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Big Takeover Issue #83
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Michael Chapman - True North (Paradise of Bachelors)

8 February 2019
At 78, Chapman, in fact, has proven himself as influential as his better-known contemporaries, enjoying a recent reissue campaign and leaving a mark on recent folk rockers like Steve Gunn, Cian Nugent and Ryley Walker.

The J. & F. Band - From The Roots To The Sky (Long Song Records)

7 February 2019

From The Roots To The Sky is a challenging listen to say the least, but the high level of skill from the performers and the hidden depths it conceals also make it one of the most rewarding.

Ralph Alessi - Imaginary Friends (ECM)

6 February 2019

The brassman pulls off a neat trick on this record: being faithful to jazz tradition whilst not falling to the traditionalist trap.

Heather Gruber - Dance Into The Desert (Self-Released)

5 February 2019

Dance Into The Desert is a remarkable debut album which encloses a large amount of craft and attention to detail within a deceivingly modest pop format.

Various Artists - Goosebumps: 25 Years of Marina Records (Marina)

5 February 2019

If it’s folky, vaguely R&Bish, prefers jangle to distortion and vibraphones to reverbed snare, mixes heart-on-sleeve sincerity and arch cleverness, and, above all, remains intensely melodic, it can find a home on Marina.

Jamie Saft/Steve Swallow/Bobby Previte - You Don’t Know the Life (RareNoise)

4 February 2019

Dedicated to improvisation, the keyboardist’s omnivorous tastes and punk rock attitude keep at least one foot outside the tradition at all times.

Chris Lastovicka - Fortune Has Turned Remixed (Ahari Press)

2 February 2019

Few manage to create something that at once feels removed or distant from the composer and yet still retains a high degree of raw emotional honesty.

Anne Steele - Made Out Of Stars (Self-Released)

1 February 2019

Made Out Of Stars occasionally feels like a collection of odds and ends but it’s impossible to complain because the quality of songwriting and execution is just so pitch perfect.

Joe Lovano - Trio Tapestry (ECM)

1 February 2019
For Trio Tapestry, his debut for the venerable label ECM, Lovano enlists pianist Marilyn Crispell and drummer Carmen Castaldi for a more meditative program than we’re used to hearing from him.

BRAVE - the calm | the storm (Self-Released)

30 January 2019

the calm | the storm is a conceptually perfect work from a band at their peak, and proves that no wait is ever too long if the results are this rewarding.

Toro Y Moi - Outer Peace

Toro Y Moi - Outer Peace (Carpark Records)

28 January 2019

Two years after Boo Boo, Chaz has channeled that chill opera’s focus on jadedness and turned it outward into riposte.

Mark Peters and The Dark Band - Sum Of All Parts (Audio Heart Records)

26 January 2019

Sum Of All Parts, with its four songs, should leave fans more than satiated until Mark Peters, with or without The Dark Band, enters the studio again.

Anchor Thieves - The Havoc Siren [Self Released]

21 January 2019

Even with only four songs there is more to the Havoc Siren than on most LPs three times longer. “Solstice” is the climax and brings elements of shoegaze, plodding along, crescendoing before coming down to an abrupt ending which is leading this listener to go and check out the band’s back catalog.

ELO - The UK Singles Vol. One: 1972-1978 (Legacy Recordings)

19 January 2019

The UK Singles Volume One puts a twist on what could have otherwise simply been another greatest hits collection.

Todd Warner Moore - Spark (Self-Released)

19 January 2019

Spark is brimming with as much heart and soul as technical skill, and it must easily rank as one of 2018’s most flawless folk albums.

Damon Mitchell - Elise (Self-Released)

18 January 2019

Elise is a very strong, confident effort from a musician who is still discovering his image, but it shows a remarkable amount of promise.

Badfinger - self-titled, Wish You Were Here (Real Gone)

18 January 2019

Fresh reissues allow listeners to appreciate these overlooked Badfinger albums from 1974 for them for the gems they are.

