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Limp Bizkit, Anthrax and The Sisters of Mercy added to Sonisphere 2014 line-up

21 Jan 2014

Carnifex, Silverstein, Dropkick Murphys, The Virginmarys and Devin Townsend also added

Several new names have been added to the line-up for rock and metal fest Sonisphere, which will take place at Knebworth Park on Fri 4–Sun 6 Jul 2014. Limp Bizkit, Anthrax, Carnifex, Chas & Dave, Silverstein, Dropkick Murphys, The Sisters of Mercy, The…

Various Artists - Dark Was The Night

20 Jan 20143 stars

Optimo-curated compilation gathers ominous music from Texan blues to techno

The arrival of a second Optimo compilation in only eight months, gives the feeling we’re being spoiled a little by the esteemed selectors behind Glasgow’s much loved club night. However, while only one of the Optimo DJ pairing (Keith McIvor) curated…

Orange Juice - Four albums reissued on Domino

16 Jan 20144 stars

You Can’t Hide Your Love Forever, Rip It Up, The Glasgow School and The Orange Juice

It must have been difficult to appreciate their importance as Orange Juice struggled to produce an album – in four attempts between 1982 and 1984, all of them freshly reissued on vinyl by Domino – that lived up to the near miraculous brilliance of their…

Warpaint - Warpaint

10 Jan 20143 stars

The LA pop-rock quartet experiment with a more pared-back sound, with mixed results

It takes a lot of hard work to sound this organic and elemental. Well-connected LA quartet Warpaint have spent three years conceiving and recording the eponymous follow-up to their acclaimed debut album The Fool, with the whole painstaking process…

Interview: Django Django get ready to play Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Street Party

23 Dec 2013

Tommy Grace from the London-based group talks about seeing out a hectic 2013

’It’s pretty massive,’ says Django Django’s Tommy Grace of his band’s imminent debut appearance at Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Street Party. ‘We’re really thrilled to be doing it, especially in the slot just before the bells.’ It’s particularly sweet for…

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Mogwai - Rave Tapes

20 Jan 20144 stars

The band's 12th studio album is more deliberately understated than usual, if no less emotional

When Mogwai attempt a change of style, it occurs at a pace to suit that of their music, with all the relentless, unhurried grace of a turning cruise liner. While electronics have long played some part in their sound, they’ve increasingly come to the…

Urine Gagarin - The Withered Terminus of Evolution

20 Jan 20143 stars

Debut disc from 'ecstatic free jazz noise maximum improv trio'

If the jazz police come knocking, tell 'em it's the trumpet wot did it. The first track from The Withered Terminus of Evolution, the debut disc from Glasgow's impishly named 'ecstatic free jazz noise maximum improv trio' Urine Gagarin, bursts out of the…

Cass McCombs - CCA, Glasgow, Thu 9 Jan

17 Jan 20143 stars

Perfect mix of cynical comment, spiritual profundity and evocative twang of great American beyond

Cass McCombs’ records are full of a road-worn, vaguely spiritual-mystical wisdom that fits with his near 20-year history as an itinerant musician. On stage at the CCA, he cuts a far less mature-seeming figure. There’s something of that other…

Various - Let No One Judge You: Early Recordings From Iran, 1906-1933

16 Jan 2014

Stunning collection of Iranian music from the first third of the 20th century

Continuing their trawl through the Gramophone Company's Middle Eastern archives, Honest Jon's presents a stunning collection of Iranian music from the first third of the 20th century. Beginning with a 1906 recording of the Royal Orchestra, where western…

Celebrate the legacy of Robert Burns, Scotland's national poet, on Burns Night

7 Jan 2014

Find an event or create your own with our handy guide to Burns Suppers

It’s important, during the winter months, to keep in contact with close friends and loved ones. The cold weather and dark nights are best combatted with a mixture of food, drink and merriment, and while Christmas and Hogmanay go some way to making sure…

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Airbourne, Alice In Chains, Ghost, Gojira, Karnivool, Mastodon and Slayer added to Sonisphere 2014 lineup

6 Jan 2014

The new acts join headliners The Prodigy, Metallica and Iron Maiden at the rock and metal fest

UPDATE: Airbourne, Alice In Chains, Ghost, Gojira, Karnivool, Mastodon and Slayer have been added to the line-up for Sonisphere 2014, which will take place at Knebworth Park on Fri 4–Sun 6 July 2014.

Singles and downloads - January 2014

20 Jan 2014

New music from Law, The Twins, Finitribe and Kid Canaveral

‘Show Love People Now Kiss,’ commands the press release for the new EP from Edinburgh soul-dissident / Young Fathers associate LAW – and you don’t have to ask us twice, especially this close to Valentine’s Day.

