MUSIC RECORD REVIEWS
Phillip Dorward dons dance commando flak locket and goes on manoevures with some
it is a disturbing thought that the immediate future of Scottish pop music rests on the jockstraps of The Time Frequency. You would have thought that the Bay City Rollers would have taught us never to again unleash such a talentless bunch upon the unsuspecting Union. but oh no. here we go, here we go. Again. To call it grotesque would be too kind. ‘The Powerzone EP feat. The Ultimate Cliche'. sorry that's ‘High’ (Jive). is typical hands in the air keich that only Scots teenagers aged 14-28 n-joi. Shoot the buggers.
Another lot of toss emanates from the East End by way of a pitiful
cover of ‘West End Girls‘
(London) by East 17. While I‘m no fan of the PSB’s. at least the original had emotion; the only function this conjures is laughter.
lt’s therefore reassuring to know that the hell-void of the last 9 minutes 24
seconds can be more than
amply ﬁlled by ‘One Night In Heaven‘ (Deconstruction). Yes. those jolly M-People return with. at long last. a track not lifted off the Northern Soul LP. The instantly likeable summery mix is perfectly reinforced by Harri‘s ultra rub-a-dub chug. Staying in Wegieland. keep an ear out for the Fini-esque electro junket that is State Cf Flilx's ‘Mind Weeds/The News‘ (T&B). Most notable feature is the enlightened SAMPLED tones of the Dead Kennedy‘s Jello Biafra. He prophesises how ‘We need more paper; it‘s almost gone. The answer
. . . grow more pot.‘ A quick mention for Snap‘s
, ‘Do You See The Light’ (Logic). That‘s enough.
Back then with the proper 1
dance music. Be sure to get hold of ‘Dreams‘ (Go! Beat) by Gabrielle. After fruitless legal wranglings with Tracy Chapman's lawyers. the track now emerges stronger than ever thanks to a wealth of ‘Fast Car‘-free mixes from Richie Fermie, Rollo and Johnny Jay. Very beezer indeed. and nae dosh for ’wor Trace.
And so there you have it. the painfully familiar Top 40 machine rolls on. State Of Flux will just ﬂoat outwith reality. while M- People. Gabrielle and Deborah Harry are safe Top 20 bets. East 17 will go Top 10. Snap Top 3. and 'ITF No 1 (Scotland Only). Ho-blummin’- hum . . .
Untitled (Internal) Three years, one- and-a-half albums, some astounding remixes (EMF, Drum Club, Meat Beat Manifesto) and Orbital, ever the freaky-deak lace of the avant-garde overground, have . . . matured, flowered, blossomed, excelled. Delivered.
‘llntitled’ treads proudly through the techno underground, a seamless, gelled collection of steel-tipped technological symphonies plus the loop sampling doodles of ‘Time Becomes’ and ‘lnput Dut’. ‘Planet CI The Shapes’ stalks, prowls and leaps through crystalline bass lines. ‘lush 3- 1’ and ‘lush 3-2’ slink, foxy la-de-da’s
on a mission to embrace. ‘lmpact’, with its glistening synth structures and eery moans, shimmies voodoo- like, while ‘llemind’ keps their MBM remix of last year running on newly- stoked coals.
Ever-shifting, always alluring, the Hartnoll brothers bring an organic multiplicity of textures to their already rippling electronic healing waters. Choose floatation or immersion. Either way, ‘llntitled’ is ! double-dipped deep, way beyond our 3 most psycho-active expectations.
1 Even without title this cycle oi
; intelligent dance mutations is readily-
; indentiflable as infinitely accesible space music for earth people.
Wondrous. (Calvin Bush)
Dream Harder (Geffen)
Three years on from the aimless fiddling about oi ‘lioom To lloam’, Mike Scott returns to face not inconsiderable critical and commercial expectations with a sixth album. Sadly, you get the impression that neither camp is going to be exactly enthralled by ‘Dream Harder’. A swift glimpse at the track-listing arouses the suspicion our Mike had bumped into Julian Cope in one of those Hebridean tap-rooms they both frequent and .lools had slipped something chemical into Mike’s Murphy’s: ‘The Return Of Pan', ‘Corn Circles,’ ‘The lieturn Di Jimi Hendrix’,
Hear the opener ‘The flew Life’, though, and brief hope surges that this
is a return to that whopping great anthemic Big Music he used to excel at, all Edgy guitarwork and blissed-out poetics. ‘l’ve bumed my bridges and I’m free at last,’ he declaims, and ‘Clastonbury Song’ and ‘Preparing To Fly’ maintain the promise.
And then that single slips in, ‘The Return Of Pan’, an embarrassing slice of sub-Jethro Tull mystical bollocks that sets the tone for what follows. Whether it be hippy whimsy (‘Corn Circles’), happy idiocy (‘Spiritual City’ - with a Billy Connolly spoken coda, pleeease) or sappy schmaltz (‘Wonders Of lewis’ - probably not a tribute to Inspector Morse’s sidekick), Scott drifts way off the rails into a swamp of other-worldy indulgence. The less said about the five and a half minutes of plain daftness that is ‘Hendrix’ the better. ‘The man’s mad’ as Private Fraser used to say. (Tom Lappin)
PHILIP GLASS ‘low’ Symphony (Point) It is no real surprise that Philip Glass should have chosen three themes from the 1977 David Bowie-Brian Eno album ‘Low’ as the basis for this substantial orchestral work. It is Bowie’s starkest, most pared-down music, while Eno’s characteristic musical strategies have ' much in common with Class’s minimalism in any case. What the composer then makes of these borrowed themes (from ‘Subterraneans’, ‘Some Are’ and ‘Warzawa’), however, is very much his own creation, and one of his most satisfying works.
If you are one of those people who are allergic to minimalism in any form,
then this one probably won’t convert you, but it is indicative of the kind of filling out of the form which increasingly makes that inappropriate tag even more redundant. Class’s early music was almost entirely based in
rhythmic movement (or the lack of it), but has developed in a much more expansive melodic and harmonic context over the years.
The ‘low’ Symphony illustrates that point through its melodic hooks, motlvic development, and expanded and at times almost lusth romantic instrumental textures. Class fans can buy with confidence (although it lacks the bite of his best film music), but if you are coming at it from Bowie, don’t
' expect it to bear too direct a relationship to ‘low’ itself. (Kenny Mathieson)
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DDDCY The Dodgy Album (A&M)
The day before Dodgy appear at King Tut’s on 20 June, they’re playing at a scootering rally in the north-west of England. This is what Blur should have been doing Instead of poncing around Essex new towns on trains; should have been doing if they wanted to create timeless - and it pains me to say this, but alas it’s appropriate - ENGLISH pop music that comes amplified via Duadropheniac stereo.
‘The Dodgy Album’ has sunshine and love, piss and distaste. It’s the world perfectly captured in the words of Squeeae’s ‘llp The Junction’ and in the
music of The Jam’s smoother moments of mod catchiness. llo headless hedonlsm, then, even if ‘Water Under The Bridge’ and ‘Stand By Yourself’ evoke smiley euphoria. llo bristly adventurousness, then, even if ‘Cold Tea’ melds The Beatles and Pink Floyd and ‘Crand Old English Oak Tree’ is the Barclay James Harvest It’s Okay To like.
And no fashion victim chimeric union between timeless pop and oi-the- moment grooves a la The Real People and bits of World Party’s new albinn. Dodgy’s feat lies in writing shameless hippy stoner meditations like the final ‘We’re llot Going To Take This Anymore’ and not come across like complete tossers. (Craig McLean)
34 The List 4-17 June 1993