LISTEN!! Digital Music News: Funk, Love from Sweden, World Fusion, Punk, Bach on Violin
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JAZZ / DOWNTEMPO
Jive Ass Sleepers: Chilled Out Grooves & Uptempo Funkathons
The album "Scratch", from California-based Jive Ass Sleepers, offers adventures into jazz and funk, elements of reggae, latin and even some turntable scratching. The grooves are mostly laid back but still funky enough to make you want to dance. Electric guitar is predominantly featured, weaving jazzy, melodic lines over some solid drums, bass, keyboards and horns.
Lizzi: Groovy Downtempo Swedish Rock
There are plenty of sensual voices out there in the music world, but few that have the darkness and subtle chill that makes Lizzi's so bewitching. Her album "Love and you and I" is absolutely perfect for a rainy day, Notable tracks include "Remedy," "Only You" and "My Destination". "To be in love is a kind of isolation," says Lizzi. "It's not all happiness and joy: there's a lot of pain and emptiness too. But longing is also an incredible feeling, much under-valued today."
Simone Angele and Amir Kalhor: Classical Styles of India and Persia
On their album "India meets Persia" Simone Angele and Amir Kalhor take the listener on an intricate musical journey. The artists explore the classical styles of India and Iran, using the traditional instruments of the respective countries: the Indian Sitar and the Persian Tar. The pieces "Kirvan", "Isfahan", "Solitidi", and "Joys of Spring", represent original Indian and Persian classical styles. "Sunny Days", a pop piece with vocals and sitar, ends the musical journey and takes the listeners back to the west on a light note. Babua Pahari is the percussive force on Tabla and accompanies Simone Angele in the Indian pieces.
PUNK / HARD ROCK
The Strap Ons: Snot-Voiced Thrashing Punk 'n' Roll
The Strap-Ons cut straight to the chase on their release "Geeking Crime", delivering an album that is edgy, messy, and sexy. High octane guitars, bad attitude, and a healthy dose of humor are all here. Keep this one on hand for those days when you feel like telling everyone where to go. (Check out "This Place Sucks" for details.) A fantastically unsubtle album that hits the bullseye, straight-on.
CLASSICAL / BAROQUE
Lara St John: Bach Violin Concertos
Lara St. John's recording of Bach's Sonatas and Partitas for Violin Solo is awe-inducing. When most classical artists record technically challenging works like this one, they typically have to repeat certain phrases over and over during the recording process. When Lara St. John recorded this album at Skywalker Ranch, she played only complete versions of each movement, so the resulting music sounds incredibly fresh and alive. Her approach is especially appropriate for Bach's Six Sonatas because they're known for their musical freedom of movement. "Breathtakingly beautiful," says Allmusic.com.