RECORD REVIEWS MUSIC
Dance compilations usually smack of commercial marketing at its very worst (The Best Dam-e Album In The World Ever: Volume 296 etc) but thankfully there are exceptions to the general rule. Black Boots, From 705 Funk To Hip Hop (BMG) is one such example. Taking in all the key cuts in the development of modern black music over the last 30 years or so. it is an essential buy for anyone remotely interested in dance music. From the king of funk James Brown to Parliament and Gil Scott-Heron it checks all the key players in a gloriously funky and massively inﬂuential lineage of artists. Flip from the out-and-out funk of the first CD to the early stages of rap on disc two and you‘ll encounter major classics from the Sugarhill Gang and Curtis Mayfield right up to modern day hip hop stars like Notorious B.l.G and the Wu Tang Clan. Similar compilation credibility can be found on the third instalment of the lle Take Control (One Records) series. Following on from Tony Humphries and Junior Vasquez is no mean feat but Washington DC‘s Deep Dish do so with style — and then some. True to the form of their masterful production and
remix work. Sharam and
nos 70 'a
Dublire glide effortlessly through 28 deep. soulful tracks that take in glorious vocals (Urban Blues Project). deep experimental jazz-house fusion (ldjut Boys) and more familiar commercial cuts (Alcatraz and Gusto).
Also worth a mention is Flux Trait Volume Two (EXP). another credible compilation album packed full ofclassic techno tracks. Featured artists range from Leftfield to Robert Armani to Sabres Of Paradise and DJ Hell on what is surely one of the most complete guides to modern techno on the market.
Slowing things down a little is Horace Brown whose debut album Horace Brown (Motown) is R & B heaven. Since his single. ‘One For The
Malcolm it would say ‘Buy Black ﬂoots'
Money' blew up in the charts earlier this year. this guy‘s name has been on everyone’s lips and now we know exactly why. The album glides along on a soulful. sexy and supa smooth swingbeat vibe that is definitely the fresh flava
for 96. Even better. the album contains more than
the average number of uptempo cuts that will work in the right clubs.
Last and by no means least. Digital Underground‘s new album Future Rhythm (Raputation) which is a phenomenally funky record packed full of P- funk style grooves. Highlights include the new single ‘Oregano Flow’ and the sharp soulful ‘Walk Real Cool‘. (Jim Byers)
I MacMillan: The Beisendng (BMC Catalyst) James MacMillan's description of The Berserking as in part descriptive of the Scots’ ability to shoot ourselves in the foot takes on added poignancy in the wake of Wembley. The earliest of his big concerto works is quintessential MacMillan. and receives a powerful recording here from the RSNO under Marcus Stenz. with Peter Donohoe as pianist. Of the accompanying works. vaetan Spring is less compelling. but both the satirical Britannia and Sinfonietta make their musical and political points with passion and assurance. Recommended. I Bautamra: Angel of llgllt (Codine) The much- touted rebirth of interest in both spirituality and tonality in composition has paved the way for acceptance of works like this. which would have been scoffed at even a decade ago. Angel of Light is a bold. melodic
symphony written in a
highly accessible musical language. with three of its four movements creating gentle. tranquil soundscapes which will bring inevitable comparisons with Gorecki. Amnmciatimis, an earlier and slightly more spiky work for organ. brass and wind. completes the disc.
I Hyman: After Extra Time (Virgin) Michael Nyman is well-known as a QPR fan. and his new disc is nicely timed to coincide with Euro96. A football theme runs through all three works: the new title- piece even offers a version of two teams playing a musical contest. The Final Score dates from 1991. while Memorial is a powerful remembrance of the Heysel stadium disaster of I985. After the gentler. romantic soundscapes of The Piano and Carrington, this is a return to the more full- blooded. exuberant side of his work.
I [lawn llpshaw: White Moon; Sings llodgers and Hart (Nonesuch) Two contrasting releases from this celebrated soprano. White Moon, a tribute to
Orpheus. is a typically imaginative. diverse recital of songs devoted to sleep. night and the moon. from Dowland and
Handel through to a wake- up call from George Crumb. Excellent. as is her interpretation of the songs of Rodgers and Hart. in which she is helped out by jazz pianist Fred Hersch on several cuts. Her own approach is neither jazz not straight Broadway. but somewhere in between.
I Arnold: Symphony No 9 (laxos) Malcolm Amold’s 75th birthday year is being widely celebrated. but there can be few better bargains than this excellent budget-price disc. The same label also has a ﬁne recording by the Maggini Quartet of Frank Bridge’s Works/hr String Quartet, while a two disc collection of Edmund Rubbra‘s String Quartets (Conifer) from the Sterling Quartet is also recommendable. Finally. the Redcliffe Ensemble offer poised performances of British Chamber Music for Clarinet and Strings (Redcliffe) by Bliss. Rawsthome and Routh. (Kenny Mathieson)
I Groovetunnel: liven llp (Detour) Local Edinburgh funksters Groovetunnel’s debut album for Detour Records is everything you might expect froth them. plus a little bit more thrown in for good measure. The key elements — the funk and the Hammond — are bursting out of each track in classic Groovetunnel fashion.
The main suprises here are to be found on the vocal tracks which are all too rare in the Groovetunnel set and also in the covers they’ve chosen. especially their glorious version of ‘Gonna Fly Now‘. Check also the bonus live tracks which prove just how tight and funked-up Groovetunnel are. (Jim Byers)
I The near Janes: llo Skin (Castle Communications) Barbara Marsh and Ginny Clee are the Dear lanes. One is American. one is English and they both play guitar. Together they write beautiful songs. Simple eh“? Lyrically they sing about loss. anger. happiness and friendship. At times they make every bone in your body ache with melancholy. at times they‘ll have you skipping around your bedroom
yourself and at other times
they'll fill you with the invigorating energy of anger. In short. this album contains all the elements of life. Only a few lives are set to such emotionally attuned music though. (Jonathan Trew)
I Fun lovin’ Criminals: Come And Find Yourself (Chrysalis) Brooklyn's Fun Lovin‘ Criminals have the dubious distinction of sounding something like across between the likes ofG Love And Special Sauce. the Beastie Boys and House ()f Pain. You get the picture and if you don‘t. think high-speed. cartoon pop/rap/bluesy rock crossover that mixes 90s technology with old skool basics in a bizarre Tarantino-scripted rollercoaster ride through the seedier side of New York. The album — self- produced — is by no means a classic in any
The Dear Janos: groovesome twosome
sense but if you‘re looking for music tojump up and down and annoy your parents with this is a safe bet. (Jim Byers)
I Placebo: Placebo (Elevator Music) You don‘t expect a cherub to answer to the name of Brian and sing in helium- filled tones somewhere between Fergal Sharkey and Dennis Hopper's loony in Blue Velvet. Until you meet Brian Molko. And you don't expect much of the debut LP from a band with a dog- awful name (I mean — heh heh — are they for real?) and an undisguised love of Americana. But like Jim fixing it for Sonic Youth to be Kate Bush for the day. ‘Hang ()n To Your IQ and 'Bruise Pristine' are but two melodioust sweet tales of asphyxiation. sexual disappointment and. yup. bingo. Welcome to the strife of Brian. (Rodger Evans)
The List 28 Jun-ll Jul I996 41