Various Artists - Late Night Tales: Metronomy (****)
For the obligatory cover version, Metronomy tackle Jean Michel Jarre’s Hypnose: understated and faithful, it slips smoothly into the mix’s folds, without overshadowing its lovingly selected surroundings. For the now-standard spoken word coda, meanwhile, Paul Morley concludes his Lost for Words piece – previously heard on the Trentemøller, MGMT and Belle and Sebastian compilations – with an enjoyably freewheeling verbosity.
Out 3rd September
Sycamore - Sycamore and Friends (****)
Opener New Cold is an immediate standout: one of the few tracks to feature prominent vocals, it buffets wordless wails (from Connolly’s fellow Tattie Nerea Bello) with exotic and propulsive twin guitars. The closing A Sun – with its droning, groaning interlude – also deserves mention, building to a noisy finish forged from percussive rattles and string whines. Sporadic lulls elsewhere do nothing to diminish the record as a whole, raising hopes this union is an on-going project and not a one-off.
Chilly Gonzales - Solo Piano II (***)
Solo Piano II presents another 14 compositions in the titular style, and as before, Gonzales elegantly undercuts his natural inclination towards showing-off. There are no tricks or twists to this Ronseal-titled collection, just neo-classical ivory tinkling of the highest calibre, as tracks like the classy Othello channel their composer’s prodigious talents into gracefully simple melodies, modestly but expertly reaffirming his 21st century Renaissance-man credentials.