record reviews


Avenue B (Virgin) * it *

’So long,’ chirps Mr Pop, ’I gotta go do wrong!’ It’s a line of such magnificent mischief that you can indulge the spoken word bits of his new LP (portentous and sub-Lou Reed) and the fiftieth birthday blues that have so clearly beset the lg. All forgotten when he rips through ’Shakin’ All Over’, croons about fame and death and money on ’Avenue B’, and promises to be on his worst behaviour to the jazz blues beat poetry stylings of ’Felt The Luxury’. Not a great record, then, but three great Iggy moments are more than worth the price of admission. (RE)

The Nectarine No.9

It's Just The Way Things Are, Joe (Postcard) it w 3* *

Too young for the 70s, too clever for the 805 and too cynical for the 905. Perhaps the next decade belongs to Davey Henderson, the anti-pop star behind The Fire Engines, Win and The Nectarine No.9. It’s Just The Way Things Are, Ice is a collection of non- hits from the Nectarine's three LPs, veering between epic slabs of weirdness that would hardly be out of place on Beefheart’s Trout Mask Replica and insomnia-banishing lullabies that recall Lou Reed or Love at their most plaintive and poetic. Henderson himself claims he hates the softy pop stuff, but what does he know? Perverse sod. (RE)

Inger Lorre

Transcendental Medication (Triple X) s:

Time was when everyone had an Inger Lorre story. As frontwoman of debauched LA rockers the Nymphs, she was given to pissing on record execs’ desks and orally pleasuring young men live onstage (her excuse? 'That’s how a good Catholic girl cures a sore throat . . .’). Sadly, this solo outing confirms what was always apparent: Lorre’s dynamism is personal, not musical. She seems torn between Trux-esque scuzz- rock and bloated bouffant metal; the result is a ponderous, self-indulgent mess. Swamped in noise and effects,

John Spencer Blues Explosion: too much of a good thing?

38 THE US! 9-23 Sep 1999

her voice loses any character, and her lyrics rely upon the worst in post- therapy jargon and drugspeak. (HM)

Joy Zipper

Joy Zipper (Eye Q) * it

They are both gorgeous and they sing as if they are made out of spun sugar. Hate them yet? No? You probably will, unless you think St. Etienne are a bit noisy and that Beth Orton needs to sort her attitude out. Lethargic strummery, syrupy lyrics and the odd psychedelic twangle suggest a slightly stoned but otherwise sleaze-free Nancy and Lee. There's a bit in Richard Linklater's Dazed And Confused where Milla Juvovich plays a lame hippy ditty on an acoustic geetar, and everyone says 'wow, man,’ or words to that effect; that’s the vibe here. Sid and Nancy died in vain. (HM)

Jon Spencer Blues Explosron

Acme Plus sir i it 3%

Jon Spencer and his elasticated lunatic cohorts are quite becoming regular little Princes about town, deluging us with more Blues Explosion product than many mortals could cope with. Acme Plus is a complimentary package to last year’s Acme. Remixes, new tracks and alternate takes jostle for space on this weighty nineteen-tracker. More than often they hit the bullseye with their rinky-dinky, blues, funk, punk, rock fireball; but as is the case with the Minneapolis midget of love, the trick is knowing when to stop. Value for money is one thing, but quality control is another. Even too much of a good thing can be wearing. (MR)


Disco And The Halfway To Discontent (Meccico) * it fir

Hey! Who do these crazy kids think they are? Has anyone ever been so audacious as to combine beats and scratching, funky grooves, shimmery sitar noises, languid indie-boy vocals and madcap samples? Well, yes, actually. Ben Ayres and Tijinder Singh’s other band, Cornershop, have been doing that for ages. This album (which probably owes its existence to the phenomenal success of 'Brimful Of Asha’) is as eclectic and slick as one would expect, and comes off sounding


Rhythm And Stealth (Hard Hands) * *vkvkir

The rhythm kings: Leftfield

How do you follow up a masterpiece? How can you eclipse Leftism, an album that ripped up the boundaries of dance music and left them to rot by the side of the road as it roared past in a rush of adrenalin? Simple. You do it again. But this time, you do it better. You remove any excess weight. you use all the tools at your disposal to infiltrate the minds of other people and to streamline your aesthetic so that it becomes dance music in its purest

form: nothing but rhythm and stealth.

There are no spare parts here, no loose bolts; Rhythm And Stealth is a lean, muscular album, harder and much darker than its predecessor. but no less broad in its reach. Dusted, featuring London rapper Roots Manuva's tense freestyling, reverberates like Lee Perry in a submarine, echoes bouncing off the walls; while the thundering. dirty funk of Phat Planet and the harsh quasi-minimalist techno of Double Flash growl with densely- packed rage, as eager to rip your throat out as they are to get you on the dance floor. This album isn't darkness itself. but more the fear of it: menacing. psychologically overpowering and unstoppable.

(Leon McDermott)

just a tad smug. It will grace many a stylish coffee table, and it has some glorious moments; but there's a hint of unspontaneous clever-cleverness that renders the whole thing a bit hollow. (HM)



Pick Up (Matador) )9: vi

Elisabeth Esselink's first album, Solex Vs. The Hitmeister, was compiled of samples from the bargain basement of her Amsterdam record shop. This time, she smuggled her tape recorder into jazz, classical and rock concerts; the mismatched scraps thus collated have been teased into bizarre ditties, with the lady herself twittering over the top. The whole enterprise reeks of kooky BjOrkery (song titles include 'Oh Blimey!’ and ’That'll Be $22.95), and sometimes the whimsy grates, especially given the simpery slightness of Esselink’s voice. But at times when lush strings collide with fragments of heavy rock riffs and hyperactive beats - the sound of Solex is a thing of exhilarating, genre-defying originality. (HM)


Wide Angle (Distinct'ive) * ‘k w it

It’s not often that there’s as much hype kicked up about a debut album as we've seen around Wide Angle this year. Their sweeping, swirling blend of

breaks, progressive trance, sci-fi nonsense and ethereal Julee Cruise vocals, not to mention 90-piece strings courtesy of the Russian Federal Orchestra, have caught the attention of many.

All in all, Hybrid have created an expressive and melodic album with all the feeling of a film score. Since this is the first from a five album deal, we’re expecting great things from the Swansea boys. (SB)

COMPILATIONS Global Underground

Dave Seaman: Buenos Aires (Boxed) 7k it fir :43:

The twelfth in the very popular Global Underground series sees progressive house DJ/producer/remixer Dave Seaman recreate his recent visit to Buenos Aires. Over the standard two CD format, he mixes up old classics with newer releases and remixes; this is Seaman playing for the dance floor and it goes down a treat.

CD 1 is a slightly more filtered affair, opening with Underworld's ’Jumbo' and finishing with Gypsy’s ’l Trance You' and Ambassador's ’The Fade'. CD 2 pulls out all the stops, opening with Adamski’s ’One For The People’ and Christian West's ’Eterna’ and closing on a high note with The Light’s ’Opium'. Exactly the high standard we have to come to expect from this series. (SB)