I Dead Can Dance: Spiritchaser (4A0) Like those other great one-time 4AD luminaries the Cocteau Twins. Dead Can Dance are a great idea wearing thin through overfamiliarity. It's not that like the Cocteaus they refuse to move on or diversify ~ with the whole spectrum of global music at their fingertips they could hardly be accused of not casting their net wide enough it'sjust that the tingle factor has gone. The otherworldliness ol Brendan Perry's smooth emotive tones and Lisa Gerrard's polymorphic contralto has been dissipated to the point where Perry sounds like none other than Sting on ‘Song Of The Dispossessed' ta Sting- like title too. it' ever there was one). Null. said. (l'iiona Shepherd)

I Various: Destructive Urges (Creeping Bent) A comprehensive guide to the first year‘s output of the immaculately conceived Glasgow label. Revel in the springtime euphoria of The Secret Goldfish and their pop-o- matic jingle-jungles and Mary Chain fuzz. Grind your teeth in recognition of the sonic angst which Spacehopper powerdrill through their five

contributions. Pogo with total abandon to the primal surfin' whirlwind that is The Leopards. And climb into a corner and rock yourself distractedly to the spooky. nervy dance sounds of the Revolutionary Corps ()f Teenage Jesus. Alternatively. just buy this singles compilation and enjoy what you missed first time round because you weren't finger-on-the- pulse enough. (Fiona Shepherd)

Dexy’s Midnight Runners: ‘broody, ascetic, literate glory’

I Cradle: Baba Yaga (Ultimate) Terry Bickers is back and he‘s dribbled all over his bib. As with the barnstormineg brilliant Levitation. he‘s aiming for an organic sound produced from his own smallholding in rural Wales (or somewhere). but without the ptiiik ire of his previous collaborators which gave the music such a thrilling edge. His current musical partner Carolyn Tree seems only too happy to

I Sandy Brechin: Out Of His Box (Brechin All Records) The cover is a hallucinatory Hammer Horror lookalike with accordionist-as-vampire. The track titles are riddled with puns. celebrate tunes composed in a short toilet visit (‘The Crapper' ). a smashed watch (‘Nice Hands. Shame Abotit The Face' ). or the set that sums tip the album (‘lt's Accordion Music. Jim But Not As We Know It’ ). Bass. drums and guitar/mandolin tastefully round out the sound of the most imaginative. innovative and enjoyable accordion album in years. I Various Artists: Grand Concert at Scottish Piping (Greentrax) Presented under the auspices of the Lowland and Borders Pipers Society. this recording of their ()Id Royal High School Concert celebrates the current variety of Scottish pipes and piping. Gordon Mooney. with bassoon. fiddle. whistle and cittern. extends and develops some simple tunes on a contemporary set of Border pipes. Martyn Bennett and Iain Machines show the wild edge and steady centre of Smallpipe style. btit the

Boys of the Lough: part at Rough Cuide’s ‘eccentrlc vision’

finest music is from the respective heart. head and imagination of three of the world's greatest Highland pipers. Allan MacDonald. Angus I). .‘vIacColI. and Gordon Duncan.

I The Jura Ceilidh Band: The Jura Ceilidh Band (lochshore) Cracking stuff from fiddler and pianist Archie McAIIister. guitarist and banjo player Ross Kennedy and the piano box of Davie MacDonald. The boys are from Campbeltown and Jura and the music is a classic West Highland mix of marches. pipe jigs. Cape Breton borrowings- back. and even the odd lrish tune. Singer Charlie Harrigan keeps the mood with regular outbreaks of easy. country-tinged bar- room singing. even falling into Loch Lomond. If you won‘t make it to the

Craighouse hotel this summer. put on this album. open a bottle of (Jura) malt. and you're there.

