combine flamenco guitar With vocoder vocals and a soul destrOying bassline; this should be the sound of the summer and a solid follow up to 'Red Alert'. (SB)

Phats 8: Small

Feel Good (Multiply) 9

This is the 1999 summer anthem for all of the Ibiza wannabes who Will no doubt spend the next few months hanging out With their mates (who also weren't allowed to go) listening to the, er, excitement of Radio 1 live from the Balearic isle. Suffice to say that it Will be huge despite being so very irritating. (SB)

DJ Jurgen Presents Alice Deejay

Better Off Alone (Positiva) 9-

Tliis is commercial and disposable trance at its worst. A horrendous female vocal keeps asking 'Do you think you’re better off alone?’ which, of c0urse, makes any sane person want to scream damn you, yes. This Single has no place anywhere near decent folk. (SB)

Marc Et Claude

Ne (Positiva) :9 xv

Yet another Ibiza anthem (not always the mark of a good thing) in our midst, this Will keep the many lovers of Euro trance satisfied. Already being caned by the likes of Jules and Tong (who else?) this is pomtlessly repetitive and shallow. (SB)


Thank You Baby (Domino) 9- 9 we 9: These qUiet moments with the Twin might initially disappomt fans of their raucous live performances, but they reward close attention The title track is a low-key, Screamadelic love song, while the brilliant ’Derailed' begins With a sparse guitar line and a raw vocal and bUilds With the addition of delicate strings, drums and keyboards. The shivery, filmic instrumental 'Lunan' completes a sOpliisticated, atmospheric trio. (HM)

The Candy Store Prophets

Songs For Angels (Pioneer Sounds)

9% '3‘? fit 39/

Still looking for a Scottish Velvet Underground? An edgy, over- educated, pasSionate gUitar band, naive enough to give their songs awful titles like ’Cindy's On Fire', pretentious

enough to stuff their sleeve with quotes from Deleuze and Guattari, and good enough to get away with it? Your search ends here. Angelic. (HM)

Mary J. Blige All That I Can Say (MCA) at *

Lauryn Hill wrote, arranged and produced this track for her fellow A-Iist soul diva, and it‘s as slick as one would expect. Blige’s multi-Grammy winning voice is a thing of unquestionable silkiness, but the ’doo-doo-doo' backing is bland and the tune never quite seems to get anywhere. Whitney can sleep easy. (HM)

Big Country

Fragile Thing (Track) as

Lord preserve us. Big Country have returned. Furthermore, they have brought their friend Eddi Reader along, to whoop in the background of an unfathomably unadventurous jangly number with those gloomy, portentuous lyrics and that growly delivery that stood in for passion in the 80s Smug. Tedious. Why bother? Just ~ why bother? (HM)

Dawn Of The Replicants

Science Fiction Freak (East West)

a f 91' #r w

From the snaggle-toothed psychedelic rock of the a-srde to the gentle strumming of Yellow Beetle, the Replicants are pure, unadulterated rock 'n' roll with balls and brains. It is a rare band indeed who can break your heart with a song about solar-powered vehicles. Highly recommended. (JM)


Oh Yeah (Virgin) as air

A surprisingly indie-esque guitar intro, gloopy beats and samples, an anthemic Europop chorus that churns the whole melange together with a big helping of strings the cavernously cleavaged one seems set upon covering all bases. Such desperate genre-straddling mirrors Geri Halliwell, but with less awful results. A contender for the Faint Praise Award for the Best Ever Musical Debut by a Topless Model. (HM)

Marine Research Parallel Horizontal (K) were

They used to be Talullah Gosh, and then Heavenly, which will tell you all you need to know if you're up to speed on 805 indie cuties. If not,

I‘ i. .9. Q ~ H I‘I‘Hf'nb I a." " 3‘5" 1 M “f. I Z, ’3

On sea level: Marine Research

record reviews MUSIC '

ROCK Alec Empire Miss Black America (Digital Hardcore) it * i *

Alec Empire: he can hear the winds of Saturn. you know

Despite being a disparate collection of unrelated tracks recorded in tandem with Atari Teenage Riot's recent 60 Second Wipeout, Alec Empire's limited edition solo outing is far superior to his main project. It lacks the faux-naif, scatter-brained political rantings that bring the unwelcome stink of the student prank to the ATR mix. Admittedly there is the odd bit of shouting about Nazis here, but the listener is more often treated to densely layered bursts and drones of off-white noise which brush against each other to form an odd. shuffling interplay of rhythms. Too abrasive to be called hypnotic. it's certainly engrossing. At times, Empire even allows himself to veer away from his usual hard-as-nails sound. on the beat-free. Scanner-like 'I Can Hear The Winds Of Saturn‘, and 'It Should Be You Not Me’, a warped misinterpretation of hip hop that slowly dissolves into a bass-heavy mess of growling vocal samples. Hardly an accessible pop record then, but a release that presents an ideal opportunity to sample the wares of a man at the vanguard of the avant-hard. without being subjected to an all-out sonic

assault. (Jack Mottram)

suffice to say that this IS purest pop, rhymes ’muddle’ with ’cuddle', and sounds like it's being sung by a primary school teacher. Charming, in that grown-up-peOple-in-ankle-socks kind.

of way. (HM)


Zombie (Whimsical) s. a:

Mannered 605 pastiche with Beach Boys harmonies and daft drive-in movie lyrics by a Edinburgh band who almost certainly take great care over their shoes and spend winter evenings discussmg Audrey Hepburn. Cute in its way, but overlong, burdened by an undistinguished vocal, and too snottily self-aware to stand more than one listen. (HM)


Wh Does ItAlways Rain On Me?

(In ependiente) am

Oh bless him. Don't you just want to take Fran Healy home and make him cocoa and ruffle his hair? And don‘t you just despair that his songs are so much less interesting than his lovely dimply face? This little meteorological query shuffles sadly along, very heartfelt, very earnest, very dull. (HM)


Get Busy/No Delaying (Breakbeat SCience) 3H: at Two hunks of garrulous, electro-

influenced jungle released as a taster for a new Breakbeat Science compilation. Both tracks torment the listener with tantalisineg long intros, building on hip hop vocal snatches and rattling percussion. Sadly, neither quite comes to the crescendo of trouser- quaking bass and epileptic beats that all the arseing around at the start promises. (MR)

Skunk Anansre

Lately (Virgin) ink

After successfully pioneering the 'string quartet-metal' genre on 'Charlie Big Potato’, Skunk Anansie disappomt with this watery splat. Big nasty rock bands should stick to being big nasty rock bands and not try to be the Lighting Seeds. Don't buy this for the remixes either; they're poo too. (MR)


Simone Baird, Norman Chalmers, Sarah Dempster, Brian Donaldson, Rodger Evans, Leon McDermott, Hannah McGill, Kenny Mathieson, Jack Mottram, Mark Robertson, Paul Whitelaw

STAR RATINGS it * * it Unmissable * t s 9 Very ood t 1: it Wort a shot it * , Below average * You've been warned

22 iui-s Aug i999 THE US! 55