Gus Gus This Is Normal (4A0) v a s

Gus Gus are a motley bunch of Icelandic loons who eXist in a strange little world all With the most fantastic soundtrack. Sounding part Can, part Pet Shop Boys, part Underworld, almost Whispered vocals weave around an underplayed shuffle beat on one track, while the next is all orchestral strings and spooky keyboard parts The varied palette the band draw from means nothing stays the same for too long, the only frustration being that they can be a little too subdued, too laid-back, and you Wish sometimes they would stop \.'~.ihispering and do a bit of shouting aMRji


Steve Reich

Reich Remixed (Nonesuch) tr as 1: ~ir

I guess it had to happen. Minimalism has long flirted With the fringes of Jazz and rock, but this disc takes the process a stage further by letting loose remixers like Home 8, Coldcut, Ken lshii and Andrea Parker on chorce cuts from Steve Reich's back catalogue. This is not as strange an idea as it first sounds -— Reich has been using sampling and drum phases since his earliest mUSlC in the mid 60s. Club compatibility remains to be seen, but most of these remixes are pretty effective, notably Coldcut's treatment of 'lvlusic For 18 i‘viusicians' and lshii's reworking of Come Out’ (KM)


James MacMillan

Vigil/The World's Ransoming (BIS) James .’-.«laci‘vliilan's new relationship With the Swedish label BIS is celebrated in the simultaneous release of two separate discs containing three large- scale pieces \NllH 'ii collectively make up the extended work ‘Triduum, An Easter Triptych', an inter-related meditation on the Passion lvlaclvlillan remains the most exciting classical composer of his generatiort, and these imposing, Visionary works took his achievement onto a new plane when premiered in 1996-97 These essential recordings feature brilliant realisations of the music by the BBC SSO under Osmo Vanska (KM)



Rising (l‘opicl

What’s thzs7 Tonic, a very traditional label, are punt:ng this twenty-

something band who’ve already been remixed by M People's Paul Birchall. The glossy-looking album reflects an obvious desire to have a big success in the commercial market place and it might just do that. It’s agreeably undemanding musically, comes equipped With school magazine-style lyrics and incorporates standard trad tunes from the Brit fiddle repertone All well played, but yawn ~NC)

Brian McNeill

To Answer The Peacock (FMS Records) wxxw

Ex-Battlefield multi-instrumentalist and songwriter McNeill is first and foremost a fiddler, and this album from Falkirk’s famous son celebrates that enduring focus and talent. The music (mostly self-penned) reflects a species of Scottish heritage, and occupies that rich toneland typified by the Alasdair Fraser school -- very well performed, but With more frurt than fire McNeill plays most of the instruments himself which may explain why the album feels more of a construction than a creation. (NC)

Basement Jaxx

Red Alert (XL)

Basement Jaxx (aka Brixton production duo Felix Buxton and Simon Ratcliffe) have their own respected label, eponymOus club night, and now a tremend0us new single t-rliic h sounds like the bastard offspring of Daft Punk and Curtis lvlayfield 'Red Alert' is a slab of self-styled 'punk oaraoc—i ~ raw, funky, hedonistic house The fuck Aramageddon, Ie 's dantt- seritiritents of the lyric make this the perfect anthem for millennium meltdown iPRl


in Our Lifetime (Mercury)

Described by Texas as Siouxies ‘Hong Kong Garden' as reworked by Prince, this single proves that the multi-inillion selling White On B/onde album was no fluke. While it lacks the rabble-rousing energy of a ’Black Eyed Boy', ’In Our Lifetime’ is four minutes of stately soui pop With a chic oriental feel and an accomplished Sultry (roon from Sharleen Spiteri. (PR)


Neurons Like Brandy (EastWest) .19? k ‘k

Cay are possibly Britain's first post- ldlewdd band. They have the same

i" yi..’§‘l. t

Apocalypse wow: Basement Jaxx

record reviews MUSIC)


Eminem The Slim Shady LP (Aftermath)

1: air vr it:

Controversy is contextual. Eleven years since NWA fucked tha police, 23 years since the Sex Pistols cost Bill Grundy his job, 44 years since Elvis Presley shook up America with a grinding groin, Eminem is staking his claim as the last of the 20th century bad boys.

