TUBULAR WORLD Tubular Bells Tigermoth Records [Release date 14.12.20]

You wonder.  Is there any need for yet another version of ‘Tubular Bells’?  I mean, the masterwork’s creator has fine dined off the back of it for nearly 50 years now, whilst no slouch in the recycle department himself.  All being well, this August will see the latest performance variation, in the shape of a 50th anniversary celebration under the stewardship of Robin A Smith.

This album is like a love letter to Oldfield and his original concept.  It brings together Oldfield Obsessive Rob Reed (Magenta, Kompendium) together with various acolytes such as Steve Hillage (aka double speed guitar), Rick Fenn and Les Penning.  The biggest coup is getting original producer Tom Newman to twiddle the knobs on this version.

This double CD package is slightly confusing, CD2 merely repeats the first disc although this time the various sections are given a title, for example “Latin” or “Thrash” (!), and segmented on the disc.

In truth, I don’t really get this.  But all proceeds go to the mental health charity MIND which maybe is the clincher.  ***

Review by David Randall

Robin A Smith (Feature, 2021)

ROBERT REED Cursus 123 430

ROBERT REED Cursus 123 430 Tigermoth Records [Release date 14.11.20]

It seems Robert Reed’s albums slip out regularly but not necessarily with the bigger promotion they deserve.  The latest Chimpan A album for example.  Cursus 123 430 was released in late-2020 but we’ve only just received it being another case in point.

Concept albums with spoken word are always a bit worrying, and no doubt the accompanying graphic novel will help repeated play, although we only received the album.

Les Penning (and Mike Oldfield collaborator) supplies the narrative whilst Reed consciously re-explores the sounds of analogue synthesisers and his eighties influences such as Jean Michel Jarre, Vangelis, Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream.

And it’s those artists that are the best benchmark for this spacey adventure.  Some will say that it’s perhaps too derivative.  Maybe Reed is losing his Oldfield fixation (q.v) and heading for the widescreen. Alternatively, he may get a job re-scoring Doctor Who.

It’s expansive, immersive and perfectly executed.  The second disc has the ubiquitous 5.1 mix and an interview/video.  ****

Review by David Randall

Josh Taerk’s latest Sunday Session was streamed on Sunday 17 July.

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David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 GMT, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 31 July 2022.

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Power Plays w/c 8 August 2022 (Mon-Fri)
BORN LOST Take Time (Mouthpiece) (Revolver Records)
JAIME KYLE Driving With The Brakes On (Conquest Music)
SCARLET DORN Born To Suffer (SPV Recordings)
HOLDING ABSENCE Coffin (Sharptone Records)
TYRANNOSAURUS NEBULOUS Get Some (Echoed Past Records)
KROOKED TONGUE When The Beaches Bleed (indie)
SKYPILOT Knifed On The Beach (The Distortion Project)

Featured Albums w/c 8 August (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 LESSMAN VOSS Rock Is Our Religion (Atomic Fire Records)
12:00-13:00 H.E.A.T. Force Majeure (earMUSIC)
14:00-16:00 THE SLAMBOVIAN CIRCUS OF DREAMS A Very Unusual Head (indie)

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