record reviews


Tuatara Breaking The Ethers (Epic) * it at

One fourth of Tuatara is Peter Buck, who briefly escaped the high-profile life of REM to pitch into this album with multi-instrumentalists Barrett Martin, Justin Harwood and Skerik. Quite a departure it is too. The rootsy, folky side of REM crops up in ’The Desert Sky’, but Breaking The Ethers covers a tremendous amount of ground, from the Tom Waitsy ’Smoke Rings’, led by sax and steel drums, to big band, post-bop and Latin styles and even a Gamelan influence. Being totally instrumental, it's most likely destined for obscurity, but it hits the mark more than it misses, the most handsome melody and arrangement to be found in ’Dark State Of Mind’. (AM)

The Olivia Tremor


Music From The Unrealized Film Script, Dusk At Cubist Castle (Blue Rose) ***

Who knows whether there was ever a script, or whether Athens-based band Olivia Tremor Control just used . . . Cubist. . . as an excuse to juxtapose some outstanding Io-fi pop, Beatlesque psychedelia of the Guided By Voices variety, nine-and-three-quarter-minute ambient collages and things, indeed, even harder to define than that? Cumulatively, it may not have the concentrated impact of their current four-track single, 'Jumping Fences’, but yer buck still buys plenty of bang. (AM)

Stony Sleep

Music For Chameleons (Big Cat) *‘ki

In the course of twelve songs thinly spread over 35 minutes, Stony Sleep manage to touch base on splenetic Hole-style grunge, frat rock quirkiness chocka with laconic America observations (very odd considering that the trio are from London), stop/start punkiness and an off-kilter unease. There’s the odd slowbuild song but you just know that it's all going to end in a

bloody mess of angular guitars. In the unlikely event of Frank Black breeding with Courtney Love, then the bookies will give you even money that this is what the offspring will sound like. If you like the genre then you'll love this, alternatively it might pass you by faster than you can say 'Dayton, Ohio’. (JT)

Richard Thompson and

Danny Thompson

Industry (Parlophone) * * r t

The long-awaited joint collaboration between the two (unrelated) Thompsons is not quite a concept album, but rather a series of emotive, hard-hitting musical portraits focusing on the way in which the rise and fall of industrial Britain has affected the ordinary people caught in the web. The prevailing mood is predictably dark,

but both Richard’s singing and the jazz- inflected ensemble instrumentals and accompaniments are well up to the very high standards we expect from these two. (KM)

Viva Hacienda

15 Years Of Hacienda Nights (Deconstruction) * * it * *

P.C. (pre-Cream) and PM. (pre- Ministry), Manchester’s HaCienda club was the original British ’superclub'. From the day it opened in May I982, it has consistently been at the forefront of this country's musical development. Now, fifteen years later, the club has squeezed its monumental significance into a triple CD compilation album. Fittingly, it is brilliant, from the inspired artwork of Ben Kelly (who designed the club originally) down to the sheer splendour of the tracks on offer. CD1 (82—86) captures the transition from electro, soul and disco into early Chicago house; CD2 (87—91) luxuriates in pure, classic house while CD3 (92—97) is a romp through recent anthems. (J8)


The Smile Says It All (The Sticky Label) * **

It's a crazy, mixed-up musical world and Syndicate" are slap bang in the middle of it, saturated with influences and spewing them out so randomly that one minute you‘re thinking ’oh

Stony Sleep: you just know it's all going to end in a bloody guitar mess

48 THE LIST 30 May—12 Jun 1997

PP Dexys Midnight Runners

Don't Stand Me Down (Creation) 1k tit ht Each of Dexys Midnight Runners' albums is legendary in its own way and

Don't Stand Me Down, originally released in 1985 and reissued by Creation with two extra tracks, is held up as Kevin Rowland’s most eccentric work of all. Which it is. It's also acclaimed as a masterpiece by many of those who bought the record and took time to get to know it, but many more voted with their pockets and ignored it, put off by the absence of a hit single, the Ivy League clothes the band sported on the sleeve and some of the opinion expressed on the record itself. In 1985, calling the CND ‘scum' and lambasting ‘so-called socialista' for fudging on Ireland were not easy ways to win popularity contests. The barmy dialogues between Rowland and guitarist Billy Archer confused people too, but nowadays they're just as likely to make you wonder why Van Morrison can't be as funny and inspired. Musically, it's sweeping, ambitious, taking in every style the Dexys had dabbled with up till then and adding a few more. At the very least a flawed masterpiece, and the passionate work of a passionate man with a

passionate vision. (Alastair Mabbott)

nol Then Jericho live", the next you're rubbing your hands Ill glee at the prospect of urban sleaze a /a Nick Cave Then they hit you With contemporary feistpop that would sit well on a bill encompassmg Mansun, Radiohead and Kula Shaker. Ultimately, it's to Synchcate"s disadvantage because although they do throw a lot at the wall, much of it doesn't stick (FS)

Danny Rampling Love Groove Dance Party Vols 5 & 6 (Metropol) t ***

Opinions seem to differ on Mr Rampling Those on the ’underground’ suggest that he is cheesy and commerCial. Those Wllll noaxe to grind and Without a chip on their shoulder recognise him as a true professional. With this new instalment of the 'Love Groove’ series he proves, once and for all, how talented and versatile he is ’The Gitterball l‘v‘iix' takes in glorious garage cuts while ’The Spacey Trance Mix’ is just that ~ and more. His mixrng is exemplary and his positive attitude to dance mUSIC shines through and should be applauded. A great compilation from a great DJ. (J8)

Apollo Four Forty Electro Glide in Blue (Stealth Sonic Recordings) ir * it it

An album of gtiite ridiculous diversin showmg what dance producers can do

when they lock themselves away in a studio for long enough. Blues and jazz are mugged by drum 8 bass while epic

? opera scores are slipped in between dark filmic tracks and crazy rock

pilferings. The two singles 'Ain't Talkin’ ’Bout Duh’ and ’Krupa’ pick the tempo up, but the slower tracks show the

great depth that can be achieved on a

5 dance album. (RW)

Back To The Old School

Various (Fantazia) t * tr

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 with uplifting housey vocal tracks, Latin house, acid 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 orin 5 know if you were standing in a muddy i held off the M25 in I989. (RW)

After Hours Volume 2 Various (Journeys By DJ’s) * it v: ~ir *

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 y0u can come home and chill to it. Heavy bassed deep house slinks into soulful vocals and late