record reviews


Those Bastard Souls Debt & Departure (V2) 2: Most people, if they get a bit of spare time, end up decorating that spare room or sorting out that cupboard with everything chucked in it. Not so for DaVid Shouse, member of Memphis post-grungers The Grifters Oh no, he just puts together Those Bastard Souls and produces a near-perfect album mixing heartbreak, bruising guitar rock and sassy brass cool.

Debt & Departure with its strutting guitar stomps and aching ballads manages to sound like a hundred other great artists, while at the same time having a completely unique feel. There’s traces of Wilco in the tearjerking 'The Wake of Your Flood’, a hint of Jeff Buckley in title track ’Debt & Departure’, and (and this is not said lightly) a touch of Afghan Whigs in the strut of ’Curious State' and 'Train From Terminal Boredom’. Hurrah, the first great album of the 20005 and it’s only January. (DJ)

It's Jo and Danny

Lank Haired Girl to Bearded Boy (Double Snazzy) A“ :2: OK, so you’ve taken one look at the name of the artist and the album title here and you've thought 'sub-Belle & Sebastian wrshy-washy pish’, haven’t you? Well, you’d be sorta kinda wrong. What our greasy and hirsute friends in fact dish up here is a reasonably likeable mix of beatnik folk sensibility and (wow!) modern technology. Opening song ’Solar Plexus’ is an eight-minute instrumental that starts off all kooky samples and strummy love-ins, but ends up sounding like, of all things, Smashing Pumpkins when they used to rawk. The songs that follow mainly consist of some fairly pleasant folky pop (’Love Expression’) and folky dance (’Pilgrim’s Prayer’) interspersed with some pointlessly whimsical instrumentals. Occasionally when they leave the sampler and drum machine out of it, they do sound a little bit too much like 8&5, but their way with a blissed-out summery tune cannot be denied. (DJ)

Louis Philippe A Kiss in the Funhouse (XIII Bis Records) at

This collection of 'the best songs of Louis Philippe from 1991-1999’ is

42 THE LIST 20 Jan—3 Feb 2000

exactly what you might expect from a floppy-haired, bespectacled, French singer-songwriter of a certain age. You can't swing ’un chat' on this album without hitting about a million saccharine-coated, schmaltzy, easy listening love songs. Except without the irony.

One saving grace is that a lot of the album is in French, meaning we are left blissfully unaware of the flippant flimsy of the lyrical content. Unfortunately, the odd snippet drops out ’trees made of paper', ’alfresco wine', even ’chocolate croissants' at one stage. This reaches an incredible low in 'Mr. Songbird’ where Louis croons ’Mr. Songbird, where can your song be now?’ Sweet Jesus. On the sleevenotes it declares that Monsieur Philippe managed to produce all this dross 'while still finding time to host and prepare exquiSite weekly dinner parties’ which, alas, isn’t nearly as funny as it should be once you've heard the record. (DJ)


Horace Silver

Retros ective (Blue Note) :5».- ea

If you ike the classic hard bop style which made Blue Note the most famous label in jazz, and still have some Christmas loot left over, you could do little better than invest around £40 on this 4-CD set. Horace Silver and Art Blakey were the twin creators of the form, and this set plots the pianist’s course from his first trio album in 1952 through to his more controversial ensemble music of the 70s, employing strings and vocal choirs (he reverted to hard bop later, but on other labels). The music on the first three discs is solid gold, including classics like 'The Preacher', ’Sister Sadie’, and 'Song for My Father'. (KM)

Tim Richards' Great Spirit Tim Richards’ Great Spirit (33 Jazz) at “3: air Spirit Level racked up nearly twenty years on the UK jazz scene, albeit with various shifts in personnel. Pianist Tim Richards was the ever-present, and has marked the demise of the band with this celebratory double album featuring one disc of classic Spirit Level reissues (for the first time on CD), and another with a new extended composition played by an enlarged ensemble under the name Great Spirit. The retrospective disc is well chosen, while Richards’s new work, ’Suite for the Shed’, is an atmospheric travelogue which combines attractive ensemble writing and infectious

Lack of eastern promise: Khan

Primal Scream Exterminator (Creation) ir'k‘kk'k

Slice of life: Primal Scream

Despite all the praise heaped on the tripped.out hedonism of 91’s Screamadelica. Exterminator signifies Primal Scream's bastardised rock/ dance experiments as having finally reached their logical extreme. They have ceaselessly mutated and developed their sound, retaining familiar rock elements and, with the dishonourable exception of parts of their Give Out But Don’t Give Up album, sounding constantly fresh.

