Review: Six years after the release of their first inspirational Late Night Tales mix, fey Scottish post-indie miserablists Belle & Sebastian unveil a second volume. Given the unusual and exciting nature of their first collection, hopes are naturally high for Volume 2. Thankfully, it's every bit as odd, enjoyable and enlightening as the first edition. Psychedelic folk-pop, Indian soul, Balkan beats, Spanish crooners, Chanson ballads, film soundtrack compositions, Gold Panda, The Lovin' Spoonful, dancehall, The Pop Group and Pete Shelley all feature, alongside a range of thrillingly strange records that defy easy categorization. As a collection of music, it's breathtakingly brilliant, while the accompanying DJ mix is wonderful.
Review: 'Mordechai is another blissed-out record from Texan party-chill-psyche trio Khruangbin. It's also among the outfit's most defined and driven, a smooth, sticky hot funk odyssey made for hazy afternoon soirees. Leader Laura Lee is, as ever, unfathomably siren-like on vocals, her bass grooves aiding the process of seduction no end. Even at the most upbeat and anthemic, 'Time (You and I)', it's hard not to feel woozy and intoxicated by the pared-back breaks and guitar lick combination. Dance floor ammo for sure, as is Pelota. Overall, though, it's an album best savoured slowly, allowing you to fully appreciate every lackadaisical moment of opiate goodness, with tracks such as 'Father Bird, Mother Bird', 'One To Remember' and 'Shida' summoning stunning sticky, heavy, deep atmospheres.