brighton

by Matt Cotsell

Cult London pop trio steal hearts on the south coast with a snuggly smorgasbord of hits for old times’ sake

Tyondai Braxton – Telekinesis

by Ben Devlin

This admirably ambitious, envelope-pushing 87-piece work features electric guitars, orchestra, choir, and electronics and coalesces into various jolts of adrenaline 

Nas – King’s Disease III

by Ben Devlin

Nas and Hit-Boy reunite to deliver some no-nonsense verses and beats, with an interesting mix of nostalgia and more contemporary sounds There’s a moment on King’s Disease III – near the end of Reminisce, just...

Gold Panda – The Work

by Ben Devlin

His first solo album in six years is comfortable, accomplished and at times even gleeful in its kitchen-sink approach to sound design

Christine And The Queens – Redcar les adorables etoiles (prologue)

by Ben Devlin

This lateral progression in their artistry represents a new identity and a more lo-fi sonic approach

Bruce Springsteen – Only The Strong Survive: Covers Vol 1

by John Murphy

Essentially, this is The Boss doing karaoke. But when it’s done this well and with so much obvious love for the source material, it’s irresistible

Mount Kimbie – MK 3.5: Die Cuts | City Planning

by Ben Devlin

The Peckham duo splits to make an album in two parts: one sample-heavy R&B, the other minimal house/techno

Big Joanie – Back Home

by Nicoletta Wylde

Girls invented punk rock, and the world can never have enough black intersectional feminism, and these are absolute facts Girls invented punk rock, yeh? And surely there are none-more-punk girls than London’s kick ass all-black...

Phoenix – Alpha Zulu

by John Murphy

Bringing back that effortless French cool in a way that only they can, the French outfit’s seventh is easily their best since Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

First Aid Kit – Palomino

by John Murphy

The Swedish sisters’ ability to tug on the heartstrings is still very much in evidence on their first record since their debut to be recorded back in their native Stockholm

Daniel Avery – Ultra Truth

by Ben Devlin

An accomplished, moving record from the purveyor of IDM-influenced soundscapes arrives with a little help from his friends