A little bit late, this one. I don’t know Westbam particularly well apart from a couple of remixes, but as is probably apparent to regular readers, I do know The Beloved. With shades of Be Angeled, they return together with this, Sky is the Limit. I haven’t made my mind up about whether I think it’s The Beloved‘s finest lyric or even vocal delivery, but it’s definitely a great song.
While you were looking the other way, Róisín Murphy has been quietly slipping out astonishing slow dance albums for some time now. She’s onto her fifth now, Róisín Machine. This is Something More:
After propping up the trance scene in the 1990s, BT disappeared for a while to make weird, almost industrial music. Seems he’s returned to his roots now, with a new album called The Lost Art of Longing. Here’s No Warning Lights, with a vocal from Emma Hewitt:
I’ll confess that I haven’t really been following the career of Hurts, and that’s not really through any fault of their own. As a quick catch up, it seems one of them looks like the guy from Queer Eye now, they’re back now with their fifth album Faith, and they’re still pretty good. Here’s Suffer:
It’s a rare treat to be able to preview a new single from a group as legendary as New Order. They returned last week, completely out of the blue, with a new track called Be a Rebel, and… well… it isn’t amazing, to be honest. It feels as though they’re missing Peter Hook more than they did on the entirety of Music Complete, and just ends up sounding a bit like one of Electronic‘s weaker moments. That’s OK though – even New Order and Electronic‘s weaker moments seem to be good enough these days, so let’s chalk this one up as a lockdown special and enjoy it for what it is.
One of the greatest things about Kraftwerk is that even their bootlegs have taken on a degree of mystique. Their latest, Soest Live, has just reappeared with lovely artwork, and is available here. If you prefer not to give your money away for bootlegs, you can also watch the whole thing below, in its glorious experimental pre-Autobahn fame. Why not join in with the audience and jiggle around a bit while you watch?
Instrumentalist Nicolas Jaar is back with another album Telas. I don’t honestly know anything much about it, but here’s All One as a taster:
Sometimes a bit of familiarity is a good thing, but it’s fair to say that the Paul van Dyk of 2020 sounds a lot like the Paul van Dyk of 2000. Either way, he’s back with a new album called Guiding Light, and this is Duality:
Erasure seem to have been so prolific in recent years that it’s getting silly. Their new one The Neon is at least their seventeenth, and comes out next month. Here’s Shot a Satellite:
The Beloved‘s brilliant reissue series continues, this time with their debut studio album Happiness, which was originally released in early 1990. The double CD version is an essential purchase, backed with The Wolf Studio Recordings, a new compilation of contemporary recordings from Wolf Studio. It’s also released on double LP, which has the original ten tracks spread across two discs, making it one of those albums where some of the sides contain less than ten minutes of music, and also necessitating a change in track order, so maybe this one is for completists only.
Either way, the music is great, and let’s celebrate that with the brilliant The Sun Rising: