Artist: Kate Bush
Album: 50 Words for Snow
This album marks Kate Bush’s second release of original material in 17 years and reminds us that good things come to those that wait. For those familiar with Bush’s works (and who can’t instantly recall the haunting and hypnotising ‘Wuthering Heights’) there will much to celebrate here. ’50 Words for Snow’ is wintery, delicate and introspective, and of course utterly eccentric. Tracks such as ‘Misty’ express a sexual encounter betwixt woman and snowman while ‘Snowflake’ is a song about a snowflake’s journey from sky to ground, sung with Kate Bush’s 13 year-old son. If this all sounds a tiny bit sick-making, I’d stay well away, otherwise prepare yourself for epic indulgence.
Artist: Oneohtrix Point Never
Trying to categorise this engaging slab of originality is to do a deal with the devil. It verges on the incomparable. Perhaps if one were to allude to a crossbreed between Flying Lotus and the Future Sound of London we would be getting be close, but not close enough. Replica is the stuff of pure creative genius, a shifting, unpredictable soundscape of strung out strings and beat anomalies, lush, verdant, dark and cold. Experimentalism this most certainly is, but don’t let that be a turn off, this is not alienating music but engrossing and majestic in both conception and delivery.
Instant gratification is bestowed upon the listener of this mesmeric ode to bass and beats. New York duo Sepalcure fuse garage, drum & bass and dubstep into a modernist evocation of the best in bass-driven music. Traversing the spectrum between Burial and Bad Company, Sepalcure’s sound exudes structural harmony, albeit one that shifts effortlessly on a landscape of adventurism. The vocals too are an enabler on this timely release, sounding refreshing and engaging they set Sepalcure apart from the dominance of the dystopian in bass-led sounds and allow this release to guide us out of 2011 in style.