ELECTRONICA RUSTIE Glass Swords (Warp) ●●●●●

The boundary-nudging boy producer from Glasgow signed to Warp Records who isn’t Hudson Mohawke, Russell Whyte shares the same obsessions as his fellow sometime Numbers alumnus. This record is a step into the future to find it sounds uncannily like the past, from the oriental prog-synth wash of the title track to ‘Hover Traps’; an unlikely collision of electro and trance, and ‘Globes’ looping, wilfully repetitive appropriation of a bangin’ big-room house riff.

There are also shades of glistening, Kanye-style dance-pop production to a hip hop beat on tracks like ‘Ultra Thizz’, ‘After Light’ and the chip-pop swaggering ‘Crystal Echo’, hinting that Rustie’s a producer who, like HudMo, will be picked up by the big boys soon. (David Pollock)

SOLO COMEBACK NOEL GALLAGHER’S HIGH FLYING BIRDS Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds (Sour Mash) ●●●●● SYNTH POP SUMMER CAMP Welcome To Condale (Apricot Recording Company/ Moshi Moshi) ●●●●●

Given that Noel Gallagher hasn’t made a truly vital album since 1995 and his brother has already unleashed the underwhelming Beady Eye upon us, expectations perhaps aren’t stratospheric for the solo project the elder Gallagher has been promising virtually since Oasis emerged. He isn’t anything like the underdog here, but the relative lack of fanfare works to his advantage. All the usual ingredients are here the string-addled retro melodrama of ‘(I Wanna Live in a Dream in My) Record Machine’; the pastoral diet psychedelia of ‘Stop the Clocks’; the obsession with bracketed titles but Gallagher seems unencumbered by ‘voice of a generation’ responsibility. It’s like he’s just been told it’s OK to be middle-aged, and it suits him. (David Pollock)

Summer Camp’s music is seeped in nostalgia, but the London duo pay homage to the past cleverly; their 80s’ teen flicks-inspired debut thankfully avoids the usual pitfalls of cynical pastiche and copycatting. Spoken word samples are dropped into tracks driven by twinkling electronics, drum machine beats, growling riffs and soaring melodies producer Steve Mackey (of Pulp fame) imbues Welcome To Condale with a warm, lo-fi reverie.

The bouncy ‘Better Off Without You’, ‘Brian Krakow’ and ‘Last American Virgin’ are all must-hears, as Elizabeth Sankey and Jeremy Warmsley take turns leading us through tales of outsiders, loners and prom queens falling in and out of love. The smartest synth pop romp of the year. (Camilla Pia)

LOCAL SINGER-SONGWRITER MARTIN JOHN HENRY The Other Half of Everything (Gargleblast) ●●●●●

The Other Half of Everything is the debut solo record from Martin John Henry, perhaps best known for fronting DeRosa a much-loved, much-missed and highly influential band that once held their own in the Glasgow music community. MJH’s debut is the product of a

year spent locked in the studio, which is evident in these 11 songs’ broad musical palette and subtle sonic intricacies. It straddles well trodden, low-key acoustic territory, touching base with numerous electronic textures and colourful orchestral washes along the way. It’s also an album with firm footing in a natural atmosphere that goes hand in hand with the breathtaking hills on its front cover. An impressive and thoughtful debut that demonstrates a real passion for quality songwriting. (Ryan Drever)

LIVE POST-ROCK SIGUR RÓS Inni (Krunk) ●●●●● Sigur Rós’s effortlessly epic post- rock feels over-exposed now, seemingly soundtracking every documentary of the last decade, but stripped of that banal link it still wields giant emotional power, as demonstrated on this live album. Eschewing the choirs and acoustic experiments of their extraordinary 2006 Heima film, this is Sigur Rós distilled to their essence. The accompanying mono-chrome movie is freakily intimate, but with or without visuals the music soars, from jaw-dropping murky sleepwalk ‘Svefn-g-Englar’ to ‘Popplagid’’s white-heat meltdown. This reminds you why Sigur Rós were great in the first place. (Doug Johnstone) Inni will be shown at Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh, Mon 24 Oct; Òran Mór, Glasgow, Tue 1 Nov. See page 6 for how to win tickets.

QUIRK-POP THE Both Ways Open Jaws (Village Green) ●●●●●

There’s so much charming naivety on this second album it makes you feel nauseous. The French/ Finnish boy/girl duo can write a catchy song but lack any mettle, sounding like a summer school recording project, complete with sub-Gwen Stefani playground chants on ‘Slippery Slope’. ‘Dust It Off’dusts off the familiar

combination of synth and Björk- esque ethereal vocals, ‘Bohemian Dances’ is a didgeridoo dirge that is as annoying as its title suggests (especially when ‘dancing’ is pronounced ‘dauncing’), and ‘The Calendar’ is a quirk-pop update of Craig David’s ‘Seven Days’. Only the beautiful strings and Bowie guitar line of ‘Too Insistent’ stand out amid all the self-satisfied wholesomeness. (Jonny Ensall)

LO-FI ROCK KURT VILE So Outta Reach (Matador) ●●●●● Recorded during sessions from Vile’s applauded fourth album Smoke Ring For My Halo, this six- song EP begins with a resemblance to Leonard Cohen or J Mascis at their most mournful on ‘The Creature’. But what’s interesting about Vile’s take on American anthemic rock is his marginal approach a heady mixture of removed vocals and Crazy Horse guitar energy buried in reverb. Other highlight ‘It’s Alright’ crosses wires into the floppy peppiness of Ultra Vivid Scene. It’s this effortless combination of lo-fi sensibilities and stadium grandeur that separates the ex-skateboarder’s recordings from run of the mill, pastiche revivalists. Another distinctive effort from the Philly native. (Nick Herd) The EP is part of a deluxe edition of Smoke Ring. . . out Mon 7 Nov.

ELECTRO-POP JOHN FOXX & THE MATHS Interplay (Metamatic Records) ●●●●● Now a real-life silver Foxx, the pushing-60 electro-pop/clash pioneer and ex Ultravox vocalist before Midge Ure made them rubbish might just have found his time. This retro-future compendium of dystopian analogue-synth ditties made with Ben ‘Benge’ Edwards was first released in March, and while the two extra tracks on this special edition hardly constitute a new album, neither do they take away from the ice-cool, machine- age sexiness of an appositely warm revisit to a sound made for serious young men to suck cheekbones in to while standing in neon-lit nightclubs watching women dance. (Neil Cooper) Read Foxx’s memories of Brian Eno’s Music For Airports, p80.

20 Oct–17 Nov 2011 THE LIST 85