RECORD REVIEWS MUSIC
I Cupid Mount Etna: Superﬁling (Colon Blast Records) Things are looking tip a fair bit from eighteen months ago when The /.i\l attended the Colon Blast label launch and was less than blown away. Cupid Mount Etna seetn to have more or less dropped tlte short. sharp. shock approach and opted for a more deceptively simple sound. 'Carnival' is not strongly dissimilar to a mellow version of l’ll.'s 'Rise’ while elsewhere. there are the spacey keyboard squiggles and deftly repeated layers of melody beloved of tlte Kt'atttt'ock crew. Intelligent pop rears its head on ‘lioliday' and 'French Kiss' is a divinely infectious. swooping daydream. Watch otit for 'lidinburgh band indecent record shocker" headlines. (.lonathan Trew)
I Barry Adamson: Oedipus Schmoedipus (Mute) 'lt's a sexual psychoanalytical journey examining mother and son relationships in a somewhat humorous. yet dark way.' writes Mr Adamson. Fair cop. says The I.i.\l. The erstwhile Magazine and Bad Seeds bassist has unleashed another album on an unsuspecting public. ‘Save me from my own hands' crooii the nice
gospel singers at the start of the album. then the realisation dawns that they are singing about masturbation in an unseemly innocent manner. Next. r\tltlllts‘t)il goes on to do at) impersonation of a serial killer husking an obscene phone call to his next victim. Movie scores for films that don't exist is what Adamson excels in and here he has produced funky blaxploitation themes. Bond
sw aggerathons and sliotild there ever be a remake of Silent (' ()1 The [JUN/H then he's the man for the creepy bits. More queasy listening than easy listening atid as compelling as a car crash. (Jonathan Trew)
I The Secret Goldfish: Aqua-Pet . . . You Make Me (Creeping Bent) Discounting the l)('.\ll'll('lfl'(' (Dicey compilation. this is the first album project to
Cupid Mount Etna: ‘deceptively simple sound
appear on the Glasgow label will) a nice liite in sottndbites and strategy. Yet despite all the intentional pretentiousness (a good thing! a good thing! ) of their pay masters. The Secret (.ioldftsh tuin iii a simple. unadorned set. The sparsely arranged ballads are a little too llimsy' to achieve that \'el\ets' 'Stilttlay Morning' atmosphere (tliotigli honourable mention goes to the dreamy creamy '(ilass .\lountain' ) but many of the bi'asher. full-on efforts like previous singles '(‘ottte l'ntlone' and ‘Venus lioiiding' fare better. If it) future they can rock like "The (’ataly st' and move away from the samey. mid-paced noti- events then we'll \\ (mess the growth of all idiosyncratic pop band. .-\s ll is. much of .-li/iuI-I’i't
. could hay e done will) some more cooking time. (Fiona Shepherd)
I Bill Frisetl: Cuartet (Nonesuch) lileven of the thirteen tracks here were written originally for film projects. including half a dozen for the off-centre world of Gary Larson's 'I'lit' /-'ur Sit/e. Since Frisell's own sonic world has always leaned a bit off-centre itself. the partnership works superbly. and translates pretty well to the purely aural arrangements featured here. for a quartet of guitar. violin/tuba. trombone and trumpet. the later played by Ron Miles. who also has his own album. My ('rm'l Heart. on Grainavision. It‘s by no means conventional jazz (or conventional in any sense). but it is spiky. absorbing music from a consistently fascinating musician.
I Yosuke Yamashita: Spider (Verve) The Japanese pianist has been working with bassist Cecil McBee and drummer Pheeroan akl.aff for some time now. and it shows in the high level ot'enipathic understanding on show here. That is crucial. because Yamashita is anything but a predictable player. and his energised
take on the music generally sidesteps standard harmonic and rhythmic strategies. A singular talent. and one
\\ ell worth checking out. .-\|so on Very e is a second previously unreleased set from .loe Henderson‘s l‘)(ib' Baltimore date with the Wynton Kelly Trio. String/II .-\'u ('ltt/At'r (Verve Discoveries).
I Peter Aptelhaum: luminous Charms (Cramavision) Apfelbaum released two albums with his seventeen-piece Hieroglyphics liiisemble it) the early 90s (Sig/iv 0/ Lite \\ as good. .lmlnji Is’ri'e/iliiuu patchy). and now returns with this sestet. The smaller group is more focused. and his tenor saxophone more foregrounded. but the music is built on similar principles. taking elements from a wide variety of 'world music' sources. and reconstituting them iii bright. enjoyable fashion. His playing has something of a (ills free jazz. sonority. overlaid on melodic. rhythmically direct settings with distinct rock leanings.
