Okay, I’ll be honest about this. The reasons why I first tried the three bands mentioned in this week’s edition of DC had nothing to do with their music, at least initially. Later, once I had heard their stuff, I got hooked but that is another matter. But the reason why I first picked up each of their albums had little to do with their music. It was actually about names. Read more

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I’d thought I’d be able to give Bob Dylan’s new album a good long listen and then perhaps write my two bits about it in this instalment of DC. Tempest, Dylan’s 35th album, came out on September 11; I managed to get hold of it a couple of days later but before I could properly listen to it, the deadline of this column was upon me (Brunch goes to press really early in the week and its editor is quite a strict disciplinarian when it comes to deadlines). I don’t know about you but I just can’t casually listen to any of Dylan’s albums, particularly a brand new one from a living legend who is now 71. Dylan’s isn’t by any stretch ambient music. It requires focused listening. Read more

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It’s the trippiest music that I have heard in the past six months and it comes from Karachi. Yes. That’s right. Karachi, Pakistan. It’s a band called Basheer & The Pied Pipers and they make a top notch variety of original experimental rock music. The band was formed by two medical students—Saad Munzar and Salman Younas Khan—and their debut album, Basheer, is available for free download. It’s a gem of a find. Read more

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The first time I heard some jazz and instantly liked it was when at the home of a much older friend, I heard an album called Witchi-Tai-To. The year was 1976 or ‘77, I think, and I was in Calcutta, a city where the jazz scene was still vibrant with–besides an annual jazz festival and quite a large number of aficionados of the genre–several people, like my friend, who had great collections of jazz albums that were from off the beaten track. Witchi-Tai-To was an album from the Jan Garbarek-Bobo Stenson Quartet, a Scandinavian jazz band with Garbarek on tenor and soprano saxophone, Stenson on the piano, Jon Christensen on drums and Palle Danielsson on bass. Read more

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When you first listen to The Tallest Man on Earth (who’s actually a 5’7” Swede named Kristian Matsson) you could be mistaken into believing that he’s probably mimicking Bob Dylan, so similar is the 29-year-old’s singing style and songwriting to the legendary musician. In fact, some critics feel exactly that way and Matsson, in his three-record career till now, has often faced that criticism—that he channels Dylan. But a closer listen to any of his albums, particularly this year’s There’s No Leaving Now, can change your perception. Hugely influenced by American folk giants such as Dylan and Woody Guthrie he may be, but Matsson’s songs are all about where he belongs and his local Swedish environment. Read more

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