Finally having consolidated their a career-long love affair with proto-punk pioneers The Stooges and MCS, it comes to the fore at various points. 'Accelerator’ could be a Stooges out—take, but much of the raw rock elements on the album are still harnessed with bubbling electronica and

filthy. funk grooves.

Guests abound as Dan the Automator gets low down and dirty with Gillespie's cod-rapping 'Pills' and My Bloody Valentine’s Kevin Shields sprays random guitar fire over several tracks to startling effect. The only real moment of respite is the elegiac ‘Keep Your Dreams'. a worthy successor to the likes of ‘Shine Like Stars' from Screamadelica and ’Star’ from Vanishing


This record stands as the first great album of the year. a grimy slice of 605, 705. 805, 905 and beyond. (Mark Robertson)

grooves with powerful soloing from the likes of trumpeter Dick Pearce and saxophonists Gilad Atzmon and Denys Baptiste. (KM)

ELECTRONIC The Wackdaddies

Fear of a Wack Planet (Under the

Counter) fir air :2: at a The Wackdaddies, a.k.a Tony Senghore

and Paul Woodford, have been slowly building a reputation over the last couple of years, counting the likes of Roger Sanchez and Daft Punk among their fans. The reputation, on the basis of their debut long player, is well deserved: each and every track is a gem of high octane disco house, complete with New York vocal snippets, smooth melody and a healthy dose of the funk.

The ’Daddies are not, however, mere copyists of the filter-crazed French, choosing instead to chuck their immaculate house into the blender with some raw hip hop breaks and beefed-up, woofer-bending drums, a policy that results in some of the most infectious house music you’re likely to hear this year. From the title track’s surging momentum and heavy hip hop leanings to the pure, unadulterated disco swing of 'Still Want Your Love’, this record is a winner. (JM)

Various Artists

Y3K (Distinctive Breaks) * * air it

As soon as one musical genre becomes mainstream, and in the case of breakbeat starts getting all Jive Bunny, the style shoots off in different directions. Progression, let's call it and hence the offshoot known as

progressive breakbeat; a strange brew of big beat, drum & bass and a compilation of which we have here. Twelve tracks, mixed and compiled by Hyper featuring some interesting collaborations from Terminalhead/John Digweed, FreQ Nasty/BUM. and BT/Hybrid and tracks from Rennie Pilgrim, Metisse and Slacker. This is not your run-of-the-mill breakbeat but diverse, and exciting up-tempo electronica. A fine compilation.(CB)


Passport (Matador) a: is: f»:

A compilation, including unreleased and rare material, of electronic noodlings from prolific Turkish composer/musician/producer Khan. Liking his pumping bass so fierce it could scare the horses and laying some chunky beats and 303 squawks on top, it’s clear that Khan has been in this game a while. Bordering on hard, this is however, fairly sophisticated techno and if you turn up the bass a little, you can feel the sound pummelling through your skull and your ear drum gently wumping like a bass bin as it exits. Even on the semi-ambient tracks, Khan just will not let that bass lie. No doubt many love him for it.(CB)

Pieces In A Modern Style

William Orbit (Warner) k

You’re in a shop, flicking through the cheapest of the budget-priced CDs. Alongside Pan Pipes Of Tranquility and The Outer Mongo/ian Symphony Orchestra Play The Film Music Of Tom Cruise, you find Pieces In A Modern Sty/e - eleven classical pieces, done in