Decent dream pop: Beach House’s Once Twice Melody reviewed

Grade: B+ Everything these days devolves to prog — and not always very good prog. Where once synths were vastly expensive, difficult to master and hell to maintain they are now in a place beyond ubiquity; every sound you want conjured by the press of a key, your song suddenly washed over with sonics that make it sound more important than it really is. It almost makes you yearn for Yes and ELP — at least they knew they were pretentious dullards using electronic wizardry to elevate the slightest of compositions. Dream pop and its self-harming kid sister shoe-gazing — both genres dating from the mid-1980s and the likes of

Annoying but good: Black Midi’s Cavalcade reviewed

Grade: A– Imagine a really disgusting and immoral scientific experiment in which the members of Weather Report, the Mahavishnu Orchestra, King Crimson and Wire were somehow fused together into a giant caterpillar or something. This album is the kind of racket the forlorn creature might make. It sits in that usually arid zone where prog meets jazz fusion, with frequent bursts of staccato slash-and-burn brass and more ludicrous time signatures than you could shake a stick at. Or imagine Captain Beefheart speeded up, given a little focus and stripped of even the vaguest semblance of a sense of humour. That’s Black Midi. It works, even if singer Geordie Greep’s croon