Tin Planet (Gut) Mind

Space are musical Doctor Frankensteins, creating pop behemoths using bits of discarded genres and reanimating them with an electrical charge. On their second album Tin Planet they favour lavish string arrangements and big band balladry, as suggested by the singles, but there's also an ’Everybody's Talkin' de nos jours ('Bad Days’), tacky Sparks Eurodisco (’Disco Dolly') and ’mid-beat’ (as opposed to big beat) instrumental- meets-Chicago house (’Fran In Japan’), all of which they tackle with the enthusiasm and irreverence of the amateur. Beginner’s luck is with them though, probably because they’re not ones to neglect a soaraway tune to soundtrack this Spacewor/d: The Movie. (FS)


Toda lsA Good Day (Human

Con ition Records) * it it

Following on from the success of their single ’Squawk’, a track which gained them Mark Radcliffe‘s single of the week just before Christmas, Edinburgh-based Chickweed release their debut eight-track album. The single is still the stand-out track; a wistfully happy, whistle on your way to work tune that takes up squatter’s rights in the brain after about two listens. The other seven tracks tread a similar road: punchy guitar pop laid over with singer Donna’s warm and smooth voice. A tasty take on the indie guitar jangle. (JT)

Acetone Acetone (WEA) ***

It’s easy to see why Jason Pierce wanted Acetone to support Spititualized on their forthcoming tour: the two bands come from roughly the same part of town. It's the neighbourhood that likes to keep things quiet and dreamy with a little lazy introspection to help pass the day. The difference is that whereas Pierce enjoys letting his hair down occasionally and savaging his guitar until it sees God, Acetone would rather whisper sweet nothings and muse over gentle harmonies, adding only the slightest country flick for variation. Pleasant but unlikely to cause dancing in the streets.

(JT) Gastr del Sol

Camoufleur (Domino Records)

‘k k * t

Chicagoans Gastr del Sol return with their self-styled variation on experimental pop. Here the familiar Gastr orchestral foundations are styled with Krautrock, a firm favourite with the band, and High Llamas-y melancholy to bring a rattling, shaking pop sound which can still sweep you off your feet from 30yds. ’Bauchredner' has horns from every angle, causing a confusing web of sound that is eerily familiar. The production is cool and clear, giving their ever-present, if charming, weirdness an extra twist. The band pride themselves on what they call ’Iabyrinths of sound', they certainly hit the mark here. (CR)



Sleazy Listening (Infectious) ** ‘k * Now reduced to a duo, Finitribe seem to have used the split as an opportunity for a thorough overhaul. The rhythms of drum 'n’ bass are the

48 TIEIJST 6—19 Mar 1998

strongest new influence, but there are no rules on Sleazy Listening; you can have any colour you like, as long as it's dark. In keeping with the Francis Bacon pastiches on the sleeve, when the edges are blurred disturbing things emerge. The Finis have created a spacious, uncluttered mix, dappling it impressionistically with whatever might fit even genuinely unexpected additions like Katy Morrison's multitracked vocals on 'Frantic’. A decade after 'De Testimony', they‘re not short of ideas. (AM)

Chocolate Weasel Spaghettification (Ninja Tune) *tt Take a name like Chocolate Weasel, cheesey pseudo 705 artwork, dream up an album title like 'Spaghettification‘ and you know you're in for something tripped-out, funked-up and several doughnuts short of the mainstream. Yep - welcome to the distorting hall of mirrors that is the preferred natural habitat of T Power and Chris Stevens where breakbeat, drum ’n’ bass and instrumental hip hop drift around in a thick narcotic soup seasoned by bizarre cut-ups of dialogue. Proof of the relative scarcity of sanity is littered all over a track listing which includes such prize specimens as 'A Blue Furry Plughole’, ’Weasenstein’ and ’Jazzman Zanussi Live At Sconnie Rotts'. In other words, the perfect soundtrack for your next chemically altered soiree. (LT)

