Friday, May 28, 2010

One Cool Cat

Harry Manx is a unique blend of Indian and Canadian folksy-blues. (I know, that sounds like a pretty odd description). East meets West seems to be somewhat cliché but it’s really to only way to describe his music. His gravelly, soulful voice is emotive and is in a class by itself. You can pick it out the second you hear it. And he accompanies himself on a multitude of stringed instruments—from guitar and lap steel to the Indian Mohan Veena. Harry’s musical journey has taken him around the world. He was born on the Isle of Mann and has lived in Japan, India and Brazil and now calls Canada home. But through it all, he’s managed to record some truly amazing music. A lot of his stuff is available and free to download from the CBC website. I encourage you to check it out. If you need help tracking it down, feel free to email me and I’ll send you some links.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Ten Years After

It’s hard to believe Olive’s last release was ten years ago. Their music still sounds fresh today. The group consisted of producers Tim Kellett and Robin Taylor-Firth along with vocalist Ruth-Ann Boyle. Their music is sort of psychedelic-soul mixed with a bit of trip-hop. Their entire oeuvre is a paltry three cds, the first, “Extra Virgin” was released in 1996 and their last, “Trickle” sadly was released in 2000. Boyle has a hauntingly beautiful voice with a remarkable range, which plays nicely along with the electronic beats and spacey effects backing her up. Almost all their songs feature brilliant production and overdubbing. I really can’t understand why the group was so short lived. The song “Curious” should have vaulted them to international fame, but alas, they’ve been brushed into the ashcan of obscurity.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Not So Fast

Slow Six is a modern minimalist classical group led by Christopher Tignor. The quintet is based in New York City and has produced three distinct cds to date. The “crossover” group borrows a bit from John Cage infused with pleasant electronic sounds, strings, guitar, and keyboards. Their music is quiet, subtly complex, and very melodic. If you enjoy Brian Eno’s Music for Airports,” and groups like the Dirty Three, then this is definitely your cup of tea.