I’m going away for the weekend. I’m very happy about this. We’re going away to where no one will find us.

I never post links like this, but this story about a German schoolgirl with a large tongue amused me.

I went to Academy at lunch time. I managed to find a huge number of new things I genuinely wanted. So maybe I’m not kicking the habit of buying music all the time after all.

Bent: 'Programmed to Love' (CD; Ministry of Sound; 2000)
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I bought this based on a recommendation from a friend. I have their single, 'always', and thought it was quite good - electronic pop stuff, sounding like a low fi cross between Air and the Pet Shop Boys. The first track, 'Exercise 1' (no, not the Joy Division song) samples the same track sampled on 'The Mambo Craze' by De Phazz, another European electronic piece. In fact, the whole track sounds very familiar - I think they are using the same kind of synthesizer (Alesis Qs6.1) as I own.

The second track is very pleasant, featuring some great Cocteau Twins-esque ambient sounds, some nice acoustic guitar, and a guest female vocalist.

Cyclons in love uses a vocoder, bringing to mind ELO and Air. Like much of the album, it's not especially creative musically, but it is very nicely textured.

The album proceeds quite nicely, with each track using plenty of samples, but never in a way which dominates the track. It recalls the band Groove Armada to me quite a lot, but is trying to be cool a little less, and so I prefer it. Also, there is a much stronger indie influence (particularly Cocteau Twins, Slowdive), which makes the album much more textured and interesting.

The use of samples throughout is quite creative. Overall, it's a very interesting record, kind of like one I might make if I was a bit better at what I do.

Bertrand Burgalat: 'The sssound of mmmusic' (CD; Emporor Norton; 2000)
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This sounds cool - nice, Air-esque electronic pop which is ambient and very tasteful. I enjoyed the Bungalow 'Genius of...' compilation, so was happy to find this used.

Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci: 'How I long to feel that summer in my heart' (CD; Mantra; 2001)
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I look forward to checking this out. They're a nice band, and I heard some of this the other night at a friend's house, and it sounded great.

Jorge Ben: 'Brazilian Collection' (CD; Mercury; 1966-1973)
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I was happy to find this, because in spite of my best efforts, I haven't been able to find much good Jorge Ben stuff on CD. I don't think it's the best compilation of his work available, but it's very good, and far better than the first track (which is a live recording of 'Charles, Anjo 45') implies. There's quite a few really nice tracks on here that I'd never heard before - e.g. 'Os Alquimistas Estão Chegando os Alquimistas', 'Bebete Vãobora' and 'Zagueiro'. There are also some outstanding classics which I previously never had other than on mp3 files - 'Oba La vem ela' and 'Caramba!...Galileu da galileia'. 'Take it Easy my brother Charles', which I recently discovered the Astrud Gilberto version of, is quite superb. All in all, I'm delighted with how good this is - of the twelve tracks, there are really no poor ones at all, and most are quite superb. Jorge's voice is definitely an acquired taste, but the superbly percussive background and the raw passion and emotion are very seductive.

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