Paul D Miller

Viral Sonata (Asphodel) *irwr

Paul D Miller to his friends and family he may well be, but to anyone with an ear for 'abstract’ hip hop in general or the exotic aural landscape of the New York 'illbient’ scene, he’ll be better known by his more familiar tag of DJ Spooky. So, temporarily casting aside his more familiar musical ID, Miller has used this stylistic sabbatical of sorts to fashion an ambitiously widescreen ambient experience whose swirling colossi of sound frequently add up to little short of a virtuoso exercise in abstract sonic sculpture. Works wonders as a destressing agent and should provide the impetus for your next trip to the local flotation tank. (LT)

Wubble-U Where’s Wubble-U? (Indolent) * i t

From the opening track Wubble-U hover uncertainly between the quirky, the clever and the downright novelty dance track. Witness for the former is ’Jellied Eels' with its wacky chant and niggling little bleep sample. 'Smoking Pot' is a stronger house track with dancefloor—filling breakdowns but enough inventiveness to actually work at home. It’s the annoying 'Petal’ with Stanley Unwin’s rambling vocal which drops into novelty territory. But on the whole Where’s Wubb/e-U? is a more than competent run round the dance styles (with the odd guitar-based mash- up to spice things up) which is much enhanced by its sense of humour. (TD)

RAP Killah Priest Heavy Mental (Geffen) 1r * t *

Since appearing on the Jon Spencer remix EP three years ago, Killah Priest has been accepted in all but the least

tuned in circles as the most talented member of the extended Wu Family. He comes in harder, faster, crazier and

dirtier than the rest of his Clansmen. From raps covering Satanic Presidents to the complicated study of Egyptology via the soul-fly style of recent single ‘One Step', he widens the gap between rap and hip hop. Of course the rest of the gang try to muscle in on the act, with GZA, The RZA, Ol' Dirty Bastard and lnspectah Deck giving their tuppence- worths, but all credit is due to The Priest himself. Plenty more than the tired kung- fu sample based releases of late from the East Coast, these are the only songs of praise worth listening to. (CR)


Miles Davis

Panthalaasa The Music Of Miles Davis 1969-1974 (Columbia)

t it ‘k * ‘k

Although this is ‘reconstructed and mix translated' by genre-hopping producer Bill Lasswell, don’t let that lead you into thinking that this is in any way a radical re-working of Miles Davis originals. Nevertheless, this is Miles as he's never been heard before. Panthalaasa is in fact a remarkably faithful sounding, hour long ’reconstruction' of continually sequenced music drawn from a selection of studio rehearsals, alternative takes and previously unreleased versions of of tracks which originally appeared on three seminal albums from Miles's revolutionary and intensely creative ’electric' period In A Silent Way (I969), On The Corner(l972) and Get Up With It (1974). Determined to let the music speak for itself, Laswell has gone back to the original eight and sixteen track masters of titles including ’In A Silent Way', ’Black Satin’, 'Rated X/Billy Preston’ and ’He Loved Him Madly' and acted as the conduit for a seamless listening experience which keeps faith with the mood and spirit of the original. Almost 25 years on from the most recent of the original recording dates, Panthalaasa offers a different angle on already familiar music that still sounds dangerously ahead of its time. (LT)

Fred Hersch

Plays Monk (Nonesuch) “in

Fred Hersch is making some of the most absorbing jazz piano albums around, and this tribute to the idiOSyncratic genius of Thelonious Monk is no exception. Hersch’s playing is steeped in the jazz tradition in any case, but not in any simplistic neo-bop fashion. He finds an exemplary balance between observing the melodic and rhythmic nuances which make Monk's music what it is, and adding his own personal voice to them. He brings out both the radical modernity and the deep stride- piano roots of Monk's playing in his treatments of eleven classic compositions, including a fascinating kaledioscopic wander through 'Five Views of Misterioso'. (KM)

Joe Lovano and

Gonzalo Rubalcaba Flying Colours (Blue Note) 1H1 The piano and sax duet can be a profound but rather dry combination, as in last year‘s Hancock/Shorter collaboration 1+1. Rubalcaba and Lovano explore a wider range of