RECORD REVIEWS MUSIC
I Syd Straw: War And Peace (Capricorn) Syd Straw has a voice to be reckoned with. though it hasn‘t had many turns round the block since its owner hit the New York music scene in the late 70s - a period she recalls in ‘CBGB's‘ on this album. Later on. Straw was notable for contributing vocals to a couple of tracks -— in the company of Michael Stipe — on the best album which resulted from Anton Fier's musical collective. the Golden Palominos. War And Peace is only Straw's second solo album. and by and large it's an amiable collection ofcountry-rock songs. What makes them special is Straw’s deep. pure voice which adds a rootsy quality to standard AOR fare. (Eddie Gibb)
I Tindersticks: Nanette et Bonl (This Way Up) Not the third Tindersticks‘ LP proper. if you're going to get all pedantic on me. but the soundtrack to a French movie by Claire Denis — a director who has worked with Jim Jamiusch and Tom Waits in the past. Pretty cool. huh? Let me just rerun the highlights of that last sentence for the
beneﬁt of any dimwits at the back: Tindersticks — French movie - Jim Jamusch - Tom Waits. You love it already. right? Denis fell for the melancholic beauty of The Tindersticks when she saw them play in Paris backed by a 24-piece orchestra. Hearing this. you understand perfectly why. (Rodger Evans)
I Karen Carpenter: Karen Carpenter (A&M) Karen Carpenter's ‘lost' solo album recorded in I979 met with a lukewarm reaction from the record company and only the faintest of praise from brother Richard. This was the first time Karen recorded without him. and without big brother to offer reassurance. she suffered huge waves of anxiety about the album. ﬁnally agreeing that the project be shelved. After pressure frotn fans. Richard finally consented to the album's release. some thirteen years after his sister’s death.
So was it worth the wait? Though rumoured to be a ‘disco‘ album.
K arcn Carpenter could only be called a radical departure in the conservative world of easy listening. Backed by Billy Joel’s band. a few songs do indeed groove in
a rather un-Carpenter-Iike manner. but the biggest ‘shock’ is probably the lyrical content. ‘Make Believe It’s Your First Time' is hardly Madonna’s ‘Like A Virgin'. but sentiments are sort of the same. while ‘My Body Keeps Changing My Mind’ is a positively raunchy essay about carnal desire on the dancelloor.
There is a handful of strong songs and Karen’s voice is instantly recognisable. but ultimately this is such a dated artefact. it requires a kitsch sensibility for full enjoyment. (Eddie Gibb)
I Mundy: Jelly Legs (Columbia) Just what the world needs: another sensitive singer/ songwriter from the Celtic fringe. Well. yes. actually. For Mundy is much less rooted in misty rural charms than gritty urban concems. He has more of the MacGowan about him than the svelte likes of Brian Kennedy or the abstract dreams of Mike Scott. In short. Mundy has got balls and is just as fond of a belting guitar lick as your next indie kid. Good stuff. as long as Mundy can resist the occasional lapse into maudlin balladeering blarney like ‘Song For My Darlin.‘ (Jonathan Trew)
I Mark-Anthony Tumage: Your Bockaby (Argo) If Turnage is still best known for putting sweary- words into his first opera. the infamous Greek. he remains one of the most consistently exciting of contemporary British composers. llis fascination with jazz and rock is reflected both directly and indirectly in all three pieces here. beginning with the earliest. Night Dallt'cs (l98l). with its lovely evocation of Bill Evans's ‘Blue In Green'. The title piece is a virtual saxophone concerto. superbly played by Martin Robertson. while the newest. Dis'p/(lt'illg 'I‘lit' Fears. has two demanding solo roles. this time for the virtuoso trumpeters Hakan Hardenberger and John Wallace. Recommended.
I Arthur Bliss: A Colour Symphony (llaxos) British music of an earlier generation. and well worth checking out. This is a superb recording of Bliss‘s brilliantly exuberant Colour S_\'Inphon_v ( I922). a piece which deserves to be much better known. Its accompanying piece. the complete ballet score Adam Zero, is less striking. but worth having.
At this label's bargain
prices. this is unmissable. while their recording of Hubert Parry 's Symplimtv No 2 (l883) is also recommendable. and not only because it is played by the RSNO.
