I Cabaret Voltaire: Percussion Force (Les Oisgues Ou Crepuscule) All hail partisan opinion. Were the words ‘Cabaret' and ‘Voltaire‘ not inscribed so indelibly on this record sleeve l would assume that some no-hoper producer or DJ. possibly from the Midlands. had opted for a quick moneyspinner. an exercise in self- glorification at his own club. or a shot at turning out his very own Tee/2m) Party Volume 1.031(‘01021 By Now. But verily said legend is etched across the cover. fuelling this album with umpteen years of dance—pioneering experience and the kudos needed to convince the layman such as myselfthat this is shot-in-the-arm incisive house with hypnotic (though sparse) vocals and not. in fact. mind-numbing monotony. A goldfish in a straitjacket could have produced these vacuous remixes but who cares when they're exactly the escapism you're looking for in a dance record'.’ (Fiona Shepherd)
I Spike Robinson: Stairway Tothe Stars (HEP) In these post-Coltrane. post-fusion times. the enduring virtues of mainstream jazz don't always get their due. Saxophonist Spike Robinson embodies those virtues perfectly: a light. beautifully crafted sound predicated on the example of Lester Young. an intimate understandingof and respect for the line and structure of the song. and an easy but irresistible swing. lie is impeccably supported on this hugely enjoyable Queen's llall date by a Scottish rhythm section of pianist Brian Kellock. Ronnie Rae on baSS. and drummer John Rae. (Kenny Mathieson)
I Art Farmer: Modern Art (Blue Hote)/Gentle Eyes (Mainstream) These two 'sets present contrasting sidesof Art Farmer. The excellent Blue Note rc-issue features him on trumpet. and emphasises the boppish element ofhis distinctive style. in the estimable company of Benny Golson and pianist Bill Evans. amongothers. In a later phase ofhis career. Farmer stopped playing trumpet in favour of an exclusive concentration on ﬂugelhorn and a more mainstream-oriented approach. He once told me that Gentle Eyes. at that time available only in Japan. was hisown favourite recording. It pairs him with an orchestra on all but one cut. and is an excellent showcase for his liquid. flowing ﬂugelhorn. [ (Kenny Mathieson)
Stars Crash Down (Circa)
The biggest problem with any Hue And Cry record is the excess baggage of preconceptions the listener takes on board. The majority of it is, of course, due to Pat Kane. The working class lad done well, the New Man, the right-on nationalist politician — his sincerity can only be viewed with cynical suspicion and at times is so overpowering as to make this reviewer want to move to Surrey and vote Tory. A look at the album sleeve confirms all the worst fears - quotes from John Donne and Hugh MacDiarmid, ‘Remembrance And Gold”s dedication ‘For love and understanding between the
sexuahﬁes'. called ‘Life As Text‘.
Strip away the clutter and separate Pat Kane the musician from Pat Kane the columnist and “Stars Crash Down' is a much more digestible project. Pat Kane does indeed have a fine voice, and without the preaching, the lyrics can be intriguing. When the music remembers its aim is to entertain rather than show off the musicians, Hue And Cry can be a line pop band. Highlight of the album has to be the country hoedown of ‘Long Term Lovers Of Pain’, just so long as you forget that , Pat could no doubt write a thesis on the social implications of country and western music and its place in an independent Scotland. (James
. .There‘s even a song
Friendly FaSclsm (Nettwerk) I'd promised that a review of the turgid new Van Halen album would go in this space, but as I listened to the Consolidated LP the day I was supposed to write it, they didn’t stand a chance. (You’re not missing anything.) Steven Wells called Consolidated the closest thing there is to a white Public Enemy, but ‘Frlendly FaScfsm‘ ls more like what Gil Scott-Heron and Jello Blaira would cook up if they joined forces and converted to techno and hip-hop. Consolidated’s last album, ‘The Myth Of Rock‘, struck a few well-aimed blows at the music industry, but struggled to keep the listener’s attention for its lull length.
. This time, they‘ve eased up on the
pounding to make a sharper, iunnier and more diverse slab oi hardcore veggie/anarcho/antl-macho home truths. The rhythms iraming ‘Muslc Has No Meaning' or ‘Typical Male’ are subtler than the Consolidated of yore, but the message is far, far harder. Not even ‘Meat ls Murder’ hammered you with statistics.
if i do have a problem with Consolidated, it‘s the eerie echoes of the militant PC (‘polltically correct’) movement that's disrupting campuses across the States- resembling, in their pious self-satisfaction, another aspect of the same brand of extremism that produced the right-wingers they oppose. But i comiort myself in the thought that the politically correct couldn‘t make such good jokes as Consolidated. (Nor could Van Halen.) (Alastair Mabbott)
THE PSYCHEDELIC FURS
World Outside (East West)
The apparently self-destructive personality of singer and songwriter Richard Butler always seems to threaten The Psychedelic Furs with implosion. That ‘World Outside‘ exists at all seems a minor miracle. Throughout their existence, each time they looked set to be massively successful, his willulness and the band‘s constant lineup changes have put paid to any optimism. Of course, when the Furs are good, they’re very very good, but when they‘re bad, well, they're a bit boring, really.
‘World Outside’ ellortlessly demonstrates both sides of this troubled personality. While it shows little innovation or even a step forward forthe band themselves, in tracks like ‘Get A Room‘, ‘Better Days‘ and ‘In My Head’ there are enough line, indeed exhilarating, moments to restore faith. ‘Better Days‘ in particular explores the band‘s penchant for multi-textured noise while keeping just the right side of indulgent American rock excess by virtue of Stephen Street‘s sympathetic production.
It is a tribute to the enduring influence of The Psychedelic Furs that
‘even a casual listen to the album throws up a plethora of contemporary soundalikes from U2 and The Cure through to Happy Mondays. A
! successful album without a doubt, yet
somehow still ultimatelylrustrating.
38The List 12—25July 1991