A Different Aspect A Different Aspect 9

Published on 3rd October 2017

A Different Aspect #9 – October 2017

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In this update we feature:-

    Kuhn Fu – Kuhnspiracy
    Anni Elif – Edith
    Lion Shepherd – Heat
    David McWilliams – Lord Of Offaly
    John Steven Morgan – Solo Piano Works
    The Residents – The Ghost Of Hope

As the dampness of “Summer” gives way to the, er, dampness of Autumn (eh?), it’s time for another ADA (TPA’s occasional ‘A Different Aspect’ series) – and reasonably hot on the heels of the last one for a change! This is where we sweep up some of the worthwhile releases that we might have missed in the main reviews section, which could have got away otherwise. Have a listen via the links provided and hopefully you’ll find some new sounds to investigate further. Enjoy!

Kuhn Fu – Kuhnspiracy
by Jez Rowden

Kuhn Fu’s near-instrumental music can be playful, difficult, structured or free, depending on the mood that takes them at any particular time, the eternal trimverate of guitar, bass and drums being coaxed in new directions by the addition of bass clarinet, and if this isn’t weird enough then the German/Israeli/Turkish/English backgrounds of the players ensure that this is a real mix and unlike much else that you’re likely to have heard before.

The various panels of sleeve image, as demonstrated in the introductory video above, represent each of the individual songs and Kuhnspiracy is an intriguing and exhilarating listen with enough melodic moments to keep it the right side of ‘Difficult’ for less adventurous types. I’m sure they’re a blast to see live. It’s not jazz. It’s not prog. It’s not punk. It’s not rock. I’m damned if I know what it is, but I like it! Avoid remaining Kuhn-fused by going to the Bandcamp link and hearing the album in full.

Kuhn Fu - Kuhnspiracy

Website | Facebook | Bandcamp

Anni Elif – Edith
by Roger Trenwith

In the course of these ten songs flame-haired minstrel Anni Elif proves she is an adept singer-songwriter with an ear for intriguing arrangements. Covering heartfelt piano ballads, jaunty orchestrations, light-as-a-feather skipping pop, dark poetic explorations and resonating electronica, jazz saxophone breaks, and all points in between, Edith is a captivating album where the song is king…or rather, queen in this instance.

Comparisons may irritate some, but I feel they are useful for those unfamiliar with the artist, so I would say that Anni’s voice sits somewhere between full-on Joni Mitchell and a more restrained version of Bent Knee’s Courtney Swain, and is a powerful instrument in its own right, touching many emotional bases and possessing an impressive vocal range.

These songs are all written and sung in Anni’s native Finnish and the lyrics are obviously an intrinsic element, and that lack of understanding on my part is the only thing that precludes me from blathering on incessantly in a full length review, as regardless of language barriers, the strength of the material shines through.

Anni Elif - Edith

Facebook | Bandcamp

Lion Shepherd – Heat
by Phil Lively

After a few listens I surprised myself when I grew to like this second album by the Polish rockers. On first listen I confess that it felt like a collection of moderate rock and roll cliches but on further listening that initial impression did the music a disservice. There is some expert musicianship here, and some diverse songs with hooks that feel as if they’ve been honed by performance on the road.

Often as not the musical keys, instrumentation and percussion invoke a definite and deliberate eastern feel. Lukasz Adamczyk’s bass playing is particularly melodic, in fact, none of the band puts a foot wrong. For example, The Code Of Life has all of these elements and includes a smashing guitar solo. I’m picking up hints of mysticism or perhaps messages of faith in the lyrical content. The very name Lion Shepherd does nothing to dispel this impression, invoking images of flocks of followers protected by a militant spiritual guide. Overall there is a positive vibe to the entire album that is diametrically opposed to the introspective and often nihilistic music riddled with weltschmerz to which I would typically gravitate.

If I had to say “sounds like” I’d say that if you like A Perfect Circle then you might like Lion Shepherd though Swamp Song could have been an album closer for Stone Temple Pilots. Worth a listen.

Lion Shepherd - Heat

Website | Facebook | Soundcloud

David McWilliams – Lord Of Offaly
by Bob Mulvey

Lord Of Offaly was David McWilliams fifth studio album and his first to be released on the Dawn Records, the “progressive” division of Pye Records. The album continues McWilliams singer-songwriter approach, with his intelligent and thought provoking lyrics encapsulated in an ear friendly and catchy folk-rock setting.

The late ’60s / early ’70s however was awash with singer-songwriters and unfortunately none of McWilliams albums were financially successful. His second, eponymous release faired best, mainly due to his hit single The Days of Pearly Spencer (1967), which although not charting in the U.K. did do well in Eire and across Europe.

There are some fine songs to be found across Lord Of Offaly and Esoteric Recording’s reissue serves as a good introduction to the catalogue of Ireland’s David McWilliams.

David McWilliams - Lord of Offaly


John Steven Morgan – Solo Piano Works
by Phil Lively

A compilation of works from the Californian composer and founder of Black Metal band, WRECHE, John Steven Morgan swaps Black Metal for Black Ebony and White Ivory. This album has everything that a piano can do without a hint of his WRECHed alter ego.

With a self-confessed range of influences that includes Danny Elfman, Rachmaninov, Glenn Miller, sex and drugs, this anthology contains period drama, ragtime exuberance, romance and tragedy, humour and subtlety, style and grace. It allows your imagination to run away with itself.

With Mr Morgan at the helm of his piano he can transport you to a middle class Victorian parlour on a Sunday afternoon then transfer you to a President Wilson era speakeasy for drinks, to be followed by a trip to the picture theatre to watch dramas unfold at strange frame-rates.

Infuse your qi with some quirky nostalgia. I like it.

The Residents – The Ghost Of Hope
by Roger Trenwith

In which the now nominally anonymous band of art terrorists continue their penchant for themed albums, this time taking descriptions of train disasters from the early days of the American railroad from newspaper articles of the time, and narrating them in a curdling monotone over their own brand of portenteous electronica.

The unrelenting nature of this album, with it’s similarly toned and paced unstoppable musical monsters trundling along and gathering speed mirrors the effect of many tons of Victorian hot metal going feral and creating gory mayhem in its wake. All suitably odd.

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