HIP HOP Hardknox
Edinburgh: The Liquid Room, Thu 3 Feb; Glasgow: The Garage, Sat 26 Feb.
Oblique, crushing breaks collide with femur snapping bass, whining scratches, squealing vocal snatches and squalling guitars. This is what happens when you stop making big beat records.
Duo Steve P and Lindy Layton have constructed an electronic colossus which progresses far past its big beat roots to a more intense but still extremely danceable destination. Starting out on the home of Fatboy Slim, Skint Records, the duo went in and came out the other side of the whole big beat phenomenon, several singles better off, with their credibility and sanity intact. ’The album was an arduous task,’ explains Steve. ’It took us about three and a half years all in to finish it. We weren‘t signed so we still had to make a living on the side.’ The resulting self-titled album is a testament to their persistence and determination.
Lindy Layton may be a familiar face and voice for some. As frontwoman for Beats International, along with bandmate Norman Cook aka Fatboy Slim, they scored a number one with 'Dub Be Good To Me’ in 1990.
We rule the skool: Hardknox
As half of a duo rather than frontwoman and vocalist, Layton was keen to push her production duties into the foreground of Hardknox. ’There's so many other ways of getting the point across without having to sing, so we made sure we did.’
Where many a bandwagon jumper has seen fit to weld hip hop to the side of their ailing cart, trying for instant street credibility, Hardknox take hip hop’s battered ribs and plug them full of seething electronics. ‘Attitude’ is Skunk Anansie with real funk beats, while 'Resistance Is Futile' nails the rhyming skills of New York rapper Jane Blaze to a rollicking fuzz bassline and rattling snare workout. The pair’s differing influences complement each other; both adding their own thing: ’For me it’s the drum & bass thing and electronics that are strong,’ says Steve. ’With Lindy, she’s more into older things and going out and getting samples and real sounds.’
The live set-up is simple, but is bound to have a few surprises. ’Basically it’s an extension of Dling,‘ says Layton. ‘We didn’t want to get in loads of musicians as we didn't use them on the album anyway. We do a special mix and drop in samples, have some live vocals and a couple of sexy girls on stage too, but you’ll have to come along to find out more.’ (Mark Robertson)
Bus, sold by the truckload in the States but failed to make much of an impression on this side of the pond. Comparisons with Nine lnch Nails inevitably still follow the band around, a Situation that doesn’t impress Filter guitarist, Geno Lenardo. ’lt’s really annoying,’ he admits, 'but it's like apples and oranges — comparing two different things. I don't think we sound anything like them.’
Title Of Record sees Filter deliberately moving away from the influence of studio technology to incorporate a wider variety of musical styles. ’We wanted the album to have a lot of dynamic - hills and valleys — and a lot of melody,’ explains Lenardo. 'In the
ROCK PREVIEW Filter
Glasgow: Garage, Tue 1 Feb.
One listen to Filter’s forthcoming single, ’Take A Picture’, and you might have them pegged as the latest in a long line of commercial American rock acts that have come over here and stomped all over our charts. Excellent though the song is, the radio-friendly, relaxed strum of ’Take A Picture' (about
Picture perfect: Filter
getting naked on a plane, of course) isn't representative of the rifftastic metal mixture of anger and angst which can be heard on the band’s most recent album, Title Of Record.
The band were formed in 1995 by Richard Patrick, one time touring guitarist in definitive electro-metallers Nine Inch Nails, after he got fed up being Trent Reznor’s personal punch- bag on stage. Their debut album, Short
end it's all about song quality.’
The quality of the songs is something we can judge for ourselves when Filter play at the Garage in Glasgow next month. Having spent the last six months playing massive, soulless arenas in America, the band are looking forward to playing in more intimate surroundings. ‘lt’s definitely going to be full-on rock,’ promises Lenardo, so get your black leather trousers on and be prepared to get your rocks off. (Doug Johnstone)
This issue: He may have been around oh, since the dawn of time,
. but the irrepressable grow! and
howl of Lloyd Cole still succeeds in simultaneously charming the pants off, and bringing a tear to an eye,
of the masses. He returns this month to play a solo acoustic show in the capital.
Name an album that's an unrecognised classic.
Pink Flag by Wire.
Which artist or record first made you 5 want to make music? T Rex.
Name a song you wish you'd written? 'These days' by Jackson Browne, but the version as sung by Nico is the one I know and love best
: Who was the first pop star you had a crush on?
' What song makes you cry?
’Do What You Gotta Do' by Nina Simone.
Name a gig that changed your life. The Buzzcocks, Manchester, 1977. They were wandering through the crowd before the show and I thought ’God, pop stars are real people.’
Name a non-musical influence on your music.
Joan Didion. Her writing style has greatly affected my way of writing lyrics.
Who would be on your dream Top of the Pops?
T Rex, Pet Shop Boys, Spice Girls and The Beatles with Billy Preston, compered by Tony Blackburn.
What do you play as an aid to seduction?
Thankfully I have no need anymore, I’m a happily married man With kids, but in the past Al Green and Isaac Hayes always did the lot).
What do you sing in the shower? Nothing recognisable.
f, L/Oyd Cole p/ays Edinburgh: Queen’s Hall, Sat 29 Jan.
20 Jan-3 Feb 2000 THE LIST 41