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Neil Spencer

Goran Bregovic: Champagne for Gypsies - review

(Wrasse) Intended as a downbeat companion to 2009's Alkohol , this latest from the Sarajevo composer proves scarcely less fiery, with lashings of Balkan brass and breakneck tempos on pieces like Boogie Unca Woogie and Quantum Utopia. The album is al

The Relatives: The Electric Word - review

(Yep Roc) Are you ready for the resurrection? In the 1970s the West brothers of Dallas formed the Relatives, a Staple Singers -style gospel-funk group who enjoyed modest success before their 1980 dissolution. The few singles they cut became cult items a

Vinicio Capossela: Rebetiko Gymnastas - review

(La Cupa/Warner) Why Vinicio Capossela is termed "Italy's Tom Waits" is a puzzle. Yes, he plays with Waits's guitarist Marc Ribot , but he's no growler, more a romantic crooner and musical wayfarer. Here, he pays tribute to rebetiko, the swaying, stru

Monoswezi: The Village - review

(Riverboat) Though at opposite ends of the earth, Norway and Mozambique fuse fascinatingly in this outfit assembled by Norwegian reeds player Hallvard Godal after time spent down south. Their approach is minimalist, with the looping lines of mbira (thu

Sexy Fi: Nunca Te Vi De Boa - review

(Farout) Samba and bossa may rule Brazil, but the country has myriad musical hybrids. This young band come classified as indie but obey few of the rules of western counterparts. Led by the voice of Camila Zamith, they begin sounding like a Portuguese-lan

Lord Huron: Lonesome Dreams - review

(Play it Again Sam) A folk-rock Thoreau, Michigan's Ben Schneider has a near mystical vision of America's wilderness, a place of peaks and prairies, "sacred dunes" and rivers that "wind on for ever". The production of his debut is appropriately epic, i