Scritti Politti

Anomie and Bonhomie (Virgin) a? se-

Green Gartside makes yet another comeback With a musical stirfry that ropes in some heavyweight hip hop muscle, including Pete Rock and Mos Def. Their raw beats and rhymes sit at odds With Gartside’s fey, 805 pop funk senSibilities, his high-pitched serenades resting awkwardly in the blunted melee. His penchant for clumsily nailing together two musical forms too often ends in disaster. On its own, his distinctive pop rock is OK, but this is a case of eclectic intentions working only some of the time. (MR)


Pre Release EP (Output)

Eek. Scary people making nasty noise. This Will either make yOu want to hide under your bed with a pillow over your head, or crank up the volume and leap about in a punk stylee. The whole EP sounds as if it needs a damn good wash, and you can play about with the EQ as much as you like the sound won’t get any cleaner. Gramme are as raw as a freshly slaughtered mad cow, only less appetising. (KK)


Electric-Arc (Foundry Recordings)

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Mining the seam called Krautrock, previously dug up and suitably bastardised by the likes of Stereolab and Ganger, Ausgang produce quirky, loose instrumental rock to be proud of. Few can get away with titles like 'Projectile Crockery’ and credit a contribution to a track as 'drums and general flamboyancy’, but this lot do. They layer found sounds, retro electronics and samples over a bass, drums and guitar framework while chucking in the occasional Prince-like funk moment. This is interspersed with periods of spaCious ambience, which always remains interesting and never descends into self-indulgent wankery. (MR)

The Frames

Dance the Devil (ZTT) it. are Potentially perfect, The Frames third album is flawed by a couple of tracks so oozing with insipidness you’ll think you've stumbled on an REM album by mistake. That aside, Dance the Devil is a killer, sounding for all the world like they were brought up on Pepsi and Oreos instead of Guinness and potatoes. The list of influences in eVidence is endless the Pixies, Pavement, Sugar and Fuga2i to name a few - but these are just influences; their sound is very much their own, and a darn fine one it is too. (KK)


Les Rythmes Digitales featuring Nik Kershaw Sometimes (Wall of Sound) 2%: 1:. var >2 Ably assisted by Nik Kershaw, Jacques le Cont continues to prove that the 805 ought to be seen as a musical treasure trove, rather than a rest home for cheap synthesisers. On the downside, most of the remixes sound like the Clothes Show theme tune re-worked by apprentice Romos. (JM)


Detour (Wiiija) «,6:-

Whether you loved or loathed them, the Bis of old were at least worth forming an opinion about. These days, sadly, infantilist politics have been replaced with adonyne euro-pop and teen sensitivity. The b-sides, meanwhile, cover peculiar avant-garde/ Steps territOry for those who like that sort of thing. (JM)

Scott Grooves featurin Parliament-

Funkadeic Mothership Reconnection Daft Punk Remix (Virgin) :5: sex

After a limited release on Soma, Daft Punk’s remix of Scott Grooves’ collaboration with the P-funkers gets major label backing just in time for Ibiza, where it's sure to give Basement Jaxx a run for their money. Formulaic tampering with a classic, but fun all the same. (JM)

Marvm & Tamara Groove Machine (Epic) We 9:. Marvin and Tamara are both thirteen, yet inexplicably spend their time ’getting on down' with their 'crew' rather than skulking moodin in their rooms. Tamara sings like a little Jackson, Marvin raps with lispy enthusiasm, and it’s all rather joyous. Enough to convince you that adolescence is fun. (HM)

Culture Club

Your Kisses are Charity (Virgin) we Shimmery synths, reggae-lite rhythms, mournful lyrics and an effortlessly pretty vocal. It’s like Boy George never went away; but he's hardly breaking new ground. Fun for 805 nostalgists, but ultimately a bit limp. Hold out for the proposed biopic; the man’s life story outstrips his music every time. (HM)


Lost in the Translation (Wildstar) we

Scottish duo push back the boundaries of camp, blending Blondie’s 'Heart Of

The Frames: flawed perfection

record reviews MUSIC

Jacques of all decades: Les Rythmes Digitales

Glass’ into a light, sub-Pet Shop Boys disco-synth confection. Picture bridesmaids dancing at a family wedding circa 1987, and you've got some idea of the atmosphere. Not without charm, but little more than a novelty. (HM)


Bedrock (Mute) e air.

Moby has attempted to widen and change his musical scope since the days of ‘Go’ and ’Move’ and on many occasions succeeded; unfortunately, this guitar-based breakbeat offering lacks the same originality. ’To the beat y'all’ style vocals are not new, and the guitar riff is repetitive but not infectious. The many remixes may breathe life into a tune that you somehow feel that you've heard many times before. (KW)


Million Suns (independiente) a: 'k' e The hyper-hyped Ooberman proffer something stringsy, swoony and sweet enough to rot your teeth. The title track is infinitely infectious, and probably delightful if you're in the first flush of a passionate love affair, but otherwise somewhat over- sugared. The B-sides, meanwhile, reek of hippyish whimsy. These people are deluding themselves. (HM)


Magic Hour (Polydor) 9: Av

John Power‘s boundless optimism and acid-fried eccentricity finds yet another outlet on a typically jangly, sweet- natured, busker-friendly track. This one has a certain amount of naive charm, but sadly lacks a chorus. Not a patch on that bloody fantastic ’Beat Mama'. (HM) '

Damien Jurado

Letters And Drawings (Rykodisc)

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One of the jauntie‘r moments on the Seattle-based miserabilist's stunning Rehearsals For Departure album. Musically, it bounces around in a Jackson Browne in alt. overdrive kind of way while masking the pain of loving, waiting and losing in the lyrics. Your toes will tap and your heart will split. (BD)

The Cardigans

Hanging Around (Stockholm) a.

Oh for pity’s sake. Don't you just hate it when sherbetty pop acts decide they want to be Taken Seriously? Nina and her chums have been visited by the credibility fairy, which means feeble, soulless trip-pop has replaced tinselly pop ephemera. The voice is passionless, the backing clinical, the whole endeavor devoid of point. (HM)


Lovestruck (Virgin)

Mr Suggs is in love with a lamp post and he wants us to know about it. This sounds like Madness always sounded and sorry, I know they're a Great British Pop Thing, but they're irritating as ever. If you can stomach more than half a minute of this you’re a stronger soul than me. (HM)


Simone Baird, Brian Donaldson, Kirsty Knaggs, Kenny Mathieson, Hannah McGill, Leon McDermott,Jack Mottram Mark Robertson, Graeme Virtue, Kev Wright

STAR-RATINGS e a; Unmissable a «M $.- Very Wort 'az.shotz._. . aw Below average :8: You’ve beenIWamed's-x.

8—22 Jul 1999 THE U873?