City Vibes

 |  October 30, 2009

Artist: Taken by Trees
Album: East of Eden
Rating: * * *

When an accomplished Swedish composer Victoria Bergsman visits Pakistan for musical inspiration the result is this superbly blended work of folk songs with a Balukistani edge. East of Eden avoids the pitfalls of orientalism by allowing the calm, minimalist rhythms room to breathe and by keeping vocalisation low-key. Whether Bergsman has a true grasp of Pakistan’s folk music or is simply building on the foundations of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan is unclear, but the result is an understated homage to the quality and versatility of Pakistani music and a delightful tonic for the world-weary.

Artist: Wild Beasts
Album: Two Dancers
Rating: * * * *

It may be difficult to reconcile this band’s dynamic modernism with the themes of mythology and anthropomorphism that are clearly the band’s inspiration, but therein hides the uniqueness of Two Dancers. The first single of Wild Beast’s second LP ‘All the King’s Men’ demonstrates this uniqueness by blending age-old bonfire banter with caustic bar-room cusses and it is a firm finger in the air to the conformists. Two Dancers, follows in the footsteps of path-breakers such as Arcade Fire and Radiohead. A fresh, bold album that indicates that creativity is alive and kicking in 2009 and that Wild Beasts are destined for greatness.

Artist: : Zomby
Album: One Foot Ahead of the Other
Rating: * *

Zomby proved himself to be one of the more interesting beat pirates to have emerged in the Dubstep scene with the release of ‘Where were you in 92?” For this EP, Zomby expresses his obsession with the Acid-House scene by creating sparse, rapid tracks crafted on an old Atari ST. Inevitably then; “One Foot Ahead of the Other” contains lots of bleeps, tweets and metronomic pulses. So if your idea of fun used to be dancing to the sounds of an arcade machine whilst chomping on a toffee apple at a midsummer fair, then this album is definitely for you. For everyone else it is irritating beyond rebuke.