RECORD REVIEWS MUSIC
I tits lame is Alive: Mouth By Mouth (4A0) Sometimes. brilliance is born to be ignored. Posthumous recognition is the thing. Van Gogh. Nick Drake . . . Warren Defever. leading spook with Michigan‘s wraithlike His Name Is Alive may not quite be in the same astral artistry league. but he‘s on a par as far as smaller-than- Tinkerbell notoriety goes. And. yet again. his spectral sliver of singularity that inculcates Mouth By Mouth will be studioust ignored by all those outside his immediate family. circle of friends and me. That‘s a lot of people who are never going to hear the scratchy. pseudo-classical ‘Cornfield'. the feedback and rhythmic thrust of ‘Drink. Dress And Ink‘ or the graceful. serene ‘Blue Moon’. That's a lot of people who are going to be sorry when dear Warren is no longer with us. Just warning you now, that's all. (Fiona Shepherd)
I David Gray: A Century Ends (Hill) Singer- songwriters with acerbic optimism. gritty integrity and huddling ambitions on indie labeis'.’ Rarer than compassion from a Tory minister these days. which makes this wry. caustic. acoustic Welshman with his tales of mankind tangled up in sex and blues rather special. More Dylan Thomas than Bob Dylan. A Century Ends is Gray's search for ‘calm in the storm of mankind'. The douce. sensitive strumming of recent single ‘Shine' and debut ‘Birds Without Tears‘ locate it in the constant of Gray's choked vocals.
while the more ebullient ‘Wisdom‘ and ‘Century' bring in meandering electrics and trickling piano. Somewhere between American Music Club and Van Morrison. Mike Scott and Roddy Frame. a maudlin muse demands to be heard. In whispers. Prick tip your ears. (Calvin Bush)
I Various: Tequila Slammers And The Jumping Groove (Warp) Right now. Shefﬁeld's Warp label are probably even more cutting than the city's previous biggest exporters. And seeing as that was Viners. the steel
: cutlery makers. it now
seems more than reasonable for Warp to gather up some of their most serrated grooves of the last year and package them into one trance-tastic piece of vinyl. Best of the lot is the stuff they’ve sniffed out from the underground: both Jaco‘s ‘Show Some Love' and THK's classic ‘France' still have the power to induce dancefloor hysteria. and DIY. Solitaire (i and Iiternal dig deep down to the black heart of a hot-house grind. ()h. and Nightmares ()n Wax. (‘oco Steel and Lovebomb and Rhythm Invention provide some tasty deep spacey desserts. Simply stuffing. (Calvin Bush) I Beautiful People: It 605 Were 90s (Castle Communications) Head for the bunker. in protective clothing. It's concept time again. And today’s bright idea is to merge an estate-ful of old Hendrix vocals. chords. licks and solos with cornflake packets and sticky-backed plastic.
' Sorry. that should've read
‘with dance beats'. Like the Sinclair C5 and 3D scratch 'n‘ sniffcinema. it must have seemed like a
good idea at the tinie. Under the influence of a lot of drugs. While hanging around the local labour exchange. ‘Yeah. Hendrix and techno.‘ say Viliﬁed People. ‘Yeah. like Wordsworth and McGonagaIl. or peaches and salt.‘ say the massed ranks of arms-bearing Hendrix fans. Ditto the dance dudes. If 6()s were 90s. these people would still be eligible for the noose. Just a thought. ((‘alvin Bush)
I Chris Isaak: San Francisco Days (Reprise) With his trembling curl of a voice and spiral twang of a guitar technique. Chris Isaak is The Big I to Roy ()rbison‘s Big 0. And as befits an artist who wishes he'd written ‘Pretty Woman‘. Isaak‘s never happier than when airily crooning piercing paeans to the rigours of love — an ethic he nailed so memorably with ‘Wicked Game'. ()n his fourth album his antediluvian take on the sounds of rock's long- gone birth-pangs still sounds perversely fresh. so smooth-IIowing is the lsaak style.
The moonlit ballads are best. ‘Can't Do A Thing (To Stop Me) and ‘Two Hearts‘. filled with echoey hurt. But even when he's playing the straightish country-rockers (‘I Want Your Love' and ‘Beautiful Homes' ) Chris Isaak remains the most affecting ex-boxer. sometime actor. full-time hunk and professional quiffster around. (Craig McLean)
I Cumbia Cumbia 2: La Epoca tiorada de Cumbias Columbianas (World GIiCliII) Columbia may be better known here for cocaine than for cumbia. its dominant musical form. but the raw. fiery sounds collected here have an oddly familiar ring to them. creating unexpected combinations of recognisable ingredients. spiced with a dash of indigenous je ne sais quoi. Imagine the insistent. strutting percussion of Cuban cha- cha or salsa. mixed with ska or West African guitar licks and sassy Latin or big-band brass. ﬁnished off with some moody Continental-style accordion or slinky East European-esque clarinet. and you'll be getting the picture. This vibrant I8- tracker actually gathers
material from 1954-72. the heyday of premier cumbia label Discos Fuentes. but sounds remarkably fresh and sexy for its years.
I Cheh Sahraoui and Chaba Fadela: li’Sel Fiit (Cooking Vinyl) Nine plaintive. passionate love songs from two stars of contemporary Algerian music. which lays traditional ululating rai- style singing over cool. clubby rhythms on dnim machine and swirling synths. with a splash of brass here and a growling guitar there to leaven the mix. The title track may be familiar to some on these shores. having been sampled by the 49ers a few years back. but most or all of the rest would also grace a discerning dance-mix. the exotic intensity of the vocals providing a strikingly effective counterpoint to
the lean. mean beats.
I Kanda Bongo Man: Soukous in Central Park (Hannibal Records) Summer I992. and the premier exponent of Zairean soukous music incites an outbreak of mass grinning gyration in Central Park; spring l993. and those same hot. happy sounds are transplanted to your living room courtesy of National Public Radio‘s Afropop Worldwide show. Sparkling. melliiIuous guitars. driven by brisk percussion work. chase each other around hypnotically infectious rhythms and melodies. with Kanda's generous. throaty vocals stitching up the package; occasionally the tempo slows fora rich. rolling rhumba. If you‘ve forgotten what real sunshine feels like. or what it‘s for. stick this on and it‘ll all come ﬂooding back. (Sue Wilson)
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SILK CUT CITY
‘i ROOTS REVISITED FEATURING
FRED WESLEY & PEE WEE ELLIS
wmr srtcutwtm THE JASON REBEltO BAND
Thurs 22 April, 8.30pm. QUEEN'S HALL. 031 668 2019
AMERICAN QUINTET FEAT
CHARNETT MOFFETT (boss). DENNIS CHAMBERS (drums)
Fri 7 May. 8.30pm. QUEEN'S HALL. 031 668 2019
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FRIDAY 30 TH APRIL GLASGOW CATHOUSE SATURDAY 1 MAY EDINBURGH VENUE
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JUNE TOUR -17 - ED. VENUE, 18- GREENOCK DOCKLANE 19 - PERTH JAZZBANK. 20 - ABERDEEN LEMON TREE.
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The list 23 April (3 May I993 45