It's tempting to call District Line a return to form for Bob Mould – tempting, but not quite accurate. Mould might have started to wander into the electronic wilderness after his 1998's The Last Dog and Pony Show, a self-conscious farewell to rock & roll, but he revived his roaring guitars on 2005's Body of Song, so calling District Line a return to rock isn't right, even if its release on the maverick label Anti- suggests that this album may hark back to his Hüsker Dü years. Quite the contrary, actually: while there are plenty of guitars and molten pop hooks, Mould has yet to shake his inexplicable fixation on vocoders, and "Shelter Me" is a straight-up disco track, elements that he picked up in the years since Sugar's disbandment. Such exploration is at the heart of Mould's restless artistic spirit, a restlessness he's possessed since Hüsker – never forget that Zen Arcade was a concept album – but what's striking about District Line is that Mould sounds calmer here, even relaxed. That's not to say that he sounds complacent or that the passion has drained from his music, but for the first time he's able to mesh all his disparate musical interests into one cohesive album, one that sounds diverse yet unified.
New series. Journalist Fiona Bruce teams up with art expert Philip Mould to investigate mysteries behind paintings.
Italian ensemble Alter Ego have made their name playing the post-minimalism of composers as diverse as Louis Andriessen, David Lang and Frederic Rzewski. Now they turn their attention to pre-, or perhaps more accurately, prototype minimalism in this fine two-disc survey of early Philip Glass. Rejecting the seamless cross-stitching and salamander slither of Glass’s own ensemble, Alter Ego opt for a brassier and more strident approach. This strategy proposes a subtly alternative view about which the composer obviously approves – Orange Mountain Music is his own label.
"Dance" is an extraordinary epic composition from one of the most revolutionary composers of the late 20th century to the present, Philip Glass. From the mid 1960's onwards, Glass has revolutionized a form of composition that has become known as 'minimalism' (although Glass himself denies being a composer of minimal music). Several of Glass's works have gone on to be standards of modern Classical music.