A complex, beautiful, and very sad album. Not only because of the passing of one of the members means Immolate Yourself is the last album by Telafon Tel Aviv (at least in the form that we knew them) but the music itself is a wistful look back, in many ways, at the not-so-distant past of electronic dance music.
Not to say that the album doesn't belong in 2009. It's certainly a very "late 00's" album and fits in well with other currently popular electronic acts, its especially comparable to several French acts like m83, Air, or even a much mellower Minitel Rose.
Like the best of this decades' electronic music, the album is very much about the history of what led up to the current sound, with warm, detuned pads and simplistic sequencer lines strongly reminiscent of the synth pop and new wave of the 80's and the post-punk and art rock sounds that fed into those. The vocals are recorded in such a way that they sound like unintentionally overheard pop songs belonging to someone else's private memories, like you are hearing someone singing from around a corner and it blends in with your own memories and the ambient sounds of the current world.
A deep and ultimately tragic album. Strongest tracks are "Mostly Translucent" and the title track, "Immolate Yourself".
This is a superb collection of contemporary classical pieces by a world-class orchestra, led by a conductor who has already made a name for herself as an interpreter of modern music. The album opens with Scottish composer James MacMillan's powerful Confession of Isobel Gowdie: composed in 1990, this work focuses on the martyrdom in 1662 of a Scottish woman accused of witchcraft, amid the long period of hysterical persecutions following the Scottish Reformation. Mournful string passages predominate at first, gradually yielding to fierce attacks by the brasses, winds, and percussion as the music addresses the barbaric execution of the condemned woman -- ultimately, expressions of grief and anger alternate until the piece ends on a long, anguished cry of foreboding from the entire orchestra. Following this emotionally searing experience, Alsop shifts the mood with a genial interpretation of Thomas Adès's Chamber Symphony (written when the London-born composer was still an undergraduate), emphasizing the sinuous, jazzy inflections of the work in a way that her mentor, Leonard Bernstein, would certainly have enjoyed. Concluding the disc is Jennifer Higdon's Percussion Concerto (2005), another example of this young American composer's ability to create innovative, distinctive music that is also highly accessible. Featuring a bravura performance by soloist Colin Currie, the concerto plumbs the full range of the percussionist's art, offering everything from thunderous drumming to the most delicate tintinnabulations. All in all, this is a don't-miss disc for fans of contemporary classical music -- it could even appeal to those whose tastes run to more traditional fare.
While originally recorded in 1969, the five "complete, unxpurgated" volumes that make up The Woodstock Experience have been re-mastered, mixed, and released this year to coincide with the 40th Anniversary of the concert that rocked the world.
Not only do you get the full live sets -- much of which have never been issued -- from Jefferson Airplane, Johnny Winter, Santana, Janis Joplin, and Sly and the Family Stone; you also get the band's studio album from that same era.
Here's how it breaks down (the individual volumes are available too!):
To paraphrase Grace Slick, this 10-CD collection, highlights "The heavy groups" as well as the "morning maniac music." We believe you, Gracie, it really was a "a new dawn!"