I Britten: War Requiem (Naxos) If the Bliss and Parry discs are bargains. this two-disc recording of Britten’s mighty War Requier is a steal. The
i performances. with
Martyn Brabbins conducting the BBC Scottish Symphony and chorus in a live recording. survive comparison with more expensive rivals. and the music continues to exert a powerful fascination. Collins Classics‘ comprehensive survey of this composer also continues apace; recent additions include a disc of Sonnets from Donne and Michelangelo. and another pairing the (.‘anrit'les I—V and The Hour! 0177!? Matter.
I Beethoven: Overtures (Teldec) Nikolaus Harnoncourt‘s musically and commercially successful cycle of the Beethoven Symphonies is now followed by an elaborately packaged single disc set of the Overturcs. recorded live between 1993-96 with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. They have the same crisply articulated
freshness which marked the symphonies. and this is equally evident in his readings of Schumann‘s Svlnplirmies No l and No 2 (Teldcc) with the same orchestra.
I John Corigliano: Piano Concerto (BcA) RCA have issued a stream of fine discs of American music in recent months. notably collections from violinist Anne Akiko Myers and flautist Richard Stoltzman. This disc features Corigliano's early. virtuosic Piano Concerto of I967. with Barry Douglas as soloist. alongside two contemporaneous shorter works. and the later Fantasia on an ()slinaro (l985). All are very well played. and offer a good introduction to his work. I Paul Galbraith: Introducing the Brahms Guitar (Watercourse) Scottish guitarist Paul Galbraith has developed his remarkable eight- string Brahms guitar with the English guitar-maker David Rubio. and this disc gives a taster of what both instrument and player can do. He draws on its expanded colouristic and textural effects in music ranging from Dowland to Henze. including the work which prompted the experiment. Brahms‘s Variations. (Kenny
Grace’s debut album If! Could F 1y ( Perfecto) has been produced by top remixing duo Paul Oakenfold and Steve Osbourne. It features chart hits ‘Skin On Skin'. ‘Not Over Yet' and ‘lfl Could Fly‘. all of which have rocked the nation's danceloors. The question is whether or not they’d be any good without the help and the hype that comes with Mr Oakenfold and his Perfecto label. The answer isn‘t in black and white because we don‘t know how much input Grace has had in the record.
Forces ct Nature’s Live Front Mars (Clean Up) is one of the most startling releases I’ve had the pleasure to hear. Far from being a strictly beats and breaks style drutn ‘n’ bass offering. it travels off and mutates into all manner of sounds and samples. crossing several tempos along the way. Check the sultry Spanish guitar intro to ‘Spanish Inq' or the pure soul that oozes out of ‘Train Of Life’. This album is an absolute must. If someone like Goldie or Alex Reece had released something quite as impressive as this people would be climbing over themselves to hear it. It’s immense and it’s from Bournemouth!
(UNDEFINABLE MODERN MUSIC)
(IF U MBO‘
Featuring chart hits by Umboza & Yosh
A Voyage Into Trance (Dragonﬂy) mixed by Danny Bampllng gives an excellent insight into the trance phenomenon that has captured not only his attention but also that of some of the biggest names in the country like Sasha and Oakenfold. It contains some superb tracks like ‘LSD‘ by Hallucinogen and Zodiac Youth’s ‘Fast Forward The Future'.
House or lebo’s Trilogy (Limbo) mixed by Mark Moore gets stuck into the tunes that have tnade this Scottish imprint so special. It ain’t gonna teach you anything new but it sure as hell makes you want to dance. especially when you hear the oldies like Gypsy's ‘I Trance You' next to newies like Yosh's devasting ‘lt's What‘s
4 TRACK EP
limbo shows what’s upfront
Upfront That Counts’.
On the rap side. this month's essential purchase is Jeru The Damaia’s Wrath OfTht' Mat/i (Payday). Produced by Gangstarr‘s Premier it is intelligent underground uptempo hip hop all the way. The rapping is superb as are the hard beats. the cool lyrics and the samples. kind of reminiscent of — but better than - Ice Cube.
Check also the excellent Slip ’II’ Slide compilation featuring various artists from the deep house and vocal garage scenes including cuts from Amira. Funky People and L2 Love. As expected. each release is of the high quality. no cheese nature we've come to expect from the label. (Jim Byers)
ALL PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED TRACKS OUT 28 OCTOBER ON LIMITED CD AND 12"
ON TOUR WITH THE CHEMICAL BROTHERS 25 OCTOBER - GLASGOW BARROWLANDS
The List l8-31 Oct I996 47