I Charlie Hunter: Beady...Set...Shango! (Blue llote) Guitarist Charlie Hunter's earlier
Blue Note album had the acid ja// tag slapped on II. but he claims this set is 'antacid ja/l'. 'l'he lithe fttitk grooves are still in evidence. but there is more of a jail] swing feel to the album this titne. and some fine soul jun. solos from Hunter atid saxophonists l)ave lillis and Calder Spaniel: A little lightweight. maybe. but relaxed and enjoyable. I london Jazz Orchestra: Dance For iluman Folit (llot House Records) Nothing lightweight about this two Cl) set from a big band which draws on a lot of familiar names on the London scene. The first disc is an extended suite by saxophonist Scott Stroman exploring 'I‘lie 'Ii'm/i'limi, while the second is a more diverse mix ofcompositions by band members. Fine music. and excellent playing from all concerned. At the opposite end of the scale. both in size and style. is ()rquestra lvlahatma's densely compacted trio music on A Young
Person 'x (Iiiiile (Babel). a weirdly wonderful musical kaleidoscope in bite-size bursts from Paul Clarvis. Thad Kelly and Stuart Hall. (Kenny Mathieson)
First tip. Die lung/tine (Columbia) by lllyenas
In The Desert. The name says it all — aggressive rappers hungry to express their urban alienation. The album is harsh. brutal even. with head hyena Kendo and his fellow verbal carnivores tearing chunks out of hip hop's
fat ass. Forget the De La Stitll/Htgces/l‘l‘ibe Called Quest namby pamby rap hype. this is real underground New York hip hop llava as discovered by none other than l’ublic l-Znemy's Chuck l). The beats - produced by Public linemy's Gary (i-Wi/
are dark. brooding and ruff. while Kendo‘s vocals ci'a/y-llip through several shades of anger. Standout cuts include the opener. ‘(’an You Feel lt'." with its eerie piano refrain haunted by a constant verbal flow over relentless beats. the stipa slammin' uptempo 'l-‘resh Meat' and the slightly more mellow ‘\\'lty Med: llis it good underground hip hop album packed full of aggression but it lacks subtlety. For the hardcore only.
()ii the jungle side. Metalheadz presents l’luti'iituii Bi‘eukv (London) is an excellent starting point for those
rite iiiro mi: MUSIC *THE'pnizesi‘j
still unable it) get their heads round the drum n bass phenomenon. The easiest way to get to grips with this compilation is to take a step back and appreciate what's actually happened in the last eighteen months or so. The first way e of bona fide jttttgltsi 'stal's‘ ~ (ioldte. Fabio. (irooveridei'. Btikeni have successfully manipulated the essence of breakbeat culture into
what we now know as
drum 'n' bass. Following their initial breakthrough from the underground to the borders of maiiistteaiii ctiltuie. anew genetation ol |)Js and artists are making themselves known. furthering the
. electionic e\plot';ttton into
even more futuristic realms. The guys now at the frontline. artists like .I. Maiik. l’llotek and l)ilin)a have been carefully nurtured by (ioldie and their contributions are recorded here. Once again. this is a ditiiii 'n' bass album packed fitll of inspirational let century soulful sounds. l.l.\lL‘ll to II you might be suprised. American R «C It singer Toni Braxton \tiltl an incredible ten million copies of her debut album which is some act to follow. Now she's back w tilt the follow-up Secrets (l.al‘ace) which
ioni Braxton: ‘doesn‘t live up to the hype’
unfortunately doesn't iiye tip to the hype. Apart iron the awesome new single ‘You're Makin’ Me lligli it's packed fttll of slow ballads which verge on the boring after a while. She is undoubtedly blessed with a great voice bill at times she veers on the Mttt'ttll) (‘arey side of bland.
lastly. tlte Boots 0i Garage (Rhythm Republic) compilation which successfully joins the musical dots between soul. funk. disco and early house sounds. Best cut by far is lixtortion's highly uplifting vocal 'llow Do You See Me Noyy'J'. Listen and learn. (Jiiii Byers)
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The List l2-25 Jul I996 39