Toby Paterson: Soft Boundary

20 Jan 2014

Work by Glasgow-based artist exploring city landmarks including Red Road flats

Originally intended to be a simple series of paintings, albeit created on aluminium sheeting, Soft Boundary has taken on a new life for Glasgow-based artist Toby Paterson. ‘From gathering experiences and photographic documentation of the latest series…

The best world music gigs at Celtic Connections 2014

17 Jan 2014

Highlights include Amadou & Mariam, Alkinoos Ioannidis, Manu Dibango and AR Rahman

Amadou & Mariam. With their deft fusion of West African blues and Western pop, this Malian husband-and-wife duo have become world music superstars. While their studio albums can suffer from over-production and a surfeit of guests, live shows remain…

Dick Gaughan - Leith Folk Club, Edinburgh, Tue 7 Jan 2014

17 Jan 20144 stars

Refreshing candour at gig from ever-political singer-songwriter and guitarist

'You thought you were getting away without me mentioning it, eh?’ enquired Dick Gaughan with an impudent growl midway through the second half of his now-traditional New Year show a couple of streets from his childhood home. ‘It’ was, perhaps inevitably…

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Xiu Xiu - Angel Guts: Red Classroom

16 Jan 20143 stars

Designed to sound dark, but with enough compelling moments to make the journey worthwhile

In 2012 Jamie Stewart, the creative force behind long-running noise-rock project Xiu Xiu, moved across the States from his home in North Carolina to Los Angeles. Unbeknown to him at the time, his new neighbourhood was notorious for gang violence, with a…

Scottish Chamber Orchestra set to mark 40th birthday in 2014

16 Jan 2014

Performance of specially commissioned piece from Martin Suckling titled Six Speechless Songs

How better for an orchestra to celebrate its 40th birthday than with a new piece of music? The Scottish Chamber Orchestra is doing exactly that with the specially commissioned Six Speechless Songs by Martin Suckling.

Singer Law set for release of EP Haters and Gangsters and live dates

16 Jan 2014

Exposure: Edinburgh-based artist tours with Young Fathers

Originally from Leicester, singer Lauren Holt moved to Edinburgh in 2010 on a whim, mostly because her partner had holidayed in the city and said it was nice. ‘I didn’t want to stay stagnant in one place,’ she says. ‘You can get stuck, you know?’ It’s…

Gogol Bordello – O2 Academy, Glasgow, Sun 15 Dec 2013

16 Jan 20143 stars

Eugene Hutz and his band of gypsy punks deliver a patchy but overall winning show

There have been a few recent changes to the so-called ‘familia undestructable’ that comprise Gogol Bordello – a many-limbed throng of globally-sourced gypsy punks led by charismatic Ukranian frontman Eugene Hutz. Guitarist Michael Bernard Ward has been…

Cate Le Bon set for 2014 UK tour

16 Jan 2014

Spellbinding and somewhat unsettling singer takes entrancing third album Mug Museum on tour

Cate Le Bon’s otherworldly alto is a voice to conjure with. To date, it has graced albums by sleek electro pop outfit Neon Neon and national treasures Manic Street Preachers, but it is her own spellbinding and somewhat unsettling solo work that takes…

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Super Onze - Gao

16 Jan 20144 stars

Malian group deliver ecstatic desert music at its best

Saharan desert blues begins here. Formed in the early 80s, Super Onze are the masters of Takamba, a style originating in the Songhai region of Mali that combines the ngoni (West African lute) with heavy calabash percussion and passionate vocals. This is…

Raymond MacDonald and Marilyn Crispell - Parallel Moments

13 Jan 20144 stars

An excellent pairing from the avant garde pianist and alto saxophonist

A long-time associate of Anthony Braxton, Marilyn Crispell's playing is avant garde, but with a strong romantic sensibility, making her an excellent match for Scottish saxophonist Raymond MacDonald, co-founder of Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra. Crispell…

Dum Dum Girls - Too True

10 Jan 20143 stars

Kristin 'Dee Dee' Gundred delivers a third album of better-than-average dreamy American indie-pop

‘Here is my best attempt at joining the rock’n’roll ranks,’ writes Kristin ‘Dee Dee’ Gundred – for Los Angeles’ Dum Dum Girls are fundamentally she – in an accompanying spiel to her third album. Too True also lists Arthur Rimbaud, Charles Baudelaire and…

Haiti Direct: Big Band, Mini Jazz and Twoubadou Sounds, 1960–1978

10 Jan 20144 stars

A remarkably consistent and fascinating collection examining Haiti’s rich musical culture

Though just as rich, multi-faceted and deeply rooted, Haiti’s musical culture has never attained anything like the international profile enjoyed by those of its neighbours Jamaica and Cuba. Compiled by tropicalia archaeologist Hugo Mendez of the Sofrito…

Singles and downloads - December 2013

20 Dec 2013

New Releases from The Sexual Objects, The Fall, Sandford and Michael Head reviewed

The Sexual Objects – ‘Feels With Me’ (Eyelids in the Rain) ●●●●● For seekers who know, Davy Henderson is the greatest rock poet on the planet, and has been ever since he exploded into Edinburgh's post-punk art/pop scene with the short-lived but…