T in the Park, the Tennents Live Festival
RECORD REVIEWS MUSIC
I J.J. Cale: Closer To You (Delabel) No surprises here. but that's not why you listen to J.J.'s lazy. laid so far back it‘s almost falling over drawl. The album is split between glossy production numbers (including one instrumental) with a slick session band. as in the kicking ‘Long Way Home' or the country shuffle of ‘Rose in The Garden'. and solo or duo tunes like the relaxed ‘Slower Baby' or the gritty ‘Brown Dirt'. with Cale‘s guitar and vocal augmented by slightly spurious synthesiser effects. It's a strong enough set (although not up to the high standards of his classic debut album or Tmubar/ur). and fans can buy with confidence. (Kenny Mathieson)
I The Coats: llo Coats, llo Clory (Columbia) Whether it‘s down to the departure of rapper Oatie Kato — he left before The Goats UK tour last autumn —- orjust them second album trautnas. N0 Goats No Glory falls far
I short or its predecessor.
} Tricks Of The Shade had
i skits and hits. polemics
g and politics. This one has just steely funk and workaday raps and screeds to the weed. Fair enough. their hip-hop homage to self. ‘Philly Blunts’ (The Goats are from Philadelphia) gives a new twist to two of rap‘s staple lyrical concerns
} (self-aggrandisement and drugs). But that’s about it. A thoroughly competent rap record that is a victim
' of its predecessor‘s
unfettered brilliance. (Craig McLean)
I Various: Artificial Intelligence 2 (Warp) Quite simply. this compilation is where the smart money goes for an up-to the minute survey of cutting-edge electronica. Autechre. Seefeel and SpeedyJ work up their very diverse synthetic windows on the future and illustrate the progressions and diversiﬁcations that have taken place since Al I. Polygon Window’s ‘My Teapot‘ injects humour of a deliciously camp and
cute nature. Beaumont Hannant works up a vision of a Chinese laundry overrun by its own steam-powered pressing machines and Link trace a visionary yet faint line between ambient and hip-hop. The secret track by Scanner (over ten minutes after Kenny Larkin) ends the
; collection with an
unsettling expose of our
dystopia. Listen to this and you'll never use a
: mobile phone again.
(Bethan Cole) I Blackalicious
‘hlelodica’ (Mo Wax) The
‘94 hip-hop renaissance
kicks on with another quality missive from James Lavelle's superior Mo Wax label. This collaboration between DJ Shadow. Xavier and LA rapper Gab is chock-full of slow-burn basslines. wide-boy brass and bite- size out-takes from black culture. ‘Attica Black‘ comes on like Richard Wright‘s ‘Black Boy' with its conspiratorial ‘does anyone know what we can say and we can’t say‘ sample. Gab moulds the tonal range of rap. tinging it with low-slung scat vocals on ‘Attica Black' and accelerating it to self- referential fast-track oblivion on ‘Lyric Fathom‘. The album is split half and half between vocal and instrumental tracks. allowing abstract gems like ‘Swan Lake‘ space to breathe. Highly recommended. (Bethan Cole)
I Tomas Lynch: The Crux oi the Catalogue (linecheck) Former After Hours singer and uillean piper. Tomas Lynch also plays guitar and whistle on his first solo CD. Additional musicians play electric and slide guitar. bass. varied percussion. and shared backing vocals. The guest list includes names you might have heard before — June Tabor and Ron Kavana — and some song lyrics are attributed to James Joyce and Robert Burns. but the whole is less than the sum of the parts. There is. for all the thoughtful variety and general quality of sound. some pitch problems on pipes and whistle and no unifying stylistic sense. the insistent afro-percussion on some tracks at odds for instance with the gently fingerpicked. circumspect version of the old-but- good ‘Foggy Dew‘.
I Various Artists: Ceilidh iiouse Sessions (Creentrax) The Tron Tavern. or Ceilidh House. behind the Tron Kirk in
Edinburgh's High Street. has become somewhat like Sandy Bell's Bar. or Glasgow's Scotia. the regular watering hole and meeting place of folk musicians and singers. And like Sandy Bell‘s 70s recording. the Tron has now produced an album. Actually. this studio recording could have done with a proper producer. The quality varies a lot. The best tracks are singer (and proprietor) Cy Jack‘s ‘Strangers To Me' and George Duff's ‘Mountains Of Mourne‘. but the instrumentals. staffed by fine and some famous players. all Tron regulars. suffer from the dearth of clash and clanjamfrie. all the enthusiasm of a late- night pub session.
I Craohh Boa: The More That‘s Said The less The Better (lochehore) This is a ﬁne. workmanlike recording by the four-man Belfast group. no strangers to these shores. The acoustic instrumental mix of uillean pipes. mandola. whistle. ﬁddle.
mandolin. banjo and : bodhran sets the sound
somewhere between Planxty. De Dannan and Altan — not as polished. but spirited playing all the same. The vocal tracks could be stronger. and ‘Jock O’ Hazeldean’ really doesn‘t work when the rhythm is changed to 4/4. but there are lovely tracks like the beautifully- paced ‘Young Catherine’.
I Catherine Ann MacPhee: Catherine Ann MacPhee Sings Mairi Mhor (Creentrax) From the John McGrath. 7:84 and later TV production of Mairi Mhor. a staging of the life of the indomitable 19th century Skye woman who left a legacy of song and spirit. comes this soundtrack recording. Cathy Ann is in great voice. and the Gaelic songs are given beautifully understated arrangemean by Allan MacDonald on pipes and whistle. John Martin on ﬁddle and clarsair Mary Ann Kennedy in Jim Sutherland’s tasteful production. (Norman Chalmers)
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The List 15—28 July 1994 39