I Various Artists: Rough Guide To Scottish Music (World Music Network) Always be suspicious of any album that purports to be a guide to Scottish Music the subject is too complex. There‘s no traditional music on this one; instead. an eccentric vision made up mainly of bands like The Boys Of The Lough. Battlefield. Tannahill Weavers. Wolfstone and Capercaillie. with the odd American singing pseudo- Gaelic. Heather Heywood‘s rendition of Yeats's Irish anthem. ‘The Sally Gardens'. and some enthusiastic kitchen percussion from newcomers Ring ()‘Steall. The sleeve notes are written by a hack from South of the Border and are an unconsciously hilarious attempt to describe the evolution of Scottish music. Colin Irwin is pompous. stupid and wrong (Savourna Stevenson is not a ‘pure' Scottish singer —- she doesn't. she plays the harp). Good music. in the main. but a very rough. and shallow. guide. (Norman Chalmers)

indulge his portentous ambient noodling tendencies. btit as with most bands operating along the lunatic fringe. there are flashes of mercurial guitar magnificence. If he could just keep himself focused listen to some Oasis records. that sort of thing. Well . . . perhaps not. (Fiona Shepherd)

I Dexy’s Midnight Runners: It Was like This (EMI) Incredible as it seems now. there was a time in the recent past when a British band could base itself entirely on soul and without even the benefit of a movie tie-iii storm to Number ()ne. If Dexy’s Midnight Runners hadn't done it. no one would have believed such a feat possible. and this album contains everything they recorded for EMI in all its broody. ascetic. literate glory. Kevin Rowland proved to be a complex individual no one who could entitle a song ‘Thankfully Not Living Iii Yorkshire It Doesn't Apply" could be otherwise v- and subsequent stages of his journey took him down many strange paths. His return is long overdue. Until then. we are left with artefacts like It Was Like This. its oft-shocking power dulled not a jot by the intervening fifteen years. (Alastair Mabbott)

respected Sounds (If

tracks like ‘Lord How I

There's been a lot said in i this column about what it is that tnakes good dance i music. More often than 1 not the conclusion has been that the key element l is ‘soul'. Think about the best garage. house. techno and jungle -- the ‘soul' can come from anywhere. not just in the vocals or the lyrics. but in the drum

A programming. the swirl of I

the 303 or the distant sax. ; Ann Iesby’s debut solo

album (she is also the lead

vocalist with the much

Blackness ) I'm Here lair i You (AM1PM) mixes slow. emotive soul ballads

with uptempo R N B and

mid-paced garage cuts. Her voice is heavenly. especially on the gospel

Need Yoti'. Listen to it you might not be able to

dance to all of it but it'll I sure as hell ptit a smile in : your heart.

soul in dance music is

highest quality garage and


Someone else who clearly knows the value of

American house producer. remixer and DJ Todd Edwards. He's mixed Luv/red ()n (Hit). a double album of some of the

house cuts of the last year. Highlights include MK‘s

dtib ofJodeci's super sexy ‘Freak ‘n' You and voting DannyJ Lewis's slick . ‘Spend The Night' cut.

hapin Carpenter





Basically. lI you‘ve been anywhere near a half- decent house club recently most of these tracks will be familiar to you. If there‘s one complaint or maybe two actually it's that everything sounds too fast and the mixing (check Janet Rushmore collide

w ill; .Iaiiiirotjuai and you'll understand) is only average. That aside. this is an essential package for house fans.

Less soul maybe but more danceiloor action can be found on Force Inc’s compilation [)i'sm Subversion tl-‘orce Inc)

.\\ the title suggests. 1' olfms a true .l‘ill‘titllitflltili It) llit‘ t't‘c‘eill tltsett «ibsessiiin that swept through garage. house and techno. The bulk of the cuts are on the harder .-\iiiei‘iean house—techno vibe. with DJ 'l‘onka, providing the standout tracks ‘l’htin-ky' and the Madonna sampling ’I‘lashback'. Disco. ‘)(Is Ilava.

Lastly. Miracle (RL'A) the debut single from Olive. This is an intruiging project from a band whose members have been ' involved with The Duriiti (’olumn. Simply Red and Nightmares ()it Wax. The result is a mixture of drum 'n' bass and trip pop that sounds not unlike I-iverytliing But The Girl. only not as good. (Jim Byers)



The List 31 May- I 3 Jun 1996 43