ISaIiIKeita: Amen (Mango) The iney itable westernisation of African music has rarely done the musicians any favours. other than maybe swelling their bank-books in the short term. The elemental grandeurofSalif Is'eita's African albums with l.es Ambassadeurs sti ry iyed the transition to his first French-recorded .set. Sum. but is being progressively sanitised in each subsequent release. xlmwi. with Joe [aw inul producing. follows the pattern set with ls'n- I'un. in that the rich textures and smoothly accomplished production work against the kind of vocal intensity which made him so compelling in the first place. That said. he can still sing your socks off. regardless of w hethe r the rhythm is authentic Mali or ersat/ world-pop (Kenny Mathieson).
I Snapper: Shotgun Blossom (Avalanche) In olden times. Peter Gutteridge was with those two jew els in the crown of Kiwi culture The (‘lean and The (hills. and so knows a thing or two about hooklines. What he‘s done with Snapper is to chuck away the bass guitar and surround his tusslcs with fear. doubt and resigned anger in a shell of buzzing. droning guitars — and some spidery organ riffs that owe a month or two's rent to Suicide. Any doubts about the quality ofthe songs lurking within are dispelled by Shotgun Blossoms centrepieces. 'Eyes That Shine‘ and the quieter. more acoustic ‘Dead Pictures'. which are brought to life by the dual vocals of Gutteridge and Christine Voice. Snapper give the impression that. live. they could stun all living things for several hundred yards and go and fret over them afterwards. (Alastair Mabbott)
I Voices Of The Ralnforest (Byltodlsc) Instigated by The Grateful Dead's Mickey Hart. this is basically a field recording ofthe Bosavi people in New Guinea. but their voices are heard only intermittently among the birdsong and forest noises. Its purpose is to keep the human noises in context. and for that reason as much time is given over to the sound of
rain battering on a roofas to ceremonial drumming. I still don't know whether
listening attentively to this
piece of New Age
Ethnomusicology or using
it as background isthe right way to go about it. but it's the closest most of us are ever going to get to deepest New Guinea. And should we ever get there. Voices Of The Ruin/ores! will have ensured we're that bit closer to understanding it. (Alastair Mabbott)
I Deep Purple and offshoots: Purple Rainbows (EMl/Polygram TV) ‘Saturday night. and I just got paid.‘ cries Ian Gillan. and it’s WTflyet again. There‘s a boyish excitement about the early Deep Purple tracks: ‘Spced King' is The Doors meeting the Sabs head on. 'Fireball' is typically psychedelicised bastard blues. Blackmore's guitar and Jon Lord‘s organ chasing each other around the block. and ‘Smoke On The Water' is. well. ‘Smoke On The Water' — knock it at your peril. A Pete Frame family tree is on hand to explain why a ftill side of early-70s Purple is followed by (iraham Bonnet and (ouch) Dio. but after the superior pop-metal trio of ‘Since You've Been (ionc'. ‘Fool For Your Loving' and 'I Surrender' that kicks off side two. classics are not in abundance. (Alastair Mabbott)
I Sam Philips: Cruel Inventions (Virgin America) The end of track five. when several Ms Philips are harmonising about "Tripping over gravity Missing logic' is one ofthe most quietly entrancing moments of the year so far. but not all her couplets are that evocative. There's so
much she wants to explore ;
and express that she drifts into obscurantism with alarming regularity. That.
however. is about the only
complaint I can level at (‘rue/ Inventions. and
future communiques from
whatever planet she inhabits are awaited with great interest. Just as fearless as the lady herself is husband T-Bonc Burnett’s production. pitched at just the right level to frame her plunges into the mystery oflife. but never straying into the realms ofthe uncomfortably weird. (Alastair Mabbott)
IAChocolate Morning: Wasted EP(Still)
What w e haye here
is four y aricd but not directionless strummy pop vignettes. ‘\\'lien I'm (ione' is admittedly oyerlongand dullertban lead. and the cheesy organ
on ‘Devil Dance' cannot fail to proy oke pat Inspiral (‘arpets comparisons. but ACM obviously beliey e in saving the best till last. and the bold vocals and gently building momentum of ‘Today Is Today ' suggest that nest time round w e'll get an .-\ ('hocolate Morning record and not four examples of contemporary pastiche. (PS)
I Yoyo Honey: Get ltOn (Jive) A leisurely-paced dance track that's smooth. classy. soulful — yes. all of these adjectives and more — plus it gets the full strings treatment and is tastier than anything Soul II Soul have done so far this decade. Includesan interesting demonstration ofthe remixer's art in the Jamaican version by Steely and ('Ievie (dubbed the Sly and Robbie of the 90s). If they‘ve got more tracksofthis quality . they‘re laughing. (AM)
I Paradox UK: Disenchanted Land (Reich) When was the last time you heard a punk rock single - the kind made and bought by people who brandish matted rhino-horn spikes and were thrash before thrash w as invented? Try Paradox LIK. I'm getting to like ‘l)isenchantcd Land'. though. and I'll defend them forever for their totally honest sleevenote ‘All material probably stolen from Motorhead otherwise (‘opyright (‘ontrol Paradox L'K 1990'. (AM)
I35 Summers: l Didn’tTry (RCA) Supporting Northsidc. 35 Summers blew the headless chickens clean offstage. Not difficult. really. but viewed on their own this lot are less convincing. ‘I Didn't Try' may boast a biting. Fab Four-ish chorus. but the obligatory presence ofcod-retro trappings is beginning to do my head in. Just what will a 9(ls revival sound like‘.’ ((‘McL)
ITop: N mberOne Dominator(lsland) Swinging nursery rhyme echoes. gasped 'yeah‘s. the chorusopening the song. pinched-testicles harmonies. guitar effects darting hitherand thither. disembodied vocal distance. gormless press photo. useless to dance to. cx-Wild Swans Pale Fountains Shack. You get the hopelessly contemporary picture'.’ ((‘Mcl.)
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