HIP HOP Rae And Christian

Northern Sulphuric Soul (Grand Central) at * ii: iii»

Less glacial than Massive Attack, less polite than Faithless, Manc production duo Mark Rae and Steve Christian have constructed an album of hip hop, soul and jazz styles which is more than the sum of its funky parts. Northern Sulphuric Soul took over two years to assemble and features contributions from many artists. The guest spots from US hip hoppers YZ, The Jungle Brothers and Jeru The Damaja are impressive and cor ain Texas are surprisingly good on ’The Hush’. But it’s Brit soulstress Veba, singing faultlessly on three tracks, notably the closing 'Spellbound', who could feasibly bother the charts. (PR)

Black Eyed Peas

Behind The Front (lnterscope) anew

In this time of derision and fragmentation in the hip hop community, LA's Black Eyed Peas debut with the most cosmopolitan Sixteen track platter in recent memory. Like fellow Los Angelians Jurassic 5, BEP focus on the positive side of music and culture. Along the way they manage to cover every imaginable style through time and sub-genre, hitting top scores every time. They traverse from the funked-up electro of ’Be Free' to the Rakim-esque milita beat of 'Clap Your Hands' touching on funk, soul, R 'n' B and freestyle en route. All this and a full backing band to complement samples and breaks. This one’s ticking. (CR)


Can-I-Bus (Universal) 1k x *

Former computer programmer and collaborator with mighty Mike Tyson, Can-I-Bus makes his solo debut with a mathematically correct collection of his multi-skilled MCing talents. Best known for clocking in as one of The Lost Boyz, With LL Cool J and DJ Clark Kent, he throws together what is essentially a hip hop jumble sale. There are occasional gems: ‘Niggonometry’ and the broken down Public Enemy-heavy ’Channel Zero', but the overall sound is just that bit too contrived. Plenty of notable heaVies are dropped in: producer Wyclef Jean, the aforementioned Iron Mike and chanteuse Youssou N'Dour on the passable 'How Come', yet these influences only underline a lack of original production Vision. Can-l-Bus, you've gotta roll them phatter. (C R)

COUNTRY Willie Nelson

Teatro (Island) w w a: «re

The old master's second album for Island is quite different from its pared- down predecessor, Spirit, although it’s not the reggae album rumoured at the time. While Daniel Lan0is’ distinctive

; touch in the production booth is

' entirely eVident, espeCially in the

f rhythm department, the singer is one of those genuinely original artists who

cannot help but stamp his presence on any setting, and the music remains

quintessential Nelson. It has a generally

more upbeat feel and busier instrumental textures (With the exception of duets with Bobbie Nelson

and jazz piano wizard Brad Melhdau), while Emmylou Harris contributes backing vocals, a tricky business given his assymetric phrasing. Willie supplies most of the songs as well, although he does include a powerful version of Lanois' spooky epic, ’The Maker'. (KM)

JAZZ Burt MacDonald


Oh Hello (no label) rink

Guitarist George Burt and saxophonist Raymond MacDonald have established this band with bassist George Lyle and drummer Allan Pendriegh as one of the most inventive jazz outfits on the Scottish scene, and their debut album confirms that impression. Their appeal should not be limited to jazzers both composers have a liking for accessible, breezy themes with distinct p0p, funk, folk and ethnic references, emphasised by vocal contributions from Nicola MacDonald and Andy Shanks, while Allon Beauvoisin and Bill Wells chip in with instrumental contributions. You may not find this in shops, but it is worth checking out if you catch one of their gigs (see Jazz Listings), or ring 0141 334 3669 for more info. (KM)


The All New Adventures Of EP Vol. One (Response) tr iv *

It’s funky! It’s psychedelic! It’s Funkadelic! Except it's actually Edinburgh booty—shakers Blacka'nized who, despite a rather overwhelming George Clinton obsession (they practically cover ’I Bet You’ on 'Crack Pipe'), show admirable willingness to experiment while never straying far from either the groove or a sense of humour. File under mighty fine. (PR)

St. Low

Anywhere/Keep An Open Mind (Easleiger) * as am

The crooked shadow of The Velvet Underground always loomed large over underrated Manhattanites Madder Rose who veered between n0isy art-rock and fragile ballads. The solo prOject by Singer Mary Lorson falls squarely into the latter camp, this limited seven inch offering considered, bass-led folksy p0p kind of like 'Pale Blue Eyes' sung by Julianne Regan. A record to snuggle up with on cold winter evenings. (PR)

Cha-Cha Cohen

Freon Shortwave (Chemical Underground) J: * air a?

An Aussie croupier living in New York and signed to a Scottish indie, Jackie 'Cha-Cha' Cohen plays an unsurprisineg cosmopolitan brand of mUSIC. ’Freon Shortwave' is a two- minute, stop-start, angular streak of cool New Wave meets Beck that Elastica would give their Wire songbook for, ’Street Soup' is a fantastically mean and moody fucked up spy theme and ’Non- Sequitur' is a ferocious dance tune. Relentlessly inventive stuff. (PR)

STAR RATlNGS * *r * at * Unmissable it i: ii a Very ood iv a: * Wort a shot * tr Below average it You've been warned

ChaoCha Cohen: casino queen and indie starlet


Perfect Smile (Camp Fabulous) *wk Ah, the six and a half minute debut single, always the calling card of a band who mean business. Greenship certainly sound serious enough, a dramatic shriek of a vocal struggling with a spiky guitar turning more tricks than is strictly good for it in an early Radiohead, Dog Man Star Suede kinda way. They could do with hanging out with Mr Tune, but. (PR)

Imperial Racing Club Big Day Out/Where She Lives (Human Condition) * at at *

Edinburgh four-piece Imperial Racing Club have, by the sounds of this debut double A-side, not only been hanging out with Mr Tune but also shagging his wife Mrs Tune behind his back, wearing his tuneful slippers and smoking his tuneful pipe. This is naggineg addictive power-pop which

record reviews MUSIG

is quite happy to sound exactly like Sugar if Bob Mould can’t be arsed anymore. Plus, 'Where She Lives' covers the Rainbow theme in the refrain. (PR)

Saddle Leather Law

4 . . . EP (Starched Man) **

If Zoe Ball listened to this just once, she would keel over dead. Edinburgh band Saddle Leather Law (how heavy metal is that name?) offer, as their debut, four tracks of repetitive beats, interference and shrill whistling noises. It’s never going to be the Breakfast Show Biggie but, as an exercise in anti-pop, it has a certain off-kilter charm. (PR)


I'm A Message (Food) * * *ink They have a deserved reputation for being one of most noisily explosive young bands in the country, the nuclear kids on the block, but Edinburgh's ldlewild prove with 'l’m A Message’ that they are first and foremost a great guitar band. They crowbar more energy, synergy, spite, spunk, punk and pop into three minutes than most bands manage in an album. Flip-side ’This Is Worse’ see- saws between melody and distortion like early spiteful Wonderstuff or Life’s Rich Pageant-era REM. It’s the lug- fuckingly loud ones you've got to watch. (PR)

REVIEWERS THIS ISSUE: Damien Love, Kenny Mathieson, Craig Reece, Peter Ross, Fiona Shepherd, Lawrie Thomas, Jonathan Trew, Paul Whitelaw

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