Apell - Reconstituted (2008)
This CD starts out with a couple of jazzy pieces with vocals (including a nice cover of "Don't Let it Bring You Down" from Neil Young and "Long, Long, Long" from the Beatles) but the heart and soul of this CD is the sometimes funky and always interesting instrumental pieces. The sound is at times techno but it reminds me more of the high energy pieces by Tangerine Dream than of the 90's techo scene. Not that this is in any way dated. The sounds and ideas are fresh and at times funky and alive. And just for good measure, the songs actually sound like their titles (I can just see the "Hash Browns" frying on the stove). http://www.apellmusic.com
Big Blue Ball - Big Blue Ball (2008)
This project, the brainchild of Peter Gabriel, was recorded back in the 90's I believe and was finally finished up this year. It features, along with Peter, Sinead O'conner, Karl Walinger (of World Party fame... he also helped produce) and Joseph Arthur along with some world music stars. The music bounces (like the pun?) around between pop and world music. It is an interesting group of songs. If you like all of Peter's dabblings in world and other styles of music, you will no doubt love this.
Ian Tescee - A Traveler's Guide to Mars (2007)
If you've ever been to a planetarium show with the cool projector that puts the stars and planets on the ceiling and the cool space music (for me, growing up, it was the Griffith Park Observatory), then you know what this CD is all about. Ian has created music that is not only worthy of any observatory but will sound really good on that cool stereo system you just bought to support you new flat screen TV. The CD owes a lot to Tangerine Dream and the other German space rockers of the 60's and 70's, but the music sounds fresh and alive. In the sub genre of electronic music this is the best I've heard in some time. http://www.iantescee.com/
Roxy Music - Roxy Music (1972) & For Your Pleasure (1973)
This is how it all began. With Bryan Ferry writing, Eno filling the sound with keyboards and tapes and Manzanera's cool guitar licks, this was Roxy Music at their best (in my humble opinion).
Roxy Music - Viva! (1976)
Eno had left the band (and took his full name back... Hmmm, do you suppose that Bryan Ferry didn't want to have 2 Bryan's in the band and that is why he was only known as Eno?) and was replaced by the great Edwin (later to be called Eddie) Jobson on keyboards and violin. What we have here is Roxy Music doing what they do best, play live. Songs like "In Every Dream Home a Heartache" sound so much better live. The power, the sexiness, the intensity is here. One of my favorite live albums of the 70's (although it is way behind "801 Live").
Jethro Tull - Carnegie Hall, NY 1970 (from the 25th Anniversary box set) 1993
Ian and band sure knew how to rock back in the old days. But I never noticed that his raps sounded a lot like Eddie Izzard. :-) The pre-Aqualung version of My God is interesting in how he later toned down the lyrics. This CD alone makes the box set worth having.