expectations. On The Middle Of Nowhere they've fashioned a twisted and cynical beast, full of pent-up rage and frustation, from the tired and formulaic attributes of house music. 'I Don’t Know You People’ and ’Nothing Left' are, for the most part, vicious assaults of snarling rhythms and villainous melodies, while ’Know Where to Run' is mu5ic for ram raiding pounding breaks held up by scuzzy, lowdown bass and analogue synth stabs. Only occasionally, speCifically on the beautifully melancholic 'Autumn’ are we given a glimpse of hope. Radiohead take note: this is real alienation music. (LM)

DJ Rap

Learning Curve (Higher Ground) After being expelled from the Jungle High Council, DJ Rap found herself out of a iob. This album is the disappointing result of her subsequent career move from highly respected hardcore DJ to MOR sub trip hop songstress. Learning Curve characterizes musical mediocrity over the last decade, combining dated dancelloor synths With heavy metal gUitars and half-hearted breakbeats With ambient vocal errors. From the inoffensiver educed (Sneaker Pimps/ PWEl/Curve) mundanity of 'Bad Girl’ and ’Changes' to the ridiculous cock rock nature of ’Go', it never once lifts itself from the doldrtims Of dated derivation. DJ Rap ~ iock of all trades and master of none. (NA)

Nightmares on Wax Carboot Soul (Warp)

NOW's third album is a typically awkward creature A double LP schmoozing With slo-mo soul, it eschews trip hop conventions, combining lazy day basslines With an urban orchestration of funked tip reggae beats. The reworking of 'Summer In The City' is a laid-back funkmeister of a tune, an ideal entry into this chaotic, irregular album. At its best, Carboot SOUI is dev0id of vocals and claSSification, floating carelessly over tracks such as 'Argha Noah' and the sublime 'Fire In The Middle'. Conversely, 'Ethnic Maiority' and ’Survival' are generic examples of dope beats and uninspired lyrical mediocrity. Search carefully and you’ll find the Jumbled gems (NA)



The N.W.A Legacy Volume ‘i I988- I998 (Virgin)

if Niggers with Attitude hadn't existed. the people who make those 'Parental AdVisOry’ stickers would have had to invent them. Burning straight Outta Compton, at the end of the 80s, in a blaze of aggression, gold chains and expliot lyrics, NWA gave a name and focus to middle America's fear of gangsta rap.

This double CD compiles the best work of NWA and, post-split, its various members v— Ice Cube, Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, MC Ren and Yella. It's almost all great, but is worth buying for three ClassIcs alone —- the seminal ’Fuck Tha Police', 2Pac's 'California Love' and SnOOp Doggy Dogg's 'lv‘iurder Was The Case' (PR)


Bobby Hutcherson

Skyline (Verve) a a a it

Bobby Hutcherson's many 605 sessions for Blue Note are classics, and the vibraphonist recaptures the spirit of that period on Grachan Moncur’s 'The Coaster’, revisiting a tune he played on his first ever Blue Note recording date. Its funky, blues-rooted attack IS an earthy highlight amid the generally more polished and sophisticated approach of this debut album. Hutcherson is a master on his instrument, and is also featured on marimba, while his creative collaborators saxophonist Kenny Garrett, pianist Geri Allen, bassist Christian McBride, drummer Al Foster form a dream team from the very top drawer of contemporary jazz. (KM)



Miracle In The Gorbals (Naxos)

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The English composer Arthur Bliss was once considered the natural heir to Elgar, but his reputation was rather eclipsed by the rise of modernism. Bliss's pulsating score redeemed the rather heavy-handed allegory of Miracle /n The Gorba/s (1945), a ballet set in Glasgow in which a Christ-like figure is sacrificed. Also included is his score for Alexander Korda's famous film Things To Come, and the 1965 revision of his Discourse For Orchestra, all played by the Queensland Symphony under Christopher Lyndon- Gee. (KM)

Badly Drawn Boy

It Came From The Ground (Twisted Nerve) 9': «ire-we

The drums have it. The final throbbing segment of this EP's title track make this rise, rise and rise again from its salsa beginnings. Otherwrse, it could only have been a masterclass in lo-fi ingenuity. This may have come from the ground, but Badly Drawn Boy is on his way to heaven. (BD)


Snowball (Pepper) a e

Stamping its way all over the grave of Black Grape, Kawala get their 'old boots on', preparing for a tour of duty With Faithless. Indeed, Rollo the man behind the Faithless knobs has

record reviews MUSIC.

