RECORD REVIEWS MUSIC
I F.0.ll.lt.: Order (Kuii) An inauspicious start from the Kuff album. A botched Specials single and now an albuttt tltat doesn't seem to know which section of the record store it belongs to. F.O.U.R. is an apt name for the band if ottly because they jack in all the musical trades of rap. ragga. ethnic and pop. Shame they‘re master of none. It's almost as though F.().U.R. are trying too hard to impress and the over sweet production makes it smack of a cheap budget M()R charity record. Vocally. songs like ‘The Sweetest Surrender" and ‘A Little More l.ove' are right on. but 'Order" is also boring and ttot really tough enough to stimulate demand beyond the London orbital. (Philip [)orward)
I Supermodel: Clumba Mar (Fire) There's some fertile imagination gone ittto this debut album which itt these days of Northern Uproar is good news for the state of ramshackle upstart guitar pop. Supermodel are all over the place. yet still to the point. pitching their sound somewhere between Sonic Youth and Squeeze with the hooks
attd ttmes of the latter attd the recorded-in-ten- minutes-in-someone's- garage spontaneous outburst of the forttter. Bands usually take ages to perfect this kind of fell-
some-noisy-tunes business bttt Supertttodel appear to ltave a natural aptitude for offhand brilliance. (Fiona Shepherd)
I Manhole: All Is Not Well (Modern Music Records) ltttagine if Zack of Rage Against Tlte Machine was a woman who had been used and abused itt every possible way attd then decided to take it no ntore and reap her revenge against every scuttt-sucking filth pig who‘d ever crossed her path. Welcome to the furious world of Manhole Disgust. loathing attd retribution drips frottt each suppurating pore of
Manhole: too mean to mess with
these songs. Deliver it in a
barbed wire bundle of tortured thrash and mean streets rap and you have
one of the ntost powerful albums of empowerment which will be released this year. Scary sttiff. (Jonathan Trew)
I China Drum: Goosetair (Mantra) So it‘ China Drum are no ntore than (ireen Day with a straigltt face. or a bearable Super l-‘ttrry Animals (as I'd been led to believe). why hasn’t this CD been pressed ittto service as a frisbee yet'.’ Well. largely because. despite tttyself. l fittd that this passionately- delivered album keeps doing things that pull my wattderittg attention back ittto litte attd even encourage a little judicious ttttdgittg of the volume knob. Also.becattse I suspect that. deep dowtt. they actually like The Police tttore than The Clash. And may even like Supergrass tttore than either. Then agaitt. perhaps its the super-charged version of ‘Wuthering Heights‘ hidden at the end. (Alastair Mabbott)
I Shostakovitch: Symphony No 7 (RCA Red Seal) Conductor Yuri Temirkanov is a big favourite in Scotland. and his reading of the mighty ‘Leningrad' symphony with the superb St Petersburg Philharmonic is predictably first-rate. milking the big. dramatic sweep of the music for all it is worth. but giving the more reflective moods full weight as well. Shostakovitch is also featured on a fine disc of Russian piano trios from the Scottish-based Rachmartinov Trio (Koch). alongside Rachmaninov and Sviridov.
I Prokofiev: Scenes From Romeo And Juliet (RCA Bed Seal) Another high-powered disc of Russian music. this time from Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony. in a generous suite of all the ntost famous bits culled from the ballet. The music is given a fresh. sophisticated. artd generally well- characterised performance. although sorne of the gentler episodes are a little under- heated.
I Hindemith: Ludus Tonalis (Decca) Many
listeners find Hindemith irredeemably dry. aitd this monumental piano work may ttot be the one to convince them otherwise. although ()lli Mustonen makes a very persuasive advocate for it. in a disc which also contains his version of l’t‘okofiev's Visions Fugitives. It follows on a line disc collecting all seven of ilindemith's ('ltunt/ier (‘UIHY’I'IUA' ( RCA Red Seal) front the l€ttsetttltle Modern.
I Sibelius: Symphony No 5 (BIS) This new BIS disc features the first recording of the original l‘)15 version of this work. reconstructed front surviving orchestral parts. and superbly played by the l.ahti Symphony ()rcltestra under ()snto Vanska. lt ts simultaneously familiar and oddly alien. attd listening to it til the light of the final l‘)l‘) versiott gives a fascinating glimpse ittto the creative process. Sibelius admirers should also check ottt Anne-Sophie Mtttter‘s powerful reading of the Vin/ill Cullt‘cl'ln (DU ).
