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Editor's Pick of New Releases, September 2009

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Mike Diver Mike Diver | 15:41 UK time, Monday, 5 October 2009

Even after August's highs of The xx and Wild Beasts September's releases might just be the best I've heard in a single month since I started listening to records for a living.

I've highlighted six releases below, but do also check out great new albums by Vitalic in the dance/electronica field; Japandroids, Jamie T, Girls and Le Loup in rock and indie; Q-Tip's phenomenal Kamaal the Abstract in hip hop; Topic Records' great Three Score and Ten compilation in folk; and Michael Olatuja's highly collaborative Speak album in jazz and blues. Truly, it's been a month to remember.

davidaaroncarpenter-elgar-c.jpgDavid Aaron Carpenter - Elgar & Schnittke Viola Concertos
(Ondine, released September 7)

Writes reviewer Andrew MacGregor: "I started this journey with a mixture of curiosity and suspicion, only to be disarmed by a remarkable debut. I wasn't expecting the breadth of the concerto's opening to be as successfully captured, not just in Carpenter's plangent, vocal sound, but with the intimate warmth of the Philharmonia, and Christoph Eschenbach's effortless accompaniment. It's a recording with an intimate focus on the soloist, enhancing Carpenter's impact. What a debut."

Read the full review of Elgar & Schhnittke Viola Concertos

David Aaron Carpenter - performing Elgar

I-Speak-Fula.jpgBassekou Kouyate & Ngoni ba - I Speak Fula
(Out Here Records, released September 21)

Writes reviewer Louis Pattison: "Bassekou Kouyate is something of a maverick and innovator in his homeland of Mali, and this album is pretty spectacular. Astonishingly intricate melodies dance over and across each other, long winding solos unfurl over clacking percussion, while the vocals - male harmonies and clear song from Kouyate's wife, Amy Sacko - are soft in tone, but gain in power as the tempo rises. I Speak Fula deserves to find its way out of the world music ghetto and onto the world stage."

Read the full review of I Speak Fula

Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni ba - Ladon (from I Speak Fula, live at the Royal Albert Hall)

DIZZEE.jpgDizzee Rascal - Tongue N' Cheek
(Dirtee Stank, released September 21)

Writes reviewer John Doran: "You'll have already heard Bonkers, Dizzee's smash with Armand Van Helden, and the Calvin Harris and Chrome-starring Dance Wiv Me and Holiday. What's surprising, though, is that this is packed with further contenders for top ten hits. A monstrously successful fourth album, Tongue N' Cheek is the release to officially crown Dizzee as UK dance/hip hop royalty. The boy's some prince, you know."

Read the full review of Tongue N' Cheek

Dizzee Rascal - Bonkers

raekwon1.jpgRaekwon - Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... Pt II
(Ice H20, released September 7)

Writes reviewer Adam Kennedy: "It's taken the Wu-Tang Clan's slang master Raekwon the thick end of 15 years of inferior albums and market-flooding mixtapes to craft a genuinely worthy follow-up to landmark solo debut Only Built 4 Cuban Linx..., and this sequel had been mooted so long its status in hip hop circles had become nearly as mythical as Dr Dre's still-unreleased Detox. But Pt II soon reminds us that nobody else, not even his Wu-Tang companions, relates street stories with his eloquence."

Read the full review of Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... Pt II

Raekwon feat. Method Man &Ghostface Killah - New Wu

health-get-color.jpgHEALTH - Get Color
(Lovepump, released September 14)

Writes reviewer Mike Diver: "The title's an entirely apt one: HEALTH truly Get Color. They understand the appeal of contrast, how an imbalance between X and Y can actually produce the most beautiful Z. Their music is alive with dissonance, but equally enthralled by elegance and experimentation. Get Color is as close as they've yet come to capturing the sounds inside their heads without actually slicing their own skulls open."

Read the full review of Get Color

HEALTH - Die Slow

a-sunny-day-cover.jpgA Sunny Day in Glasgow - Ashes Grammar
(Mis Ojos Discos, released September 28)

Writes reviewer Andrzej Lukowski: "If being unweighted by either scorching guitar hooks or intelligible vocals perhaps leaves ASDIG too unearthly for mainstream crossover, the band are hardly un-ambitious. Second album Ashes Grammar is a raising of their game; a seamless, symphonic 22 tracks that twist and glitter like a lake of pristine morning mist. It flows past in an ambient slipstream: intangible, but leaving the lingering impression of a pleasant dream."

Read the full review of Ashes Grammar

The making of Ashes Grammar

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Editor's Pick of New Releases, August 2009


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