record reviews


Kristin Hersh

Sky Motel (4A0) * s it

You kind of know what yOu're getting when Kristin Hersh puts out an album A 90rgeous, blurry Sleeve With gorgeous, smiley photos A lot of urgent acoustic strummery, some whooshy norses and that lovely, lurching v0ice Lyrics about moonlight and gravel and people With funny hair Since her Throwrng Muses days Hersh has had the rare ability to create unforgettably haunting atmOSpheres with only the sparsest of arrangements and the s!ightest of stories, Sky Motel is no exception, but it's also no progression from her two prewOus solo outings Entirely bizarre, entirely beautiful - and sadly, entirely predictable (HM)

One Lady Owner

There's Only We (Creation) is

Ah, One Lady Owner You are tipped as Creation’s hottest new hopes You strive for Velvets glamour and Stooges sleaze. But you have got it all very wrong. Three-minute songs called things like 'Police Car Sex', 'Car Crash' and ahem 'Cathode Oueen' do not a garage punk band make You have forgotten some crucial elements ~ energy, rOugh edges, attitude - and cOme out squnding like INXS This is a dull, plodding, over-produced soft rock album choking on laughable sex 'n' drugs lyrics and numbing riffs Furthermore, you are all as ugly as monkeys and your cover art sucks Now go away (HM)



Rest Proof Clockwork (Warp) ****w

Since their days in Black Dog the Plaid peOple have been scratching around in the nether regions of electronic music, and their latest long player continues the tradition. From the off, breakbeat lullabies warp into the stuff of childhood nightmare, soothing synth washes and come-down gunar loops are undermined by sinister end-of-the- pier tinkling and off-kilter acid squeaks Rest Proof Clockwork is like the soundtrack to a lost Muppet snuff mowe, guest-starring that big white weather balloon from The Prisoner. For those who like a dose of fear With their fun, it's essential listening. (JM)

Andrea Parker

Kiss My Arp (MoWax) is is ii:- *

Kiss My Arp gets off to a thumping start With 'Breaking The Code’, on which the DJ/composer/singer/producer offsets Tom Waits-ster industrial percussion With her own trippy vocals. Elsewhere, the techno-agitated heartbeats of her MoWax solo debut, 'Melodius Thunk' soond off the film scores of John Carpenter and Angelo Badalamenti think Halloween meets Lost Highway. Later, whips lash on 'Some Other Level’, layers of percussion reproduce themselves on 'Elements Of Style' and cellos get all mournful on 'Lost

42 TIIE LIST 24 Jun-8 Jul 1999

: Luggage Stark, minimal, yet riddled

With effects oddities and crescendoes of sound, Kiss My Arp is an imaginative,

f unsettling experience (MF)

DANCE Cheb i Sabbah

Shri Dur a (NatiOn) r: =o Produce by Algerian born DJ Cheb I Sabbah, the concept behind Shri Durga is reminiscent of the Ambient ; Meditations series out early last year, blending traditional music styles With dancefloor culture The album features a modest display of rriUSiCIans and clasSIcally trained singers from Northern India and

3 Pakistan, performing their ragas over

complex percussion loops created from

live lndian tablas and sampled

hreakbeats Sitars, sarangis and Indian chants are used to create a unique mix

: of Indian sounds wrth Lip-to-date

rhythms An original and creative album that \‘.’l” appeal to those who

appreciate Cheb i Sabbah's unique mix of Arabic, African and Asian music,

often heard in his DJ sets (KW)

§ Eddie Matos

l . . . Presents Disko lvlethod Ghetto

Style (Under the Counter) Another day, another Glasgow house

recOrd, there must be enough of these i things to dam the Clyde, which is

where some of them belong But not this one Eddie Matos, for the

uninitiated, is half of genius New York house duo Mateo and Matos, remixers extraordinaire and sometime artists 0n

Glasgow Underground DIS/(o Method is a compilation of Matos's releases on

Glasgow's Under the Counter label and on its ten trat ks, mlkysmooth iazz riffs

rub shoulders With the funkiest of

filtered disco and the rarest of house grooves This is about as close as life in

Glasgow gets to a New York

warehouse party And you can’t argue Willi that (LM)

: Double Six 4 Beyond Sci-Ei (Multiply) e- l Having paid his penance for any past

sins by suffering Noel Gallagher during the recording of Be Here Now, keyboardist Mike Rowe-has combined

his talents on the Hammond With early 1 90s househeads BBG's frazzled but

funky beat-rnOngering Guest vocalists (including ex-Srieaker Pimp Kelli Dayton) are left to wander aimlessly, and there's more than a hint of a low-