I Glenn Branca: Symphony No 9 (Point) Branca forsakes the roaring massed guitars and driving drums of his earlier 'symphonies' in favour of a ntore textured. orchestral ebb and flow on this disc. his first for
Philip (_ilass's Point label. In contrast with his strident. declantatory earlier music. it ltas unexpected. seductive peacefttlness that is closer to the ‘holy minimalism' of(iorecki or l’iit't. notably iii the opening section.
I Messiaen: Vingt Regards Sur I’Eniant Jesus (Collins) What strikes the ear first itt this recording is the slteer sensuous beauty of the piano itself. gorgeously captured by the (‘ollins' engineers. MacGregor's playing is predictably excellent. emphasising botlt the high colour and glinting clarity of Messiaeit‘s strikingly original music iii a commanding performance.
I Gerard McChrystal: Meeting Point (Silva) Saxophone is still something of an outsider when it comes to classical music. but as Mc(‘ltrysta| demonstrates. the repertoire ts continually expanding. lie opens with a work familiar to
follow ers of the BT Scottish linsetttble. l). C‘. Heath‘s 'l‘lze ('ellit'. which shares the disc with two tttore significant concertos for soprano saxophone. Torke’s ('mtt‘erto attd Nyman's ll'liere The Bee Dances. plus two brief solo pieces for alto. (Kenny Mathieson)
l‘irst tip. the remixes of Alex Reece’s acclaimed ‘l-‘eel The Stmshine' (Fourth & Broadway). Reece ltas had a lot to do with the commercial crossover of jtmgle recently. Along with (ioldie. lte ltas taken drunt 'n' bass culture rigltt ittto the heart of the mainstream. 'iieel The Sunshine is classic Reece; uptempo attd jazzy with a soulful Bjork-like vocal. The remixes courtesy of 1)] Pulse strip the track dowtt slightly. maintaining the sttttttttery jazzy vibes but giving it a more hard-edged underground bite. This record deserves to be heard.
t-Ztsewttct-e. Incognito also experience the remix treatment. ‘lncognito Remixed‘ (Talkin' l,ottd) brings together a selection of fine reworkittgs frottt a healtlty array of producers. including the Masters at Work. Roger S aitd Pete Rock. Highlights frottt the excellent package include Sanchez's interpretation of ‘(iiving lt l'p'. the MAW mix of ‘Always There' and Pete Rock‘s ltip ltop take on ‘Roots‘. A good jazz-funk outfit made great by dance music.
institution SLAM have brottgltt togetlter a fine and diverse selection ot musical styles aitd influences on their debut long player Heat/sitttes j (Soitta). Beltittd the usual sleek artd groovy minimal 5 techno cuts like ‘l)ark ' l-‘orces' lie deeper arid i more experimental cttts "like the aptly titled ‘llybrid'. with its techno- ) drtntt ‘n' bass fusion attd ‘l‘irst Bass' with its bottom lteavy jazzy hip hop (lavas. This is the kind ofcutting-edge futuristic fttttk that good. groundbreaking dance music is all about. listen to it attd be suprised. Back itt remix land attd : there‘s Tony De Vit's The 3 Remit'es (l‘iantazia). a
collection of the man's , recent output. If yott i aren't familiar with Mr be i \’it (pronounced ‘d-vee') j he's resident at London's i fiercest gay club Trade.
i '- 1 - ll uutu iiil
Incognito: ‘iine reworkings‘
and a regular guest [)1 at clubs across the country. His style on the decks and iii the studio is hard. fast attd pumping vv itlt heavy kick drttttts attd hissing hi- ltats. At titttes. it‘s full-on. butt-shaking end of the night dance music wltile at others it's a relentless lteadfuck that relies too much on the sattte ideas. Best heard it) a club environment.
At the other end of the spectrum. do yourself a favour and clteck ottt Nonchalant’s ('nit/ The [My (MC‘A). an excellent. laid back. liast (‘oast female rap album. The single ‘5 ()'(‘lock’ is ottt
Also worth checking are Mark Morrison’s Return ()("I‘lie .tltiek (WliA). a superb and sexy collection of British swing. and SWV’S smooth. sultry rap on New Beginning (RCA). (Jim Byers)
The List 3- lb May l‘)‘)(t 49