RECORD REVIEWS MUSIC
I Iggy Pop: American Caesar (Virgin) ‘Parental Warning. This Is An Iggy Pop Record.‘ Cute. The cover photo of Iggy as parched old Velociraptor gives further indications of what to expect within. Which is. happily. a more fearsome. better and harder-rocking set than his last outing. Brick By Brick. Forty-six and still strutting. the Pop is more than up to the task of sharply intelligent. funny and invigorating records. And unlike Lou Reed. he doesn’t feel the urgent need to tout them as high- brow nteistem'orks. Effortlessly outclassing any of his last half-dozen albums. American Caesar also contains one of the oddest tracks he‘s recorded since The Stooges' ‘We Will Fall'. ‘Caesar‘ itself. Maintaining a straight face throughout. the lg gravely intones some daftly portentous doggerel about ancient Rome before cracking up in the fadeout and announcing to the control room. ‘I could do with more numbers like that on the record‘. Eat that. Lou. (Alastair Mabbott) I Buffalo Tom: Big Red letter Day (Beggars Banquet) Bill Janovitz has one of those voices — passionate but resigned. unflashy but affecting — and on 1991 ‘s excellent Let Me Came Over. the album which proved beyond doubt that this Boston three-piece were a force to be reckoned with. he mined a seam of world-weary rock which came to the surface in
sparkling nuggets. Big Red Letter Day is less immediate than its predecessor and its doleful mood allows for less van'ety. so it’s best to take this in small doses lest attention wander. Treading water they may be for the moment, but it’s too early to write Buffalo Tom off. They might yet
outlast fellow trios Dinosaur Jr and Sugar.
I Trans-global Underground: Dream of 100 Nations (Nation) Dreaming a silly dream for a moment (Trans-
' global Underground
facilitate dreams; they‘re
idealistic whereas labelmates Fun-Da- Mental are indignant
pragmatists). wouldn't it be great if the thoroughly insidious Eastern chants
and bhangra beats on this
beezer of an album could be harnessed to reverse-
. indoctrinate racist undesirables. burrowing
its racial eclecticism right into their intellectually-
barren craniums? Just a . long-winded thought inspired by a record that
should do the subliminal business on the dancefloor
= while causing armchair
ravers to turn cartwheels in their head. (Fiona Shepherd)
. I Afghan Whigs:
Gentlemen (Blast First) Persona in pop is a wonderful thing. As long as you don‘t let it shackle you. it can cover a multitude of sins. Lead
Whig Greg Dulli’s
exploration of the grey area between dumbo
machismo and the now- discredited ‘sensitive'
dribbling of the New Man
is engaging. all the more
' so for wrapping itself
round a song cycle which documents the fag end of a stale relationship. Such is its lyn'cal accomplishment that it whitewashes the plod through the motions that makes up much of the music on the album. The revving carousel of guitars invades periodically (‘What Jail Is Like’. ‘Debonair'. ‘Now You Know‘). but not often enough to fulﬁl the promise of this band’s previous emotional
: salvos. (Fiona Shepherd)
I The Cocteau Twins:
Four Calendar Cate (Fontana) Moving to Fontana has made no difference to The Cocteau Twins’ old ethereal pop direction other than that Liz Fraser sounds like she‘s spent the last three years relearning the
. English language. The Cocteaus continue to
eschew the notion of
i progress to produce gorgeousness in excelsis.
Ditching the fabricated
3 lexicon and enunciating ; with some clarity reveals : Liz Fraser to be a close
vocal cousin of ally-in— excellence Kate Bush. and
the earthbound vocabulary 5 only persuades that the 3 Cocteaus are fashioning
miracles from even
meaner roots than usual. ‘Bluebeard’ is a thinly- disguised country rocker.
while what sounds like a fairground organ pipes away happily on ‘Oil Of Angels’. Highlights are the opening ‘Know Who You Are At Every Age’
and ‘Essence’ where the
textured instrumental clutter is subordinated to bewitching melody. (Fiona Shepherd)
I Malcolm Arnold: Concertos; 0n Brass (Conifer) Amold‘s music. which certainly flew in the face of the prevailing orthodoxies of the post- war era. has long been unfashionable. but Conifer‘s current series of recordings may help restore some balance to that judgement. The orchestral disc includes a superb performance of the Clarinet Concerto No 2 by Michael Collins. alongside earlier concertos for Horn. Piano Duet. and the later Flute Concerto No 2. The colourful brass pieces on Arnold 0n Brass are played with aplomb by the excellent Grimethorpe Colliery Band.
I Allen Pettersson: Symphonies (BIS) The Swedish label BIS has long championed Scandinavian composers. and Pettersson is one who certainly deserves to be
; better known. By all accouan a strange.
troubled. controversial man. his music reﬂects his artistic struggles in its
bleak but powerful and
often turbulent language.
His stark. dramatic
Symphony No 7 enjoyed
j massive public success on
its premiere in l968. and is accompanied here by
the shorter but even more .. intense Symphony No 11.
Worth checking out.
3 I Handel: israel in Egypt (Collins)! Monteverdi:
Vespers of 1610 (Teldec)
The Sixteen (although
they are rarely that these ; days) are one of the most consistently engaging.
wide-ranging and plain
enjoyable choral groups in
Britain. They celebrate ‘ their 16th birthday this year. and do so in fine ! style on this poised
performance of Handel‘s massive oratorio.
l Monteverdi wrote his
magisterial Vespers over a century earlier. and this classic recording by
Viennese forces under
; Nikolaus Harnoncourt
unfailingly brings out the
full subtlety and poignant beauty of the music.
I American Music The Duke Quartet (Collins) offer Barber‘s String Quartet (source of the famous ‘Adagio’)
5 alongside Dvorak's
'American’ Quartet and Philip Glass‘s Quartet No l. Virtuoso cellist Yo-Yo Ma’s Made In America (Sony) includes transcriptions of Bemstein’s Clarinet Sonata and Gershwin’s Three Preludes. but Ives’s Trio emerges as the most absorbing work. Persian Set (Koch International) is a quirkin fascinating collection of music for chamber orchestra in the most approachable vein of the undervalued pioneer Henry Cowell. while both Cowell and the Ives Trio feature alongside Copland on Vitebsk (Gamut). a fine disc by The Hartley Tn'o. (Kenny Mathieson)
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O m Music Presents
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R S E ' 23rd “I! HALL EDIN , 2019
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The List 8-21 October I993 35