1 rent Massive Attack struggling to pay

the bills, but chunky breaks and furiOusly tWisted melodies rule the

roost, and for the most part, Beyond

SCi-Fi is rocket-fuelled funk heading

towards the dancefloo.r With a smile on its face and a bulge in its pants (LM)

JAZZ Brad Mehldau

Elegaic Cycle (Warner Brothers)

Anyone who caught Brad Meldhau's concert at the Cottier Theatre last

Winter Wlll already have enioyed a substantial taste of this evocative solo album The pianist has always had a strong classical influence in his iazz playing, but it has never emerged so Overtly. The elegaic theme sets the overall tone of the music, but it proves to be a multi-faceted rather than


Remy Zero Villa Elaine 1k at it ‘l

Yorke notes: Remy Zero

Hot Geffen signings and imminent T in the Park debutantes Remy Zero have made a big, serious album for post-ladrock sophisticates and coffee-table musos. The opener 'Hermes Bird'. a generous wedge of heartfelt. guitar- heavy indie soulsearching that owes more than a nod to the Stone Roses, shows that the Zero know their way around a crowd.pleasing anthem: but not to the exclusion of voguish bedroom miserablism. Radiohead are declared fans, and their influence is clearest on 'Life In Rain'. a pretty. spaciously arranged sob-a-long ballad with a distinctly Yorkeoesque

fractured vocal.

A suitable Father's Day gift so far, then: but things get considerably more interesting on the glammy epics 'Hollow‘ and ‘Gramarye'. where the lavish layering of shimmery guitars, weird synth noises and histrionic choral harmonies recalls various Bowie incarnations as well as neo-prog noisemakers like Levitation and Ultrasound. However. the spirit of experimentation here apparent is too often eclipsed by irritatingly poofaced pseudo-meaningful lyrics and self consciously angsty vocal inflections. A polished. sincere and determinedly diverse debut. Villa Elaine has its memorable moments. but sadly it remains too derivative and self-important to be as affecting as it wants to be. (Hannah McGill)

single-mood one. If the exuberant drive and invention of his earlier albums is missed, the music here is undeniably thoughtful, elegant and superbly executed, and the pianist IHJQCIS a crucial energismg tension which hits the mUSlC in even the most reflective moments. (KM)


Susan Hedges

Myron An el (Goldrush) it we air

If the wor s ’child prodigy' evoke a queasy unease, think again Susan Hedges is a thirteen-year-old singer- songwriter from Liverpool, and has

2 been blind from birth This is her debut

album, and she has repaid the faith shown in her by Gary Hall and the Perth-based Goldrush Rec0rds With a mature and well-rounded set of songs which reflect her immerSion in American roots music Her v0ice still

i has a bit of deveIOping to do, but is - already impreSSIVely focused, and she

sounds as if she understands the lyrics rather than Simply reCiting them. Then again, she did write most of them. One to watch (KM)

ROCK Polak

3X3 (Generic) Hint at Pilfering from the past is a full time

occupation for way too many bands. Polak admittedly pilfer, but are long enough in the tooth to know how to

come up With something a tad more interesting. Featuring ex-members of Adorable (Christ, remember them?) they ape the dynamics of the likes of Wire and Echo And The Bunnymen, meld them occasionally to swooshy Pet Shop Boys keyboards and t0p it all off with singer Pete's plaintive wail. Damn fine. (MR)

RacheVs Selenography (Quarterstick) * it e *

Born out of the ashes of underrated US I

SIint-rock quartet Rodan, Rachel's has expanded from a noodly ambient duo to a thing of full-on orchestral proportions. Retaining a gunar, piano and drums backbone, they incorporate up to ten players creating spectaCUlar, mostly instrumental squndscapes. Acoustic strumming and piano lines lull the listener into a false sense of security as the strings bring a darker, more desolate edge to the proceedings Perhaps what Tort0ise might have $0unded like had they discovered Michael Nyman instead of Miles Davrs. (MR)

The Birthday Party

Live 81-82 (4A0) * it it it at

The only live album approved by the band finds Nick Cave and co in London (The Venue), Bremen and Athens. drawrng heavily from the Prayers On Fire and Junkyard albums. From the opening notes of 'lunkyard' itself,