I Mantaray: Some Pop (Dead Dead Good) Essex new lads with mod sensibilities or snot-nosed sneer pop? The jury is still out on this one. All the tracks are uniformly sharp. bursting at the seams with big. confident guitar squeals and vocals which fluctuate between in-your-gob bluster and a more lilting harmony. The overall sound is quintessentially English but more Brighton than Blur‘s ersatz Cockney. This is the teenage sound of provincial. urban Saturday night-life aimless boredom. befuddled relationships with the odd buzz of the occasional night out to remember. Don‘t hang about for the shaggy dog tale at the end of the CD. it‘s bogging. (Jonathan Trew)

I The Auteurs Vs u-Ziq (Hut) Ifyou‘re seeking a sympathetic indie-dance crossover. look elsewhere: ‘Wrote For Luck' this isn‘t. Michael Paradinas (aka u-Ziq) reckoned The Anteurs‘ tracks were 'shit‘ when they were sent to him to remix. and made it quite clear that his motivation was purely financial. So it‘s no accident that The Auteurs are conspicuous by their absence here. Paradinas

5 of energy and imagination

their own. For the record:

practically every trace of the original tracks. not to make something exciting and new. but simply because he found them so hateful. When dim snatches of Haines & co are heard. they seem to have been inserted contemptuously. as if to say: ‘You see the cack they wanted a silk purse from'?‘ Fuel for the argument that a prerequisite for happy genre-mixing is a bit of respect on both sides. (Alastair Mabbott)

I Various: Woodstock ’94 (Al-M) If nothing else. Woodstock ‘94 showed just how far the corporate noose had tightened round young America's collective throat. So bereft

seems to have eradicated '

that they‘d rather hold a pale re-run of a 25-year- old festival than look for something they can call

you can 't numufitcture an event. no matter how many millions are poured into it. None of which would matter so much if the shindig had produced a worthwhile artefact. but this interminable double- CD is so limp it’s a wonder my machine could be arsed playing it. Metallica and Aerosmith rise to the occasion, but . . . Zucchero? Primus?

Live? Green Day?

Candlebox? Collected Soul? It’s hardly the most epoch-making selection. Even His Bobness. in a rendition of ‘Highway 61' that even its mother couldn’t love. fails to save the day. Bad brown acid sounds distinctly preferable. (Alastair Mabbott)

I Various: Out There - A

Thread Through Time (Pi

Recordings/Tail! Vinyl) Composed almost completely of tracks by

knob-twiddling electronic music makers. this two-

; CD/four-LP compilation deserves. demands even. a decent sound system

turned up to the max. It's not all new. by any means. What is claimed to be the first acid track. ‘Dancing Ghosts‘ by CH (Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti). was recorded in 1982. 'Synaesthetica‘. a haunting ambient soundscape. was created a full decade later by

:Zoviet*France:. who

themselves have been recording for over ten years. What binds this diverse collection. which sweeps from the industrial to the vocal. is that it is technological. not techno. Sure. bleeps and repetitive beats abound. But this is music written to be listened to. not to bludgeon you into dance frenzy. Treat yourself. (Thom Dibdin)

I Paul Mounsey: Nahoo (Iona) Unlike many recent records which set pseudo- Gaelic song in contemporary musical contexts. this album uses the real thing. Digitised samples from recordings in the School of Scottish Studies archives are reformed in computer sequences. programmed and orchestrated in an intensely rhythmic. hypnotic sometimes subliminal and often moving layered soundscape using keyboards. guitars. bass. whistle. viola. violin and vocals. Oh, by the way. it was recorded in Brazil where the Scots composer/producer has been living for a decade. Sixties folk chestnuts like ‘1 Will Go‘ and ‘The Roving Journeyman' are here with Victorian kitsch (‘My Faithful Fond One'). but there are some stunning creations and Mounsey has achieved rare success in merging traditional Scottish modal music with sophisticated harmony. pop idioms and club dance beats.

I Boss Kennedy and Archie McAllister: Twisted Fingers (lochshore) Produced by

f colleagues and members

Donald Shaw. with most of his Capercaillie

of Iron Horse and Clan Alba adding their instrumental or vocal skills to this Glasgow- recorded LP. This is a polished example of the contemporary folk album. McAllister is a fine fiddler with an occasionally over- emphatic bowing arm and Kennedy handles accompanying guitar and bouzouki, singing strongly in a serious Gaughancsque style. The songs are for the most part well known - ‘Barbara Allan'. ‘Farewell To Fuinary‘. ‘John Barleycorn’ - but dressed in new clothes. The instrumental sets are the usual mix of fiddle and pipe dance tunes and the occasional air. No innovation. but well played.

I Anna Mhoireach (Anna Murray): Out (it The Blue (lochshore) Gaelic TV presenter Murray is a young Lewis woman who looks too slight to handle the Highland bagpipes. But she handles them very well indeed. She also uses their smaller bellows- blown cousins and fills half the album with well- paced songs in Gaelic. but her pipe arrangements with a host of guest

musicians are the most substantial tracks. Leo McCann’s button box stands out. and ‘The Little Cascade' is taken at a slow tempo. gentle washes of harmony shifting the mood. but the album leaps out of the speakers when the bagpipes join with Macumba. Glasgow's equivalent of the drummers of Burundi.

I Shooglenitty: Venus in Tweeds (Greentrax) The long-awaited album from the originators of Celtic trance dance by former members of Swamptrash. Miro. Capercaillie and three great players schooled in the intense Edinburgh roots crossover scene. No vocals to speak of. but there is an engaging 'joiner‘s mix’. an overdubbed whistling melody on an already cheeky sauntering tune. lain MacLeod's insistent mandolin and Angus Grant’s fast but languorous fiddle lead the melody lines but the undertow is all in this band. A great rhythmic feel pervades the whole album. a repetitive. mildly hallucinogenic layering of imaginative instrumental colour. Should go down well at Samye Ling. (Norman Chalmers)

t... " . - B A R R O W L A N D S



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The List 2—l5 December 1994 45