Making Music Happen

Thom Dibdln puts a dime In the slot and makes his selections.

Perfecto pop pick of the fortnight has to be ‘Detroit’ (Silvertone) from Whiteout. A fluffy. bubblegum crotch-twister. it takes the maximum quota ofcliché rock riffs and slashes them out chest-high with a smattering of derivative mid-70s hooks. One chorus too long for instant-replay heaven. it would have made a perfect summer hit.

A pity it's autumn then. not that long Fin Killie should care. Their ‘Buttergut' EP (Too Pure) is all autumnal angst and regret. sweet and misty vocals wrapped up in an abrasive sparkle of radge guitar and mandolin mayhem. Bodacious. Even more innovative is the ‘Conscious EP‘ (Nation) from Asian Dub Foundation, a glorious blend of dub. ethnic. Hollywood and deep jungle. offset by the young rapper‘s aware lyrics. ADF go beyond the formulaic. latching into and showing up current trends in Eastern and jungle vibes.

Take the sleeper of the decade: ‘Mather‘ (Virgin) from Indian Vibes. which is pure techno tourism. A 70s sitar solo laid over a techno breakbeat. the song has been around for a while as a club bootleg. This live-mix re-recording retains the underground version‘s formula without the benefit of its pumping drive. Retro. Unlike Transglobal Underground who stand up well with ‘Lookee Here‘ (Nation) which uses Hindi vocals. lndian percussion and rap to create a lazily rolling groove. The Dread Zone remix forges the already hot ethno fusion into steaming techno sensation.

‘Down In The Ghetto‘ (Greensleeves) from ragga motormouth Bounty Killer gets ajungle remix from Reel ll Reel. It‘s a bubbly enough chart-orientated sound. but lacks ADF's spark. Not so Revolutionary Dub Warriors. whose first single. ‘Dread‘ (On-U Sound) is a full-on wall of dub reggae. However. having mastered the studio art of creating a playful. spacious and trippy sound. RDW lack the vocal and spiritual dimensions of the best dub. But that‘s a minor quibble: this is electro- dub to stimulate your brain. Bass up.


34 The List 23 September—o ()ctober l‘)‘)4



3 Bitterama (Fire)

i If you’re a lover of the avant-garde or

3 the ambient, then this album is

i probably not your dream date. If you

; like chunky tunes with some latent

§ headbanging potential to the fretwork,

? then get yourself cologned-up and

prepare to step out.

‘Rifferama’, as the name suggests, is

f about big, confident strokes on the pop/rock canvas with a purposeful, driving backbone of guitars, some

5 more guitars, and did we mention that

Thrum dig guitars bigtime?

lt kicks off with the title track, one

of several passionate biggies of brontosaural proportions. Thrum do indeed dice with the dinosaurs, especially on ‘Lullaby ll’, a reworking of their first single with a longer

! stride and firmer step than the

original, which is reminiscent of Pink

; Floyd epics like ‘Breathe’, and on ‘Won’t Be long’ which is just fairly

dull, actually. ‘Nowhere To Bun’, a

highlight, makes up for those occasions when ‘Hifferama’ errs on the lumbering side.

Thrum are not interested in shadowy suggestiveness, but they can tone down the Himalayan gestures to the edge of subtlety, as on the album’s blushing ballad ‘You Wish’, a tender farewell without the squishy sentiment. The kind of song Dina Carroll would love to sing, it only her record company didn’t keep foisting mush on her. And they can up the pop stakes: witness ‘Here l Am’ and ‘Hey Joe’ which is catchy as a driftnet and another feather in the cap of a debut which shamelessly flaunts its presence. (Fiona Shepherd)

1 it ' 1 ‘4. {/12}: (EA-9;) .’ ’2 «Wt-m. 13' I ' 3..., 5,.

! _ i LYLE LOVETT lLove Everybody (MCA) 'f There are songs about penguins, tat babies, skinny-legged guys, and ‘just the morning’, that ‘old friend’, and how ‘I’ve got the blues’ but still, heck, ? ‘I love everybody’. And that’s Lyle Lovett: the troubled ! troubador who sings of simple loves i and the quirky japester with a l penchant for lateral metaphors. There i is no one else like him. This time ; round, phew, after the uneven chimera i ‘Joshua Judges Buth’, Lovett is less ! preoccupied with merging country, swing, jazz, blues and any other genre 1 that might pop by for a swig on the

v porch. Mostly, in bare acoustic country laments like ‘0ld Friend’ and ‘Just The Morning’, things just drift by, effortlessly.

Which is hardly surprising given that i most all? of these songs are old numbers from Lyle’s pre-acclaim days. i Pre-acclaim and pre-marriage to that dame who provides surprisingly canny backing vocals on the final title track. j So bang goes any theory about ‘I Love ; Everybody’ and its songs (‘They Don’t 3 Like Me’, ‘Creeps Like Me’) being ' ironic reference to this erstwhile ! country-geek’s marital fortune. Phew. ! ‘I Love Everybody’ is just Lyle being I Lyle and the world is a better place for i it. (Craig McLean)


Protection (Circa)

From the opening groove, rollin’ rollin’ rollin’, you know Massive Attack are still the most incongruously named

- band around. Spartan yet rich,

detached yet passionate, this is a collective muse that knows that less will always mean more.

It’s been 42 months since ‘Blue Lines’ first introduced us to a cool new world whose capital, humdrumly enough, was Bristol. Like, strange. In the meantime, the Massive trio have carried on regardless, able to shrug off mass(ive) adulation, Shara Nelson’s defection, and dance music’s ever- more-frantir. shimmy and shake. It’s

paid off, and how. Tracey Thorn? Not that weird 3 choice as guest vocalist since her mellitluous tones have always dripped mellow gold over Everything But The Girl’s rainy parade. Beginning ‘Protection’ with the title track, voice and lazy shuffle ooze perfection. Hicolette’s voice - which 30 describes as ‘Billie Holiday on acid’ when he really might mean ‘on helium’ has the potential to grate, but is eternally saved by the easy orchestral sway of ‘Sly’ and ‘Three”s subtly nagging rhythmic dynamics. Tricky, the final key guest vocalist, simply casts voodoo rap spells. And in between and all around, the core Massive Attack trio nod their simple, majestic, bewitching approval. Burnished blue soul. (Craig McLean)

Tennents Live! Making Music Happen

* l-

; HUE & cm

L Showtime (Permanent)

' Supporting Hue & Cry is a bit like

being a member of the Green Party: it

was trendy for a while, but gradually

the dream turned sour. Today, both are

shelter to a cult group of devotees. Shame. If you were to present this in

a blindfold test, many would love it.

It’s an amorphous easy-listening blob

of strings, brass and energetic vocals,

the type of record that sits perfectly

in the background of dinner parties

and between the eyes of could-be

) lovers.

For those who still care, this is Hue & Cry at their sassy professional best. It’s cooltempo, scat, rat-a-tat-tat, snapping fingers, grins, sweaty Paul Smith suits if only they did more film scores, they too could be at Number One for fifteen weeks. Lyrically, it’s well within the dank confines of Pat Kane’s mind. How he loves to grind his axe about corporate greed. He can’t work out where he’s going but he still loves his daughter. Truly, madly. The most incredulous words are those of ‘St Christopher’, a plea to Chris Eubank (aye, the boxer) to hang up his gloves and use his hands to sculpt love. Great idea for a Radio Scotland Arts programme, that. (Philip Dorward)