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11 July, 2009

New Sigur Rós-related happiness

If, like me, you appreciate the music of Sigur Rós but don't participate in discussion groups or other online activity relating to the band, you may be interested in but unaware of a forthcoming, closely-related release.

'Riceboy Sleeps' is the debut album by Jónsi & Alex: Jón Þór Birgisson of Sigur Rós and his boyfriend Alex Somers. The music (or at least the samples I've heard) has the distinct Sigur Rós sound, but in an ambient, almost totally instrumental context: perhaps post-rock without the rock.

As is becoming traditional, there's a range of editions to consider.

My preference is always for the one offering the most music (main album and bonus material) in ordinary CD-quality stereo (not surround sound), but that's balanced against my dislike of extraneous, gimmicky packaging, so this time I'll be going for the ordinary, single-disc retail edition, available from Amazon and elsewhere.

Rough Trade offers an 'exclusive' edition which supplements the main album with a second disc of music (by other artists) which inspired Jónsi & Alex, including Edith Piaf, the last ever recording of a castralto, Washington Philips & Audrey Hepburn. Frankly, I doubt I'd play that more than once, so won't bother.

The duo's own site offers a limited edition box set, featuring a 33-min CD of bonus tracks (instead of the Rough Trade disc, not as well) which I would like, but otherwise it's a splendid example of the OTT packaging I definitely don't need: apart from the box itself the CDs are accompanied by a hardback book of artwork and a 40-page colouring book, with coloured pencils supplied. Oh, and a badge.

No. Just 'no'.

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