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James Poole recommendations

Creativity, with a pinch of ‘Wellerness’

I figured that ‘Starlight’ was an early indication of what was to come. It sounded like it was a track lifted straight off ‘Modernism: A New Decade’, the notorious final Style Council LP. I say this not by way of criticism – I love it when Weller shakes off the shackles that his fans place […]

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defining freethinking James Poole recommendations

Herbie Hancock: a chameleon

I’m not a religious man, but I do have an almost unshakable belief that having a pint on a Friday night is one of life’s pleasures. Throw in a chat about music with a good mate over said pint, and you’ve got a winning formula for the end of a working week. A couple of […]

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James Poole recommendations

A place that I heard on the radio never sleeps

Oh, Time Out New York, sometimes you really do disappoint me. You take the populist line on artists (which I sometimes doubt you’ve ever even heard). You champion local bands, even if they’re ‘a bit bobbins’ (step forward, Javelin). And, fundamentally, you just don’t seem to have the same critical clout that you once did. […]

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James Poole recommendations

Now this is a bassline

You know Cymande. No, you really know Cymande. They were pioneers of 70’s British funk. This isn’t why you’ll know them. Their solid output seems to just not be enough to have won Cymande recognition they deserve. They were sampled by De La Soul: this is why you know them. ‘Bra’ is a chuffing marvellous […]

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James Poole recommendations

What the world needs is more from Matt Deighton

Where is Matt Deighton? He should be one of the UKs most celebrated singer/song-writers, but instead he’s Missing In Action. His recording career has seen him cover a huge territory, from soulful pop to full-on psychedelic rock through to acid-tinged funk. The common thread is about as English as a pint of bitter – folk, […]

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recommendations

Drive: It’s the music that makes the movie magic

For me, movie soundtracks fall into four categories: soundtracks that are the film (think Tommy, The Wall, Hard Days Night); soundtracks that are part of the movie dialogue (musicals like Grease, Evita and any Disney animated flick really); soundtracks that are both from and inspired by (in many cases, but not all, the music in […]

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James Poole recommendations

José James: breathing fresh life into jazz

It seems that José James was put on Earth in order to breathe fresh life into an entire genre. His voice is a pure gift from heaven – it eclipses jazz greats such as Mark Murphy (I truly mean this). His voice has more texture, more silk. You could picture his voice pouring off the […]

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James Poole recommendations

2011: Top ten albums

The perils of writing a ‘best albums of the year’ list are many. First of all, I know that I’ll be missing some albums which probably deserve to make the cut. Last year, for example, while calling out I Am Kloot’s ‘Sky At Night’ as the album of the year (which I still stand resolutely […]

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James Poole recommendations

A sack full of funk: Soul Santa

It’s Christmas. And, have I got a treat for you? Over the last few months, I have – like so many others – become mildly addicted to turntable.fm. For the uninitiated, it’s social networking brought to music. You enter a ‘room’, and five DJs take it in turns to play music. Play the wrong track, […]

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defining freethinking James Poole recommendations

The folk-tinged drone of Hi-Fiction Science

Think of music from Bristol, and I dare you – I double dare you – to not think of Massive Attack. I certainly can’t help it. The reaction is totally involuntary – the place and the band being as deeply connected in my mind as Radiohead to Oxford, The Boss with New Jersey, and, er, […]

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recommendations reflection

Happy vibes in the direction of Rick Rubin

The chunky ZZ-Topping Roadie in Jay Z’s 99 Problems video. He’s Rick Rubin. You know him. You just don’t know how much. Beastie Boys:’ “You’ve got to fight for your right to party”. Johnny Cash: “Hurt”. Chili Peppers: “Under the bridge” & “Give it Away”. Run DMC:  “It’s Tricky” & “Walk this Way”. Adele, JayZ, Metallica, […]

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James Poole recommendations reflection

Elbow: Restoring the intimacy

Even the most casual reader of these pages will know that I’m a bit of an Elbow fan. I feel that I need to put that out there straight from the off, so you know what you’re dealing with, here. That said, I’ve largely held back on commentary around ‘Build A Rocket Boys!’, save for […]