Stereo Round Up

What's been making toes tap this week?

After last week’s mishap-laden round up let’s hope there’s no mistakes in our brand new glimpse at the pile surrounding the CD player.

Alabama 3 – Hits And Exit Wounds

Straight out of Alabama, this barbershop group are set to expand minds across the musical globe. No wait, that’s wrong…

London’s own dance-roots revivalists gather all their hits onto one handy disc. Glorious listening, and yes it does include that one off Sopranos. Sometimes they try to hard to win your affection, and the Southern accents are a little fake, but at their best Alabama 3 are a refreshing update on the roots formula.

Islands – Arm’s Way

Signed to Rough Trade, Islands have been charming our ears all week. Dark, gothic symphonies partly inspired by real life murders. Massive in scale, the album was partially recorded in Montreal, and the production has a fresh and natural feel. Lead single “The Arm” was apparently written in woodland. Strange people, strange album.

Iglomat – Iglomat

With song titles such as “Dial Wookie” and “Stormtroopers Of Gentrification”, this album was always going to appeal to the Star Wars geeks in the office. Born out of a trans-Atlantic collaction, this ‘special relationship’ seems to be producing the goods. A mixture of rockin’ beats and post-rockin’ guitars, Iglomat is well worth tracking down.

Aphex Twin – Selected Ambient Works (85-92)

A classic of electronica, “Selected Ambient Works” introduced the world to Mr Richard D James and his collection of twisted samples. Released on seminal Belgian label R&S Records in 1992, the album is part of that imprint’s relaunch. Still as vibrant and perplexing as ever, the questions Aphex Twin was asking 15 years ago still have no answer.

MGMT – Oracular Specacular

Iffy name aside, “Oracular Spectacular” is an almost faultness journey into modern dance. With a Mercury Rev connection (remember them?) MGMT are perhaps the most unlikely dance heroes to emerge this year. Yet the album is a technicolour display of vibrant beats and tasty synths. Quite simply, erm, spectacular!

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