Billboard magazine has already devoted a full page editorial criticising Eminem (aka Marshall Mathers) for lyrics which depict sexual violence, while his recent London gig ended with the crowd jeering the short set and the rapper mooning his audience. So, he’s notorious, but is he going to be B.I.G? Well, this album sold more than a million copies in its first five weeks of release in the States, and the naggingly addictive ‘My Name ls' single barged into the UK charts at number two.

Phatboy Slim: Eminem

The Slim Shady LP is almost the match for all this infamy. Country music may once have been the white man's blues, but hip hop does just as well. Behind the cartoon violence, this is a massive expression of discontent and non-specific anger. Poor white trash just found a voice.

What’s more, the legendary Dr Dre's production adds both pop polish and credibility. No small bonus for a white rapper having to live down the

legacy of Vanilla Ice. (Peter Ross)

grasp of dynamics, the same unsceiai =Ji‘si0ri, but none of the chzlled out bits Where they (listiitt;u.<-l‘- Zl‘it‘i‘lSOl‘.'t?> inost obvrously from Rodd; lot is l'i the female vocal from the splendidly riarnet: Anet l‘.li)(>i;, ','.ilti< i'i recalls the i<irn Ctoroons or t-ven the Leslie Silver-fishes of this world iPR)

Revolutionary Corps 0f 3

Teenage Jesus

Pay Tha Wreck, lvlr lviusic King (Creeping Bent)

There’s a man works down the disco swears he’s Elvrs‘ Rev Corps are none other than Suicide vocalist, Alan Vega, and Stephen Lironi, a former mernbe' of Altered Images who has gone on to produt e records by Black Grape and Hanson. Their genius as lT‘iili’l'\,’ll‘.(] the nasal crooning and hollering of the King With a mental riiachine music two parts Ciiorgio lvloroder to one part cortex-corrodiiig techno 'PRi

Glasgow Gangster


Funk Tracs Find Another Ho! llllCC‘CEi‘i’cllEl‘iiel N

Weegie dance maestro Gary Gino; follows up the Pete l-‘eller :emix of his 'Deeva Feeva' With this ‘rx‘iipv, disco— tastrc floor-filler l)’.llll around a oaiearit hassline Funk C)".i’~.)rd art-:l Ro-Charn-Bo rework the tra. k, but the wrath rrirx :s called 'C ,irne On Die ‘i'tiurirr the same Glasgow giant; slogan that {tare lvlottwai an album title Spooky, huh7 t’PRi


Scrounger (Polydor) r

In \'./lll(ll a 'iauiity' pop tune is distorted and smothered ‘.'.’llll effet ts Within an int i‘. of its life Froiitnian Chris Lantidon is trying so hard his aneurysm is al:out to have tll‘

aneurysm, but in reality this song is about as appealing as three-day-old

oxo and no amount of forced perkiness

or studio shenanigans is going to make it otherwrse. In a word; square. (PR)


Beat Mama (PolyGram) w

Cast have always delivered less than their Britpop peers The band were underachievrng scally urchins overshadowed by Oasis’s Manc tollussus, while John Power looks like little more than an eccentric stonei chatterbox when compared to the certifiablv bonkers gobshite that is Kula Shaker's Crispian Mills, 'Beat Mama' goes further and manages to be undenvhelming even in the context of their own workmanlrke back catalogue. (PR)

Fun Lovin' Criminals Korean Bodega (Chrysalis) is 4r it One of the ror kier tracks from the 7000/5 Colombian album, ’Korean Bodega' seriously rips off the riff from the Stones’ 'The Last Time', before getting down With the heavy guitars and cool dude vocals. The flip is a remix featuring Shirley Manson. Likeable enougn in a wave your arms around tort after five vodka and Red Bulls kind of way. (PR)


Norman Chalmers, Brian Donaldson, Rob Fraser, Kristy Knaggs, Alastair i’vlabbott, Kenny lvlathieson, Alan Morrison, lvtark Robertson, Peter Ross


w *- t r * Unmissable

a m w. .+ Very 900d

. -. it Worth a shot

s * Below average

a You've been warned

l‘.)~29 Apr 1999 THE L151 45