record reviews

Ganger fore! (Domino) H *

1997 there’s so much gOing on. Quality commercial pop, huge dance choons escaping from the clubs every week, indie becoming the new mainstream it's‘ all happening and it’s all being accepted There's even a potentially large audience for organic, percussive instrumental, improVIsation combos like Glasgow‘s rather exciting Ganger who collect together the material from their first three (deleted) EPs into one loooong rhythmic groove This is the kind of thing which is probably terrific fun for the lTlUSlCldllS but verges on the tedious for the listener, but Ganger generally avord that with chaotic breakouts of sax and clarinet and some well funky drumming (ES)

The Flaming Stars

Bring Me The Rest Of Alfredo Garcia (Vinyl Japan) 1: it 1:

Hard drinkin‘ with harder wimmen in some Mexrcan watering hole under spluttering neon lights -- Ladies and Gentlemen, The Flaming Stars This band (no doubt, Mark Lamarr’s fav0urite ever) soak the hoary old cliches in lo-fi and tequila and manage to set them alight Although covering similar ground as Nick Cave and Jonathan Fire'eater, c-ri Iii-s toilettien of Singles, EP‘s and unreleased songs, the band manage to display some originality, not easy in a genre tnat skirts so close to parody There‘s more 60s garage band here actually all '96 Tears' organ, iwlitxkrieg drums and Fender reverb (especially on the mighty 'Downhill \N’lillfllli Brakes" You (an almost hear the valves. (PWr

Veruca Salt Eight Arms To Hold You (Outpost) it

The Alisha“. Attic of US college TOll have gone and made another album Another bad album but, wait, this time there's a twist - it's a bad Heavy Metal album' hauling in lvletallica producer Bob Rn; l; “even his name

The Flaming Star: blitzkrieg drums and Fender reverb

40 THE LIST )1 Hal 3 Apr 1997

wears spandex keks), Veruca Salt clearly think that they’re guaranteed the all-important, oh-so post-modern kudos which American alterna-rock bands think constitutes irony. Well no, all they’ve made is a woeful collection of meandering AOR which (and here comes the only irony connected with this record) will in truth only be listened to by some Butthead on a couch in Deliverance, Arizona. And they’ll think it sucks. (PW)

Apollo Four Forty

Electro Glide In Blue (Stealth Sonic Recordings) t * 1H:

An album of quite ridiculous diversity showrng what dance producers can do when they lock themselves away in a studio for long enough. Blues and iazz are mugged by drum and bass while epic opera scores are slipped in between dark filmic tracks and crazy rock pilferings. The two singles ’Ain't Talkin' ’BOut Dub’ and 'Krupa' pick the tempo up, but the slower tracks show the great depth that can be achieved on a dance album. (RW)

Back To The Old School

Various (Fantazia) at it *

So which old school would that be exactly? Well, the period between '88 and ’90 when Mr C (the mixer of this album) was DJing out at warehouse parties and on pirate radio around London. A fairly broad representation of UK club culture at the time wrth uplifting housey vocal tracks, Latin house, (sod and Euro anthems. Some of them you’ll know from commerCial clubs and radio, but a few rare house gems are mixed in, which yOu'd only know if yOu were standing in a muddy held off the MZS in 1989. (RW)

After Hours Volume 2 Various (Journeys By DJ's) * it * 1H:

Another classic release from the Journeys By DJ team who have produced the kind of album that almost makes you want to have a night out, Just so you can come home and chill to it. Heavy bassed deep house slinks into soulful vocals and late night groove Vibes wrth little bits of

, garage, samba and downright dirty

funk Then, when you think you’re

DANCE The Chemical Brothers

Dig Your Own Hole (Freestyle Dust/Virgin) 1': kid: The mighty Chemical Brothers return, and this time with a second album of

those heartstopping slabs of heavy-duty dance beats that have paved their way from underground to chart success and back again.

Strange and unidentifiable noises spring forth from the several layers thick wall of sound that is Dig Your Own Hole. The Chemicals have been chipping away at the electronic rockface again, and this time they've hacked off noise nuggets that sound like they’ve fallen off a satellite dish. It's spooky

and compelling all at once.

Also in there is the sound of pop stars (Noel Gallagher on the Number One single 'Setting Sun’ and Beth Orton on 'Where Do I Begin'). a heavy dose of funk guitar and bulldozing through the lot, that familiar pounding primal beat. The news is (as if you thought they wouldn't), the brothers still rock.

The big difference with Dig Your Own Hole is that, unlike Exit Planet Dust, it‘s not one great big wedge of sound from start to finish. Yes Dig Your Own Hole has what sound like tracks, each with its own distinct feel and a start and a finish. At first this is a mite disconcerting, disjointed-sounding even. But play it a few more times and you’ll be fine. Whack the volume up full-blast and you’ll have 100 per cent Chemicals rushing through your

veins. (Ellie Carr)

perfectly happy nodding your head on the couch, a track like Century Falls’ 'It's Music' kicks in the sing-a-Iong disco element and you're bouncmg round the room again A dawn riser if ever there was one (RW)

Spare Snare Westfield Lane (Chute) it 1r air

One-man cottage industry Jan Burnett spits out another resolutely lo-fi collection of scratchy but charming Vignettes which often sound like they've been recorded in the next room and take some time to reach any conclusion Not that there's any of the old Pavementy we've-got-a~great- song-here-whic h-we-can-iust-about- UC-bt)thJCd-lO-pldy business. l‘i/estfie/d lane is more about repetition, locking into a groove and adding rough textures which by and large makes more diverting listening than the o; LriSlOllJl twee ditty \‘.’ll|Cll pops up (ES)

Mingus Big Band Live In Time (Dreyfus Jazz) * t it a:

The very wonderful Mingus Big Band go through their paces in the basement room under New York's Time Cafe, which has been their home base since Sue Mingus launched the band five years ago The club arribiance gives

an extra charge to their already bristling music, while the material on the two discs (selling at not quite full price) takes in a typical cross-section of Mingus magic, from staples like 'Boogie Stop Shuffle' to much less familiar early compositions. Self- recommending. (Klvl)

East Down Septet

Channel Surfing (HEP) 1r t * 4r

This is the second HEP release from this

superb ensemble, and if anything, it's even better than the first. Their material ranges from originals to Andrew Hill and Morricone, their improwsations are absorbing, and their cOntemporary arrangements offer accessible, highly inventive explorations of the rich instrumental textures afforded by trumpet and flugelhorn, French horn, tenor and baritone saxophones (the 29th Street Quartet's Jim Hartog and Rich Rothenberg), electric and acoustic guitar, bass and drums Highly recommended. (KM)

Philip Glass

Heroes Symphony (Point) t * at

As wrth his earlier symphony based on Bowre's album Low, the fu5ion of Glass's towering structures and waves of rhythmic energy wrth Bowie's Eno- inspired soundscapes is oddly