Looking ahead: May 2006-July 2006

With ICE magazine ceasing publication, I’ve slowly found myself out of the loop where release news is concerned. Japanese titles require my own research, but stateside stuff, I usually get from ICE.

Someone on the ICE forums pointed out Pause & Play, and I have to say I like what I see. So I’m pillaging the information from that site to cobble together a preview of upcoming releases. Supplemented, of course, by my own self-researched picks.

Cocco, "Hi no Terinagara Ame no Furu", May 24

Cocco, Zansaian, June 21

Was there any question these would be at the top of the list?

Utada Hikaru, Ultra Blue, June 14

What really has me jazzed up about this release are the last few singles. Utada has gone for a more atmospheric sound, and it doesn’t bear much resemblance to other pop stars, Japanese or otherwise.

Wayne Horvitz/Gravitas Quartet, Way Out East, June 13

I mentioned this release before, but it looks like that original release date in March was pushed to June. (Lest, I would have already owned and listened to it by now.) I know nothing about the nature of Horvitz’s latest project. Acoustic like Sweeter Than Day? Ethereal like 4+1 Ensemble? Grunge like Pigpen? I’ll find out in June.

Robin Holcomb, John Brown’s Body, June 27

Holcomb’s first album for Tzadik — I wonder if that means her deal with Nonesuch is done? Described by the label thusly:

For her first, long awaited Tzadik CD, she has put together a program as eclectic and varied as her own career. From fragile solo piano pieces and a powerful new string quartet to several songs featuring her own heartfelt vocals, John Brown’s Body is the best place to sample the full range of this remarkable artist’s musical world.

I’m just glad I only had to wait four years for another Holcomb disc, instead of six.

Tears for Fears, Songs from the Big Chair Deluxe Edition, May 23

I just bought a remastered version of this album yesterday. In addition to the b-sides already tacked to the earlier remastered version, the deluxe edition includes remixes of album tracks and additional b-sides. I played this album relentlessly when I was in junior high, and I think my brother and sisters are still sick of it.

Sophie Barker, Earthbound, May 30

Zero 7, The Garden, June 13

Sophie Barker is one of Zero 7’s featured vocalists, but the thing that has me interested in her album is production by Robin Guthrie of Cocteau Twins. It’s an intriguing pairing. I’m more curious about Zero 7’s new album than looking forward to it. The last one was kind of boring.

Depeche Mode, Violator, remastered, June 6

Depeche Mode, Music for the Masses, remastered, June 6

I wish these would be issued without the accompanying DVDs — I’m not terribly interested in paying additional for videos I’m not going to watch. Depeche Mode was actually a band my brother liked, which meant they were off-limits to me. (Sibling rivalry.) But Violator and Music for the Masses are the band’s two most essential albums. And while I was all too glad to let my brother have Depeche Mode — I was a Duranie, after all — even I couldn’t resist the appeal of these two albums.

And could we have a non-Dual Disc edition of Talking Head’s remastered Fear of Music?

Tommy heavenly6, "Pray", July 5

Tommy heavenly6 has a lot of catching up to do with Tommy february6, so I’d just as soon see more Tommy heavenly6 productivity than Tommy february6. Too, Tommy february6 just does not get the point of an ’80s revivial.

Furukawa Miki, "Coffee & Singing girl", June 21

iLL, Sound by iLL, May 31

The first post-Supercar efforts from Furukawa Miki and Nakamura Koji. What are the chances they’ll sound like Supercar?

Love Psychedelico, "Aha! (All we want)", June 28

So — has the Delico novelty worn off? Don’t get me wrong — I love the fact Love Psychedelico dared to sound vintage when it wasn’t fashionable to do so, and the fact they scored some hits is gratifying. But it’s not like Delico ushered in a revivalism movement and spawned copycats. Do they still matter?

Quruli to Rip Slyme, "Juice", July 5

Oh my does this look like a bad pairing on paper.