New Music – November

+-*Roots Manuva – Bleed (Big Dada) Now on album number seven, if you exclude his top class dub albums, Roots Manuva has spent two decades developing a distinctive and equally inventive Hip Hop style that rarely drops in quality. Bleed is dark and introspective in a thoughtful, considered manner with the sort of self-reflective lyrics […]

Wahaca’s Day of the Dead approaches…

+-*Open Ear favourites Wahaca are bringing music, art, film, culture, and of course brilliant Mexican street food together in a festival package in a celebration of modern Mexican culture on the 7th November. That means it’s just about in time to coincide with the traditional Day of the Dead festivities. Featuring performances from UK bands […]

Heroes to Zeroes: MIDI data used to classify genre

+-*An article recently published in the esteemed MIT Technology Review has brought us disappointment; we’ve just missed the start of the new school year and we’ve been inspired to take up studying again. So, with no real knowledge of computer science, and the most tenuous of grasps on information sciences, we’re going to attempt to […]

New Music – October

+-*  Yumi Zouma – EP Collection (Cascine) We’ve had the first EP by Yumi Zouma in our catalogue for a while now but somehow the second slipped by us. Thankfully we’ve caught this reissue of both EPs, and we’re glad to be able to make sure you don’t miss out on it either. With the […]

6 ways your brain processes music

+-*A study at Lund University in Sweden identified six ways the brain processes music. We found them quite interesting… Brainstem Reflex – Instinctive responses to musical properties such as volume; e.g. when a sudden volume shift makes you jump. Emotional Contagion – When we ‘feel’ the emotion in music; e.g. The ‘blue’ notes in a […]

Turning the Sound of Nature up to 11

+-*  The sounds from our environment play a huge part in allowing us to embrace life in the moment. The sound of a car engine warns us not to walk across a side-street without looking both ways, the cheers of a crowd tell us we’re part of a community who love our local team, and […]

New Music Reviews – September

+-*  The Weeknd – Beauty Behind the Madness (XO) When murky R&B meets slick production, we tend to take notice. At its best it’s a style that has a certain edge while sticking to standard song structures, and this can create unusual and intriguing juxtapositions in the right hands. The Weeknd certainly has those hands, […]

Max Richter wants to sleep with all of you…

+-*Max Richter may be one of the best minimalist composers out there, but his most recent project may bring him to a larger audience. The problem for Richter is, the audience might not remember much. For ‘One World Sleep’, Richter has recorded a suite of music that will last eight hours and will be available […]

I got the chills, they’re multiplying…

+-*Ever had the chills while listening to music? Whether it’s goosebumps, hair standing on end, or a shiver up the spine a lot of us know the feeling. That said, apparently only 53% of the population experience it, though our less than robust research methods (we’ve asked around) suggest that figure could be on the […]


+-*You may remember a while ago we shared a game that tested your memory for musical recall. It was a part of an on-going experiment conducted in tandem with the Manchester based Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI). 150,000 people have now played the game, and it has been announced that the nations more recognised […]