The following were published in The Groove Guide – October – A weekly Street Magazine on music and culture.
Bjork – Biophilia 4/5 Stars
Having discarded the throat-singing and beat-boxing of ‘Medulla’ and 2007’s ‘Volta’, which sounded like playtime at the Frigidaire factory, this time we get the results of sipping too much sake whilst noodling on the iPad.
Beginning with the oriental, fragile chiming of a custom-built gameleste (‘Moon’) Bjork builds up her cache of arid, twinklings peppering them with her own brand of lyrical mythology. She surprises with computer generated pipe organs, multi-track harmonies, delicate tinkles (‘Virus’) and harp (‘Solstice’).. The processional ‘Cosmogony’ uses pitch-shifting brass to meld science to nature. Yet for an album made by silicone and plastic, it sounds beautifully warm, convincingly human.
When the beats finally break through on ‘Mutual Core’, they’re augmented by cathedral organs and soaring vocals, leaving you in welcome breathlessness.
While the palaver may centre on its innovative app releases this music really doesn’t need any further decoration. In fact it, it works best in a clean white room, devoid of interference. Again, Bjork proves utterly remarkable and unique. Thanks be for that.
Blitzen Trapper – American Goldwing 3/5 Stars
Listening to Portland’s Blitzen Trapper alt-country/folk’s gonna send ya right back to 1972 on lyrical, gossamer wings. Better pack your paisley and flairs, man! With Mumford, Pernices and the Foxes all bringing back folk rock it was no surprise that these dudes have become darlings of the ragged glory-music bibles like Rolling Stone. And it probably helps they sound a lot like the ‘Dead, Dylan, Skyhooks and CSN&Y, too.
American Goldwing is BT’s 6th outing, counting eps and singles, and they still drive their rig slap bang in the middle of the dusty highway. “Love the way you walk away” is a nice gentle rocker, whilst “My Home Town” and “Stranger in a strange land” pure Mr Zimmerman, without the references to hand held percussion and windy solutions. For variety, “Street Fighting Sun” leans a tad towards Led Zep with heavy wah wah peddle-clamour and some dirty blues harps. But on the whole, it’s all pleasant, faded denim rock. Just perfect for your next hay bale ride.