uusrc RECORD REVIEWS__
I Alfred Schnittke: Orchestral Works (Decca/Erato) The music of Russian composer Alfred Schnittke remains controversial. dismissed by some simply as an incoherent mass of borrowings from musical history. and equally passionately defended by others as a renewal and re-vitalising ofthat tradition. Riccardo Chailly and the Royal Concertgebouw (Decca) give highly convincing performances ofhis Concerto Gross N0 3 and No 4 (jointly titled Symphony No 5, a musical ambiguity which his critics find infuriating). which update the baroque form in highly individual style. The Erato release offers his Concertofor Piano and Strings and Piano Four Hands and Orchestra. under Gennadi Rojdestvenski and the admirable London Sinfonietta. Offthe beaten track. but worth checking out. (Kenny Mathieson)
I The Sound Of The Baskerville: From Banger To Baskerville (Clay) The urgent subtitles- The story of a pun/(metal madman: fast 'n ' frantic 905 punk Baskervillestyle — don‘t really tell the full story. Though the former Ed Banger (ofNoscblecds infamy) can work up a head ofsteam from time to time. his drum machine and cheesy keyboard parts call to mind nothing so much as Raw Sex (Rowland Rivron‘s working men‘s club cabaret duo. as seen on French And Saunders) gone punk — and lampoons like ‘Fashion King‘ are both tired and tiresome. The punk revival ends here. (Alastair Mabbott)
I Lies Damned Lies: Flying Kites (Sticky) Uncercmoniously dropped by Siren, Lies Damned Lies returned to the West of Scotland to lick their wounds and eke out a living off their own backs. These are the results to date, and ifthe recording quality is not much more than demo-studio standard we won‘t hold that against them. There‘s no mistaking that they‘re compatriots of The Blue Nile. The Big Dish and Deacon Blue; Flying Kites is in the late-80$ Scot-pop mould. and even at their most strident the band exude a soothing aura. preferring to bend the ear gently than bellow into it. Definite echoes of other.
higher-profile bands here,
but around halfof Flying Kites is worth takingthe time to get to know. (Alastair Mabbott)
Lazer Guided Melodies (Dedicated) Spiritualized are a cool rendezvous point for aspiring post-modern theorists. Their gently tickled guitars are a somnambulist’s soundtrack, the vocal inertia a metaphorlorthe blank generation, the womb-like cocoon of their gospel meets psychedelia meets casual shambling an aesthetic signpost for . . . on and on and on, the stuft of threadbare hypothesis. In short, journalists dig Spiritualized because it gives them something to wank over.
So here they are in debut long- player-type situation, and here’s your journalist, and she says: woooooohhhhll Wall me to heaven and
back in a unicorn-drawn cotton wool carriage and don’t bypass that ocean at lractured reverb, Iwant to bathe in liquid paradise! Away with measured criticism, and in with the exclamation marks! Let’s go for gut reaction, and mine says elation, sensual overload, set adrift on memory bliss. Melancholia, curious and contemplative rather than bitter and twisted, in a coat of many colours.
High points? Everything. Though Spiritualized do save the best till longest: ‘Shine A Light’, still feeling like an edited highlight at a mere seven minutes, is a pulsing supernova seductive mantra of breathy intimacy. Wibble, wibble. Get me out of this lragrant garden, it’s all TOO MUCH. (Fiona Shepherd)
THE KRONOS QUARTET
Pieces of Africa (Elektra Nonesuch) Where ‘Black Angels' was all darkness and foreboding, 'Pieces of Africa‘ spreads light and joy, even in its saddest moments. Forget the sound normally associated with a western classical string quartet—the music commissioned by Kronos from African composers for this album requires the group to move far more toward folk and ethnic traditions than vice versa. The quartet are joined by African percussionists, string players (the marriage between kora and quartet on Foday Musa Suso’s ‘Tilliboyo’ is well-nigh seamless), singers, and, on
DumisaniMaraire’santhemic ‘Kutambarra', a Gospel choir.
it is one of the richest and most enjoyable crossover projects I have heard. African music remains closely connected with its well-springs in dance and ritual, and retains a vivacious sense of life and vitality which has not been lost, or even much diluted, in this fusion with a very
is equally varied, and only Kevin
here in its unrevised original version, is likelyto be at all familiar. Another
quartet on the planet, itwill cheeryou
to bright ones. (Kenny Mathieson)
triumph forthe most imaginative string
THE BOO BADLEYS
Everything’s Alright Forever (Creation) Eighteen months ago, The Boo Badleys sounded like DinosaurJr. Yet they were still brilliant- at their worst,
: exhilarating; at their best, I give you
1990’s epic, bleeding ‘Kaleidoscope’. Vestiges of their former influences pop up on ‘Everything’s Alright Forever’, but generally there's a new set of luminaries on the horizon: My Bloody Valentine. Say it without wincing.
Nought to be ashamed of, aiming high
‘ and allthat.
Ironically, it’s the tracks that stick closest to the Valentine blueprint that let the side down: ‘Boom At The Top‘ on side one, rather more on side two. Fuzzy, grating, purposeless, but on a fourteen-track album not a bad average, and reallyjust a minor quibble nextto the feasting material elsewhere on the record. ‘Spaniard’ and ‘I Feel Nothing’ are gracelul lusions of winsome introspection and llamenco, bossa nova, or some other exotic Latin style; ‘Lazy Day' is the classic sunny guitar snippet you’ve heard a million times elsewhere but still can’t resist; ‘Losing It (Song For Abigall)’ samples Nintendo noises and that’s recommendation enough; and ‘Memory Babe’ is just extraordinarily sublime pop.
0f their peers, only Chapterhouse and Pale Saints (with whom they're now touring) scale the same melodic edifices. Summer’s clocking in early this year, just to get the benelit of this
record. (Fiona Shepherd)
The result may be an odd hybrid, but i
different tradition. The range of music
Volans‘s ‘White Man Sleeps’, recorded i
up on dismal days, and add extra lustre g
28 The List 27 March — 9 April 1992