Philip Dorward reviews the new releases Scotland‘s proudest young mothers are Pure DJs Twitch and Brainstorm who'vejust given birth to a new label. T&B Vinyl. The first offspring to hatch who else but Ege Bam Yasi'? Weighing in at a healthy Grade 4. ‘Variation‘ is certainly more scrambled than the previous ‘Bubble‘. as EBY take you on a wailing banshee elevator ride to Beelzebub‘s front door. Prince has been sowing his oats again. this time with Monie Love. Thankfully. however. his only injection is a healthy funk groove to complement the fluent and sophisticated rap of


A Sea With Three Stars (Postcard) You don’t have to be mad to be Davey Henderson, but it helps. ills voice scampers between playful pussy and feral wildcat. llls songs creep from tunesome simplicity to devious devilishness, along the way getting snagged on a thorny thicket of AWDI. drum machines, ABBA harrnonles, and AC/DC guitar racket.

We might have expected such lll- matched oddities from the Edinburgher who dropped the noise- for-noise’s-sake brashness of Fire Engines in favour of the sugary commerce of Win. For this third, tres outre, phase of his career, ‘A Sea With Three Stars’ seems the product of a

sick mind and a sweet wee soul. At the start at least, weirdness abounds. Dn ‘Pop’s Love Thing’ and ‘She’s A lllcer Word To Sing’, satisfyingly, no semblance of musical direction can be dlscemed. And could that be a kazoo In there?Then there’s the clanging chug of ‘The Rules Of Corpus Christi’. ! Then there’s the snow white pop dittiness of ‘22 Blue’ - zeal and zing

and catchiness both, nestling in a ball of confusion.

Adding to this most chunky soup are funky beats, Euro-robotic rhythms, ) ice-cream vans, fireworks, cock-rock guitar solos, and bits of film dialogue. There’s a song called ‘Chocolate Swastika’ too, which sounds like A Flock Df Seagulls. A fittineg off-beam ending to a gleefully helter-skelter album. (Craig McLean)


_ canny RAFFERTY

fashion. It’ll take a few airings before most realise the mellow groove easing them through the hour contains the

‘Bom 2 B.R.E.E.D.'(Cooltcmpo). One would have thought Prince more at home with Phantasia. a.k.a. DJ Pierre. whose ‘More Than Just A Dancc‘ (Vinyl Solution) is a squelchy Chicago love bump more filthy than ‘French Kiss'. But let me banish these dirty thoughts. for spring time should be a time of purity; found. of course. in a healthy soul track. In terms of vocal strength they don’t come much stronger than Asia Blue. There's opulence of the highest order in the gospel uplift of ‘Boy In The Moon' (A&M). while on the flip side East London‘s D-lnfluence whip these

On A Wing And A Prayer (ABM)

Few artists reject celebrity and its games in such an uncontroversial way and retain credibility so consistently as Gerry Rafferty. Over the years, he has documented his story-so-far comprehensively enough musically to pre-empt much media elucidation.

The latest dozen tunes pack some low emotional punches over the death-throes of The Big Relationship and the seeds of his next. Despite the songs’ intimacy and pointedness (mainly self-penned, plus two written with brother Jim and one Alain Toussaint cover: ‘Get Out Of My Life Woman’), he skilfully avoids navel- contemplation.

Happy melodies mask the most heartwrenching words while mellifluous arrangements ride over driving rhythms in typical Rafferty

injured Night-le’s spilled blood, pure pain and some subtle spirituality.

Between shades of Chris Rea, Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Supertramp (Rafferty’s ‘I Could Be Wrong’ refers directly to Supertramp’s ‘Coodbye I Stranger’ and ‘Love and Affection’ i bears a passing reminder of Bruce’s I ‘Morning Song’) lurk former and newer styles, unified by a fine band including longtime guitarist llugh Burns and legendary saxman Mel Collins with erstwhile Stealer’s Wheel partner .loe Egan among a gallery of distinguished backing singers.

Surgically clean production by Rafferty and Hugh Murphy falls to 3 convey the full excitement of the live show currently touring, but allows other qualities, like the strength of the songs, to shine through. (lligel , White)

Wolverhampton wanderers ‘Hope' into a cream of streetsoul and clubfloor excellence. Always the best protege of the XL label, Liquid takes a more underground route to Hardcore acclaim. His ‘Time To Get Up' EP isjust stuffed full of hooks. choruses and originality. As too is The Reese Project. ‘30 Deep‘ (Network) is a veritable feast of House excellence; from the sugary sweet CJ Mclntosh mixes to the disco infemo of Joey Negro (arguably the best mixes he‘s ever done). there is no stopping Kevin Saunderson‘s alter-ego. What of The Grid's ‘Crystal Clear”? Well. they've employed over- worked Justin Robertson to transform the original Orb-esque album version into something a lot deeper and bassier. The best thing to come out of the Talkin' Loud stable in eons. Marxman's ‘All About Eve‘ is damning indictment of violence against womankind. Flicking two fingers to Ice Cube and other mysogynist contemporaries. Marxman groove with an unstoppable sound and message.

NAUGHTY BY NATURE 19 llaughty 93 (Big life) Freeform, freestyle, earth~scrabbllng, roots-dabbling, pop-picking, genre- mixlng, ralnbow-hued rap a la Digable Planets or Arrested Development, this ... ain’t. ‘19 llaughty 93’ is one pounding statement of intent, defying those who advocate a little sucrose sampling to make their hip-hop more palatable. And while llBll can’t do nuthln’ for ya (wo)man that Cypress Hill, llouse Df Pain and ltrlss ltross aln’t already done, no complaints. They )ust do it better. From the pounding kettledmm beats and gargantuan honking horns of the title track in, ‘19 llaughty 93’ lands in your lap like an elephant, trumpeting thudding drum loops, circling sax-y brass to sex you up and big-mouth attitudlnous raps to knock you down again. Standout tracks ‘Written Dn Ya Kitten’, ‘Sleepwalking ll’ and the devastating title track cut more buzz and breeze, fusing underground with overground to whump the middle

. ground masses. Crunch, crispety

crunch go the rest. Fonnulaic, sure, but a safer bet than E=mc’ once you’ve worked it out.

In hip-hop argot, ‘phat’ apparently denotes mo’ funkin’, ass-kicking etc. In which case, this is a frills-free behemoth, taking itself home to the kids. Krakken. (Calvin Bush)

32 The List 26 February—l 1 March 1993