ROCK Catatonia ,

Equall Cursed and Blessed (Blanco Y Negro) * ~k ~k

Britpop didn't die, it just went blonde". Do you'miss all those jangly guitars, singalong choruses and bad puns? Fret not. for Catatonia were taking careful notes and have produced a straight-up-guv‘nor pop album to counteract all thosetwo- hour experimental group therapy sessions currently in vogue.

Cerys Matthews currently serves as a female Robbie Williams, an icon of jollity and playful nudge- nudge sexuality; and whilst focusing in on her may seem short- sighted. it's unavoidable. because

, “J: .. Rising orison: Catatonia

without her Catatonia would sink without trace into the swamp signposted ‘Bewarel Bland cheerful indie popl’. Her voice is. of course, unique. that of a Welsh Diana Ross after two hundred Bensons: International Velvet displayed her redoubtable bellowing abilities, but this album keeps things lighter. favouring tinkly pop songs over rousing anthems. The tinklier the better, in fact: the album's summeriest moments. ‘She’s A Millionaire', ’Karaoke Queen‘ and the punkish ’Storm The Palace’ are also its best. On the slower numbers, the voice drags and grates too much. and the lyrics - always the band's weakest point - just can't stand alone.

For all its harps and strings, this remains fun, friendly, fairly witless stuff. Like a drunken snag, it might leave you with a smile on your face, but it's never going to make you tremble. (Hannah McGill)

enhanced the sound to make this a folky, bluesy, lo-fi deal. It's almost like Peter Gabriel haVing a quiet night in with Norman Cook. No, really. (BD)


AZG EP(Mo’Wax) “x at a 92

It's taken a while, but the duo of Chief Xcel and The Gift Of The Gab have finally got a whole album‘s worth of sounds together. To some this album teaser may sound a mess. To others, the trippy piano, quasi-nursery rhyme feel of ’AZG' will have them scratching for more. (BD)


Impossible (Generic) w k a a

In a neat two-fingers to Baddiel, Skinner and co, this Anglo-Polish outfit were offering free vodka at their recent gig if the Poles defeated England in the football international. Such gimmicry is hardly neccessary, however. 'Impossible' is a guitar, vocal and drum dreamworld. With humour. (BD)


Superfreaky Memories (Beggars Banquet) it: it ‘k are

With their trademark buzzing guitar and fuzzy wordplay 'they're swapping pharmaceuticals in Mussolini Park’ Luna deliver yet another preCious gem. Dean Wareham’s semi- comatose vocals are pulled along by Justin Harwood's string work to a killing crescendo. Pray that this lot never get near Top Of The Pops. (BD)

Godspeed You Black Emperor!

Slow Riot For New Zero Kanada (Kranky) w 1% * a

With a name and EP title like those, you know you’re in for nothing short of the mightin conceptual. First track, 'Moya', starts off like an audition for the next David Lynch soundtrack, then moves into an ambient death march

before juggernauting its way to the finishing line with a proggy stampede. And pretty glorious it is, too. (BD)


Elecricity (Nude) were

Despite the somewhat filthy guitar intro, this is really nothing more or less than Suede by numbers. Only less so. The first single from the forthcoming Head Music, 'Electricty’ finds Suede treading water when they should be breaking new ground. (BD)

Phats & Small Turn Around (Multiply) at

Starting off as a sub-Holiday karaoke and going on to something so much more horrible. This apparently is Russell Small and Jason Phat’s finest work to date. On no account, allow anything this pair have recorded to get anywhere near your ears. (BD)


Translations (Babi-Yaga) it it a

A rhythmic violin, the simplest of drum beats, a blink-and-you-miss-it vocal and a concluding squall of feedback - these are the ingredients that make up Aereogramme's debut seven inch for Glasgow label Babi-Yaga. Any band which includes Ganger's Craig 8 in its ranks was always gomg to be more concerned witb setting a mood than outmoded notions like catchiness or attitude. (PR)


Nicky Agate, Brian Donaldson, Rodger Evans, Mandy Lee, Kenny Mathieson, Leon McDermott, Hannah McGill, Alan Morrison, Peter Ross, Paul Whitelaw

STAR RATINGS it w it at 9r Unmissable * *‘ 9: 3k Very 00d 9: it s Wort a shot r at Below average it You've been warned

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