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Welcome to this week's new releases.

Welcome to this week's new releases.

From our own shakey isles we have three fine releases. The seminal Flying Nun band The Gordons have their 'First Album & Future Shock EP' finally available on CD again - for those who like things loud (actually very loud) this stunning set is an essential purchase. We have the self-titled debut from Marshmallow - brilliant pop music that will appeal to any fan of the Mutton Birds or Stereo Bus, and featuring guest cameos from Bic Runga and Ron Sexsmith. The last of the local trio is a bit cheeky actually - firmly based in the UK, New Zealand born Daniel Bedingfield has delivered his excellent debut 'Gotta Get Thru This'. Unashamedly "pop" this talented young man has a huge future, already claiming a number 1 UK hit single in 2001.

There are a couple of Jazz releases this week for those who prefer things a little more "grown up". GRP guitarist Lee Ritenour returns with his supremely tasteful 30th (yes that's right 30th) solo album 'Rit's House' (including guests Marcus Miller, Joey DeFancesco and Michael McDonald), while Diana Krall shows off her "performing" side with a very good live album 'Live In Paris', recorded late in 2001. And speaking of "grown up", there's the latest from Mark Knopfler titled 'Ragpickers Dream', and the excellent new solo release from one time J Geils Band vocalist Peter Wolf. Knopfler is in fine form, continuing with his now established "subtler" approach, and his trademark redemptive guitar playing (plus the inclusion of a bonus 5 track "live" CD - while stocks last). The latest from Peter Wolf is called 'Sleepless', and frankly it's a bit of a revelation (I for one thought he was well out of the picture now), featuring excellent songwriting, a brace of well chosen covers (Otis Rush, Stax singer William Bell, Sonny Boy Williamson), and a real empathy for the American songwriting tradition. This is a delightful album made with integrity and conviction (if you're a fan of the likes of Tom Waits, Dr John, Bob Dylan, Rolling Stones, etc check this out).

On the dance side of things we have two fine releases - the first from Miguel Migs of Naked Music fame, the second from the dubby tech-house duo Swayzak. The first full- length artist release from the San Francisco DJ-producer Miguel Migs, 'Colorful Me' is a lush and expansive journey through the many aspects of the current house music scene, while 'Dirty Dancing' is album number three for the Swayzak duo, and finds them entering the world of electro with their usual production precision and style.

Motown singer India Arie delivers her new soul masterpiece 'Voyage To India' - a delicious follow up to her critically acclaimed 'Acoustic Soul', dynamic hip hop outfit Jurassic 5 drop their wicked new effort 'Power In Numbers' (with a bonus DVD - while stocks last), and dancehall vocalist Beenie Man delivers his latest 'Tropical Storm' (featuring production work from the Neptunes and Irv Gotti, plus guests such as Janet Jackson, Lil Kim, rising dancehall star Sean Paul and the So Solid Crew) - this should be a huge summer album, appealing to both hip hop and reggae fans alike. As always, enjoy.

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