Two and a half minutes into "Icky Thump", something happens which is so perfect, you almost suspect the White Stripes' press officer magically orchestrated it.


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Back to work after the long Easter weekend, and we're being lulled into action by the debut album from Original Silence. Original Silence are ostensibly The Good, The Bad & The Queen for men of a certain age who went to All Tomorrow's Parties and never came back. Their ranks include Mats Gustafsson - a great, spluttery, avant saxophonist from The Thing - one of The Ex, Jim O'Rourke (who claimed he'd quit music a while back, with Sinatra-esque implausibility) and, perhaps inevitably, Thurston Moore.


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Hot and slow in the Uncut office this afternoon, so I've put on the new album by Earth, which precisely fits the mood. Dylan Carlson's Earth, you may remember, were the Kurt Cobain affiliates who occupied the most extreme wing of grunge. Their records through the early and mid '90s largely sounded like Black Sabbath slowed down to an excruciating trudge. Gonzoid heavy, but kind of avant-garde, too.


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A few years ago, I spent an afternoon in Camden interviewing a mildly psychedelic indie band called Simian whose first record had been pretty good. To be honest, it was a rather frustrating experience: the singer was quite interesting, if detached, but he didn't get a chance to say much because the drummer just wouldn't shut up. With hindsight, the weird power structure made sense. The singer hasn't done much since, while the drummer - James Ford - has become a dark force in British music, producing Arctic Monkeys and Klaxons and making hip little dance records as Simian Mobile Disco with his old bandmate Jas Shaw.


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I have a real backlog of stuff to write about at the moment, and I need to do some kind of a round-up in the next day or two, hopefully before Easter. There's great doom, psych and drone from Earth, Vibracathedral Orchestra and Dungen. There's a lovely pair of reissues from ambient's spiritual master, Terry Riley. I have a couple of fun techno - or am I meant to call them new rave? - albums by Simian Mobile Disco and their feted French remixers, Justice. Oh, and I'm meant to hear The White Stripes' "Icky Thump" any day now. Today, though, I'm going to do the sensible thing and write about what's playing right now - the new album by Richard Thompson.


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A bit of a catch-up today. First, thanks for the nice response to the Bjork preview I posted on Friday. I've been comparing "Volta" today with the new Timbaland album, "Shock Value".


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As I write, I've just started listening to Bjork's new album, "Volta", for the third time. The first single, "Earth Intruders", is playing right now, a kind of euphoric marching song driven by three radical beat scientists: freestyling avant drummer Chris Corsano; Congolese troupe Konono No1; and, most notably, Timbaland. It's pretty dizzying, as you might imagine.


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I've been meaning to write about the wonderful Marnie Stern album on Kill Rock Stars for a couple of weeks now. I was tipped off about it by one of Uncut's writers, Louis Pattison, who raved to me about it. She's "an extremely proficient one-woman axe hero," he wrote in an email, "a bit like Deerhoof but with better songs and added lead guitar power." Chuck in the battling influences of Sleater-Kinney and Lightning Bolt and damn, he was right.


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So Mark E Smith is a DJ, right? He's booked the club for the night, therefore it stands to reason he can play the records. But then this German guy turns up and says he's the DJ, says he's Sven Vath. Whatever should Mark do? Simple: "I flooded the club," he says proudly. That'll show them.


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In between all the meetings and extraneous stuff today (oh, and kicking myself for missing the Leonard Cohen lig that Allan blogs about here), I've belatedly got round to hearing Gallows.


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Editor's Letter

Some more thoughts on Kate Bush and Alice Gerrard


On Sunday, Kate Bush inadvertently staged a one-woman assault on the British charts. This week, 11 records in the Official UK Albums Chart are by Bush – not bad, really, for a woman who has only really released nine new studio albums in the past 36 years.

Apart...