record reviews


Dave Angel

Globetrotting (Island) **** Swindon's Dave Angel continues his love affair with all things jazzy and Detroit on this second solo album. It's classic Angel; funky, futuristic, soulful electronic music, as powerful in the home as it is on the dancefloor. Highlights include the self-explanatory ’Funk Music', the dark ’Club Hell', the lush ’Philly Bluntz' and the recent single ’Tokyo Stealth Fighter'. Elsewhere, 'Liquid Rooms' is another gem, distinguished by its combination of warm bass and subtle melody. Angel proves, once again, that electronic music has soul. (18)

Autentico Ibiza

Mixed by Alfredo, Danny Rampling, Alex Go d and Pippi (Metropole Music) ~k ink

This is a tidy quadruple mix featuring some surprisingly high quality tracks. Rampling’s ’Latin Love Groove Mix' is probably the strongest, taking in garage, speed garage and house tracks by Terry Hunter, Nu Birth and Lenny Fontana respectively. Alfredo’s ain‘t half bad either with Jay Williams, Corrina Joseph and Fonda Rae doing the business. Pippi’s veers from cheesy (The Original’s ’I Luv U Baby') to quality (E—N's ’Make You Feel'),.whilst Alex Gold opts for a trancier Euro flavour, on a Chicane, Age Of Love and Underworld vibe. (JB)

62 rneusr zs Jul—7 Aug 1997

Armand Van Helden

Sampleslayer . . . Enter The Meat Market (ffrr) * t t

This is Van Helden’s debut album as a solo artist. It ought to be an opportunity to see why he is rated as one of the world's most talented producers. Unfortunately, it's an album full of cut 'n' paste hip hop tracks, showing no evidence of the man's varied skills. As a hip hop album it's fine, but as a first taste of Van Helden's solo work it's unsatisfactory. At the end of the eighteen tracks, a voice asks, 'Say children, what does it all mean?’ As a producer who is capable of exploring garage, house, techno and drum 'n' bass, maybe Van Helden could answer that question for us. (JB)


Biological Radio (Virgin) 1k rt

More beats and loops from the dubwise London posse who supplied da riddim that underpinned Mick Jones's guitar in Big Audio Dynamite. That was nigh on ten years ago, of course, but it's still worth mentioning because so many of their trademark samples still sound like BAD - even if they don't sound half bad. The 'Little Britain' folkie theme from the last album, Second Coming, is continued with some harpischord and at times an almost Celtic feel. Overall Biological Radio is probably a little harder than its dopey predecessor, though it is by no means the drum 'n' bass workout you might have expected from these sonic wizards. (E6)

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Dave Angel: electronic music with soul


Troublemaker (Creation) ** at This gets off to a bit of a soppy start

with 'Sorry Sorry', a big girl’s blouse of a song if ever there was one. Thankfully, things pick up rapidly after this and Swede ldha Ovelius crosses over the line from mawkishness to genuine emotion. Over the ensuing nine tracks, ldha details 1001 heartbreaks all cushioned in beautiful melodies, wrapped in melancholy and tied with some wistful tunes. If they don’t quite hit the nail on the head every time, it just goes to prove that quirks can be endearing. Christ, I‘m going soft. (IT)


Into The Kiltmakers (Glass Cow) it * Despite desperately wanting to like this raucous celebration of Glasgow's noisier bastards, the cumulative effect of more than an hour of thrash drumming, rumbling bass, atonal guitars and guttural vocalising is such that I now find it impossible to listen to anything other than Cat Stevens albums while wearing Laura Ashley linen dresses and supping tea from china cups. Should you invest in this nevertheless commendable compilation, you can expect the hardy likes of Fenn, The Ranters and El Hombre Trajeado to keep their heads above the general punk soup and Ramones references. (FS)


Born Tired (Greentrax) * t at at

'The Smuggler's Skull and Crossed Bows’ flies a flag for this band's musical inventiveness. Its an instrumental set that shows off the mighty fiddle and accordion talents of Gregor Borland and Sandy Brechin, and the original arrangements of this six-strong bunch of rootsy pranksters. If the singer too often sounds like a cruise liner chanteuse it won’t get in the way of enjoying this, the second album from the dynamic Scottish

ldha: not really a Troublemaker

folkin’ rockers. Typically, ’Destitution' is a wild burn-up of electric funky fenderblender and mistreated accordion, and there are only a few gentle moments the tile track is one on an album where the energy is, very definitely, up. (NC)


Whisper of a Secret (Green Linnet)

1k 1k * ‘k *

A gem of an album from this Northern Irish group. An exquisite production of limpid melody and elaborate harmony from the six young musicians (only one guy), and their occasional studio guests. Eschewing the vogue for loud African drums or frenetic fingering, this band co-compile a supremely tasteful set of dance tunes, airs, and especially songs. In Mary Dillon, they have the most moving singer of her generation, and one of the best in all Ireland. Here, in the beautiful, subtle, understated arrangement of the 19th century song 'Lone Shanakyle', she is absolutely superb. (NC)

Robert Earl Keen

Picnic (Arista Austin) air in: at

Keen consistently produces albums which are as good as anything that is being done in roots-rock circles, but without quite working loose from the cult hinterland occupied by the likes of Dave Alvin and Terry Allen. This is no exception, and if not Quite up to heights of his classic A Bigger Piece of Sky, it offers ten strong, punchy, memorable story-songs from the downbeat end of life, sung in his inimitable fashion, with a little help from Cowboy Junkies front-person Margo Timmons. Recommended. (KM)

Wayne Siegel

Devil’s Golf Course (Dacapo) * * air

A new name in the world of contemporary minimalism, but on evidence of this recording, one to keep an eye on. The colourful title piece is a relentlessly energised round for