Divine Weeks - We’re All We Have (self-released)

14 January 2019

Remember when U2 and the Alarm wrote unabashedly uplifting anthems, with simple, catchy guitar hooks, lighter-waving arrangements and lyrics that unironically championed love and joy over hate and gloom? Divine Weeks remembers.

Home Invasion

Steven Wilson - Home Invasion: In Concert at the Royal Albert Hall (Eagle Vision/Universal)

12 January 2019

In contrast with his music’s meticulous prog-rock precision, real-world paranoia, isolation, and gothic gloom, Steven Wilson fills the venerable Royal Albert Hall with thrills, abandon, camaraderie and euphoric spirit.

Adam Rose - Levitate the Base (Self-Released)

7 January 2019
If the title or album artwork are any indication, Rose is strongly influenced by the psychedelic prog rock of King Crimson and early-era Pink Floyd.
R.E.M. at the BBC

REM - REM at the BBC (BBC/Craft)

3 January 2019

“It’s already been seven years since R.E.M. called it a day,” says BBC producer Mark Cooper. “It’s lonely without them.” This pile of well-preserved pop may not stop everybody from hurting as R.E.M.‘s retirement enters its eighth year, but it can coax smiles to temper the loss.

cindygod - demos EP

cindygod - demos (Self-Released)

2 January 2019

Gauntlet Hair has been reborn as cindygod. The change in name and lineup also comes with a revamped industrial and at times chilling demeanor.

Cover art for Brickbat by UK supergroup Piroshka

Piroshka - Brickbat (Bella Union Records)

1 January 2019

Piroshka is a UK supergroup formed from members of Lush (Miki Berenyi), Moose (KJ “Moose” McKillop), Elastica (Justin Welch), and Mick Conroy (Modern English). For those expecting this new group to sound like any of those other groups, think again.”

Album cover for Different Planet by Deep Cut

Deep Cut - Different Planet (Gare du Nord)

27 December 2018

“The approach this time mixes in dance beats with trippy elements and features a more blended approach with respect to vocals.”

Gideon King & City Blog - Upscale Madhouse (Self-Released)

23 December 2018

Upscale Madhouse is a big step up for the band, and it includes some of the year’s best artistic developments in the genre.

BB50

Rolling Stones - Beggars Banquet 50th Anniversary Edition 2LP+7” (ABKCO)

22 December 2018

The Stones’ 1968 release Beggars Banquet is a rarely-disputed classic and the final complete album from the quintet’s original lineup including Brian Jones. The LP’s two sides are led by the group’s sharpest forays into social protest, “Sympathy for the Devil” and “Street Fighting Man.”

Dead Friends 46 - Hardcore (Rank-n-File Records)

17 December 2018

There’s nothing revolutionary about Hardcore, but there’s something obviously admirable about the band trying to change their own community for the better through the power of music.

Shake Some Action 2.0: (Not Lame Media)

17 December 2018

All things power pop find a home in Shake Some Action 2.0!

Hamell On Trial - The Night Guy at the Apocalypse Profiles of a Rushing Midnight (Saustex)

14 December 2018

Recording everything live on his phone with little more than his guitar and his collection of New Yawk accents, Hamell eschews slick production – or any production at all – in order to put his stories right in your ear, where they’ll slither into the lizard part of your brain and leave stains.

Norine Braun - Through Train Windows (Braun and Brains)

13 December 2018

The tour must have been an amazing experience for Braun, because Through Train Windows is one of her purest and most concise statements as an artist yet.

Medeski Martin & Wood with Alarm Will Sound - Omnisphere (Indirecto)

13 December 2018

Having proven themselves the most experimental groove combo on the circuit, MM&W take another step forward with Omnisphere, a concert collaboration with postmodern orchestral ensemble Alarm Will Sound.

Western Star - Any Way How (Saustex)

12 December 2018

Like a broken-hearted romantic with a shelf full of Larry Brown books and a bottle by his side, Max Jeffers writes songs as if every record in his collection comes from either Texas or Minneapolis.

Richard Lloyd - The Countdown (Plowboy)

11 December 2018

Though it may be only for certain rock cognoscenti, the arrival of a new album from guitarist Richard Lloyd is always something of an event.

Tropical Fuck Storm - A Laughing Death in Meatspace (Joyful Noise)

10 December 2018

The hiatus of Australia’s amazing Drones was a shock coming after its upward creative arc, but all is not lost for fans of their distinctive arty psychedelic postpunk roots rock. Singer/songwriter Gareth Liddiard and bassist Fiona Kitschin keep the vision flowing with drummer Lauren Hammel and guitarist/keyboardist Erica Dunn in Tropical Fuck Storm.

Gina Graves - And We Rise (Self-Released)

9 December 2018

And We Rise_ is produced on a surprisingly grand scale for an album that was essentially recorded all at home by Graves, and it will undoubtedly serve as one of the most uniquely individual artistic statements in the genre in recent years.

Gift Machine-New Tangles

The Gift Machine – New Tangles (People in a Position to Know)

8 December 2018

Mastered by Frank Arkwright at the famed Abbey Road Studios in London, this Escondido, CA-based foursome’s seventh album sounds more robust, expansive, and sonorous than their previous six.

Wanderingted - I Could Be You

7 December 2018

Wanderingted will catch your attention and not let go.

Soul Asylum - Say What You Will...Everything Can Happen/Made to Be Broken (Omnivore)

7 December 2018

Soul Asylum would go on to make records with more acclaim and success, but its first two lay out the qualities that would get them there, making them as essential as anything in the band’s catalog.

Peter Senior - On The Edge (Mandalong Records)

6 December 2018

It’s not the deepest of music, but there’s a real artistry to Senior’s definition of fun and you’ll be too busy dancing to think of anything else anyway.

Jack Drag - 2018 (Burger)

6 December 2018

With his now-signature blend of twinkly new wave and melancholic power pop, Dragonetti knocks out one sweetly melodic gem after another here, putting adult uncertainty and confusion to a catchy soundtrack.

Mark Turner/Ethan Iverson - Temporary Kings (ECM)

5 December 2018

Duet records can be a challenge, especially if neither musician is part of the usual rhythm section. But acclaimed saxophonist Mark Turner and former Bad Plus pianist Ethan Iverson make it seem easy.

Psychocide - Hungover (Self-Released)

4 December 2018

In fact, the title of Hungover is misleading, because the EP finds Psychocide with a renewed sense of creativity.

Chris Lightcap - Superette (Royal Potato Family)

4 December 2018

Bassist/composer Chris Lightcap has an impressive resumé in the jazz field. But he also harbors a love for psychedelic and instrumental rock from the sixties, and that’s what provides the inspiration for Superette.

Wolfgang Muthspiel - Where the River Goes (ECM)

3 December 2018

Though he’s been slinging strings for a couple of decades, Austrian guitarist Wolfgang Muthspiel is hardly a household name, even in the jazz world. But it’s a mark of the respect for which his peers have for him that he can attract the kind of talent that makes up his band on his latest release.

Dead Can Dance - Dionysus ([PIAS])

30 November 2018

It’s been five long years since we last heard from worldbeat iconoclasts Dead Can Dance. Fortunately, the hiatus ends with the release of Dionysus, a brand-new DCD album that’s both familiar and not quite like anything the group has done before.

Thomas Comerford-Blood Moon

Thomas Comerford – Blood Moon (Spacesuit)

29 November 2018

Aided by 16 guest musicians, this Chicago troubadour’s third solo album adds plenty of new stylistic wrinkles to the homespun, Wilco-esque alt-country of his 2014 II and 2011 Archive + Spiral.